What is French Ring Sport?

French Ring Sport is a dog sport involving jumping, obedience (breaking in exercises), and bite work. It is most similar to Belgian Ring. To participate in French Ring Sport, a dog must first pass the Certificat de Sociabilité et d’Aptitude à l’Utilisation (Certificate of Sociability and Aptitude for Work) temperament test. French Ring Sport defines three earned levels, after earning a Brevet (Certificate) for Dogs of defense; Ring I, Ring II and Ring III. Each introduces progressively more difficult situations and makes greater demands from the dog. The trial is divided into three sections: Jumps, obedience (breaking in exercises), and protection. Obedience is emphasized in all three sections when competing in Ring; the dog has no collar or leash on at any time except during the heel on leash. No food rewards or physical corrections are allowed at any time while competing. Also, excessive praise or petting will result in a loss of general outlook points. Points for an exercise will be lost for multiple commands, incorrect commands, or failure of the dog or handler to perform the exercise correctly. Control is emphasized from the moment the dog/handler team walks onto the field, until they leave at the end. Ring Sport consists of a number of exercises. A dog that has been trained for Ring III level of competition will be able to do the following.

• Heel on a leash: in a pattern determined by the judge with multiple stops and starts, left and right turns.

• Heel with muzzle: heeling off leash while the dog wears a muzzle in a pattern determined by the judge with multiple stops and starts, left and right turns.

• Long sit/down: done with the handler out of sight, the dog stays in a pre-drawn position 1 min.

• Food refusal: dog is thrown 4 pieces of food (usually meat or cheese) while on a down stay with the handler out of sight. Dog must not eat the food, and if it is “accidentally” thrown into dog’s mouth, he must immediately spit it out. The field is also baited with 6 pieces of food, in strategic locations (i.e. by blinds, jumps, area dog runs over during send away, etc.).

• High Jump: dog jumps a hurdle on command, then does a return jump on command and comes to a heel position by the handler, minimum hurdle height 0.9m for 8 points (1m = 39.37in).

• Palisade: dog jumps and climbs over a wooden wall, minimum height 1.7m, then does a return jump and returns to handler.

• Long Jump: dog jumps a pvc/metal “key” long jump on the ground, minimum length 3meters.

• Positions: the dog is told to sit, stand and down in a pre-drawn order. The handler is 18m away. Points are lost for creeping forward during the positions, or failure to perform a position.

• Thrown Retrieves: the handler throws the item at least 5m, on command the dog retrieves the item and presents it to the handler. The retrieve object can be any object such as a glove, wallet, rolled up sock, glasses case, etc.

• Unseen Retrieve: handler and dog are heeling, handler drops the object on the opposite side from the dog, a similar object is placed next to the retrieve object, at a signal dog and handler turn around, and dog is sent to retrieve the object. Points lost for mouthing object, 0 points if dog retrieves wrong object.

• Seen Retrieve: the handler drops the object on the same side as the dog and the dog immediately picks it up, runs completely in front of the handler who then stops walking, then dog returns the object to the handler.

• Send Away: the dog is told to run in a straight line away from the handler until called and then it returns to the handler.

• Face Attack: the dog is told to attack a decoy that is facing him about 40m away behaving in a menacing fashion, without a recall.

• Fleeing Attack: the dog is told to attack a decoy that is running away, without a recall after the bite/fight.

• Defense of Handler: handler, dog and decoy approach each other and have a short conversation, then continue walking. The decoy turns around and comes up behind the handler, and as soon as the decoy “attacks/hits” the handler, the dog bites the decoy. After the dog is told to out, he guards the decoy until recalled. The dog must stay with the handler until the attack, most dogs are taught to heel facing backwards for this exercise

• Attack with Gun: the dog attacks a decoy that is firing a gun, twice during the attack, and once after the bite. After the bite/fight, the decoy freezes, the dog lets go and guards the decoy. The decoy tries to escape twice, the dog bites each time. Then the handler disarms the decoy and heels the dog away.

• Search, Hold, and Bark with Escort: The dog finds the decoy that is hidden in one of six blinds, and barks to indicate the decoy has been found. The decoy attempts to escape, while firing a gun and the dog stops the decoy by biting. The decoy attempts another escape and fires the gun, dog stops decoy by biting. Handler outs dog, then disarms the decoy and retreats at least 3m. The dog escorts the decoy to a designated spot, preventing two more escape attempts by biting. The dog has no set pattern to run the blinds in as long as he finds the decoy in the allotted time.

• Stopped Attack: This is done exactly like the face attack, with the decoy acting menacing and the dog being told to attack. When the dog is 1 to 4m away, the handler calls the dog who returns to the handler without biting the decoy. Points are based on the distance from the decoy when the dog is recalled, with 0 points if the dog bites. The handler must behave in every way exactly the same up until the recall command for the call off and face attack.

• Guard of Object: the dog is told to guard an object while the handler goes to a place out of sight. The handler does not participate in any way again until it is time to retrieve his dog. The decoy tries three times to steal the object; the dog stops the decoy each time by biting. As soon as the dog bites, the decoy must freeze for 5 seconds, however if the dog lets go then rebites, the decoy can begin to move. As soon as the decoy begins to move away from the object, the dog lets go to remain close to the object he is guarding. Points are lost for biting too soon, allowing the decoy to move or completely steal the object, being dragged away from the object, etc.