Mondioring, or otherwise known as Mondio Ring (World Ring) is an international dog sport focusing on protection activities. Designed to combine the French Ring, the Belgian Ring, and other dog sport organizations into one sport that would allow competitors from any of the world’s disciplines, this sport includes a series of exercises that the dog and his or her handler must execute together in order to score well. These fall into several categories, including agility, obedience and protection.
The Mondioring III level includes seventeen exercises, done in a period of about forty minutes, and performed one after the other with no interruption. Dogs with titles in other sports, such as Schutzhund or French Ring, are allowed to enter Mondioring at the level achieved in these other sports. This prevents dogs that are used to competing at a high level from having to start over again at the bottom in this world sport.
Obedience in Mondioring is focused on function and practicality. It emphasizes the dog’s ability to maintain control without becoming distracted by outside influences. Jumps test the dog’s willingness and physical fitness, while the protection part of the competition requires extensive control on the part of the animal. Dogs compete without collar or leash for the duration of the trial, making sure that they have the level of self control required out of an animal in this sport.
Each competition will be based on a theme, including different scenarios, props, and distractions placed at different locations in the field. Exercises stay the same from one trial to the next, but the specific setup of the field and the order in which they will be performed will depend on the judges. No trial is ever the same as another one, preventing competitors from training their dogs to pass by rote. The dog must be able to react naturally to everything it encounters.
Since the first competition in 2000, mondioring has been growing steadily in popularity, particularly in the US. There are currently a number of clubs all over the country, which hold regular trials and the ability to earn titles. These titles are recognized worldwide, and the US based organization sends a team to compete in the International Championship of Mondioring yearly. This championship is held in a different country on the European continent every year, but is not currently held on any other continents.
One of the things that make this international competition so accessible is that the sport and the organizations are still relatively small. In the US, the sport is represented by the United States Mondioring Association, a member of the American Working Dog Federation. It’s an excellent opportunity for dogs of all kinds, and helps teach important skills and control that many dogs need. If you believe that your dog has what it takes to try mondioring, take a look at your local opportunities. There’s a good chance that there’s an organization in your area that could help you train your dog for this interesting and entertaining sport.