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Author Topic: metcalf article  (Read 7156 times)

Offline seamus...

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metcalf article
« on: January 07, 2010, 06:54:31 PM »
http://www.johnsoaresk9training.com/info/mondio.html

Evolution of the Mondioring Decoy

By Francis Metcalf (reprinted with permission)

By combining various European dog sport traditions, Mondioring decoys have developed their own system of suit work. Much effort has been put into the Mondioring rule book to guide decoys from different dog sports into developing a uniform decoy system. The Mondioring system allows the decoy to use a wide array of stressors to assist the judge in evaluating the dog’s working ability. The simplicity of the trial rules allow the decoy to remain true to the core values of dog sport, to test the inborn character of the dog, and the quality of the dog’s education. However, the Mondioring program goes a step further by aiding the judge and decoy in evaluating the dog’s over-all adaptability in changing circumstances. In this article, I will describe the various influences on Mondioring decoy work and the development of Mondioring’s own unique tradition.

A Level Playing Field

In order to understand the concepts behind Mondioring decoy work, it is essential to understand the multiple traditions that came together to create Mondioring. The Mondioring founders combined elements from French Ring, Belgian Ring, and Campagne into one sport that can serve as a level playing field for dogs from all systems including, IPO and KNPV. In order to bring a competition based on the Ring Sport tradition to the world stage, the founders of Mondioring added rules that would ensure fairness and safety, and allow sleeve-trained dogs to have an arm presentation at the Mondioring one level.

Some of the compromises that affect the decoy include prohibiting the decoy from esquiving (dodging) the dog on entry and striking the dog with the baton. These compromises remain controversial. However, rather than seeing them as limitations on the decoy’s ability to perform his test, I see these rules as an enhancement to the consistency of the test.

By prohibiting the esquive on entry, you are encouraging the decoy to remain on task and face the dog, rather than trying to escape and avoid the charging animal. By encouraging the decoy to stand and fight, the Mondioring decoy is adhering to the core principle of the exercise, which is to test the dog’s courage, not to test his reflexes. Since the Mondioring decoy is prohibited from hitting the dog with the baton, he is forced to find other methods of intimidation rather than repetitive baton blows. The Mondioring decoy must learn to probe the dog’s character using only his knowledge of dog behavior and his force of character. The Ring Sport decoy is all too often accused of crossing the line from testing to abuse. Since the Mondioring decoy has voluntarily given up the use of baton strikes during public expositions, he ensures the good name of the sport and its participants.

Founding Traditions

Campagne
The word Campagne literally means “country.” The sport has acquired this name to articulate the environment in which it is played. The Campagne program never takes place on an official ring field. Instead, the competition is held in a rural environment. Campagne utilizes elements of the landscape to provide difficulties that the dog will encounter. The basic thesis of the Campagne program is to never use any elements that have been developed on the Ring field proper, but rather to use natural elements found in the environment. Campagne dogs are asked to swim through rivers, search forests, and jump over pasture fences in pursuit of the villain.

Campagne practitioners have developed the use of a trial theme, which is used to give context to the competition. For example, if the trial is to take place in a pastoral setting, the theme of the entire trial might draw from the daily lives of people in farming communities. All aspects of the competition, from agility to protection, will incorporate elements from the chosen theme. From the theme, the judge derives scenarios to choreograph the decoy and handler into an exchange that mimics real-life situations. While theme and scenario run through the entire program, the use of scenario is most important to the Defense of Handler exercise. During the Defense, the decoy must follow certain procedures that are constant and never changing, such as the friendly meeting of handler and decoy and the eventual attack on the handler by the decoy. The scenario comes to life through the judge’s arrangement of variables. The variables are almost limitless in their expression, but once the variables are set for the particular trial, they must remain the same for each dog in the competition. Every competition uses different variables, and thus the Campagne dogs ability to adapt is tested over time.

In a quest to bring the difficulties of the Campagne tradition to the Mondioring field, the founders of Mondioring have borrowed many elements from the Campagne decoy. Both systems utilize theme and scenario. Both systems utilize accessories in the Face Attack and obstacles on the Escort. By adding a second decoy, the variables in the Mondioring Defense of Handler are increased. While Mondioring derived its Defense of Handler from Campagne, the Mondioring program has developed this exercise to a greater extent than its ancestors. In my analysis, the Mondioring decoy and the Campagne decoy have more in common than decoys in any other sport.

Belgian Ring

The similarities between Belgian Ring and Mondioring have less to do with the decoy’s work and more to do with the obedience phase of the trial. Since this article focuses on the bite work exercises, some of the major similarities between Mondioring and Belgian Ring will not be discussed. Belgian Ring and Mondioring are similar in the use of the obstacle in the Face Attack, but in Mondioring, the decoy is expected to barrage the dog with his baton and then vigorously defend himself from the attacking dog. The Belgian Ring decoy works the dog methodically to allow the judge to view the quality of the grip while the dog is being stressed by choreographed environmental events. The Belgian Ring decoy wears a costume that has jute cuffs on the arms and legs. The jute bite surface is more advantageous to the dog when trying to fill his mouth compared to the Linen costumes worn by Mondio decoys. The jute cuffs allows the dog’s bite quality to be showcased. The jute on the Belgian suit also slows the decoy down by making movement more difficult. The Mondioring rules specifically state that the decoy should be active and realistic. This comment I believe is aimed at decoys from the Belgian tradition who work in a much calmer fashion than Mondio or French Ring decoys.


« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 06:58:33 PM by seamus... »
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