French Ring – Overview


French Ring Sport is a personal protection sport. It was developed in France as a way to accurately test potential breeding stock for working ability. French Ring is overseen in the Unites States by NARA (North American Ring Association), which reports to the SCC in France.  In Canada Ring is overseen by the CRA.

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/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. At the FRI level the choice of jump is the handlers choice (HC). A dog that has been trained for Ring III level of competition will be able to do the following:

Heel on leash X X X X in a pattern determined by the judge with multiple stops and starts, left and right turns
Heel with muzzle X X X X 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 X X X X done with the handler out of sight, the dog stays in a pre-drawn position 1 min.
Food Refusal X X X X 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 dogs 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 HC X X 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 pts (1m = 39.37in)
Palisade HC X X dog jumps and climbs over a wooden wall, minimum height 1.7m, then does a return jump and returns to handler
Long Jump HC X X dog jumps a pvc/metal “key” long jump on the ground, minimum length 3m
Positions X X X 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 X X X 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 X 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 X X 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 X the dog is told to run in a straight line away from the handler until called, then it returns to the handler
Face Attack X X X X the dog is told to attack a decoy who is facing him about 40m away behaving in a menacing fashion, with out/recall
Fleeing Attack X X X the dog is told to attack a decoy who is running away, with out/recall after the bite/fight
Defense of Handler X X X X 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” (obvious “hit” on handler) 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 X X X the dog attacks a decoy who 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 X X The dog finds the decoy who 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 X 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 (EX sneeze during one, you better for the other)
Guard of Object X the dog is told to guard an object, and 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, and 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 to soon, allowing the decoy to move or completely steal the object, being drug away from the object, etc.


Hurdle Broad Jump Palisade
Min 0.9m 8 pts 3m 8 pts 1.7m 8 pts
Inc. .05m 2 pts .25m 2 pts 0.1m 2 pts
Max 1.2m 20 pts 4.5m 20 pts 2.3m 20 pts

Hurdle: 0.9m for 8 points with each additional .05m worth 2 points for a total of 20 possible points/1.2m. Note: on the hurdle, the dog receives half the points for jumping over, and half for jumping back.

Long (Broad) Jump: 3m for 8 points with each additional .25m worth 2 points for a total of 20 possible points/4.5m.

Palisade: 1.7m for 8 points with each additional .1m worth 2 points for a total of 20 possible points/2.3m. Note: on the palisade, the dog receives half the points for jumping in, and half for jumping out.

In FRI and FRII, the dog is not required to jump the jumps at maximum. However, the handler can choose to jump as high as they wish. There is a maximum number of points the dog can earn, jumping anything higher will not earn more points. For example, in FRI the jump is worth 12 points. The hurdle at 1m is worth 12 points. The handler can jump it at 0.9 and only earn 8 points, or they could jump it at 1m for the full 12 points. However, if they choose to jump 1.1m that is their option, but they will still only recieve 12 points.

For FRI, the handler has their choice of the hurdle, long jump or palisade. The maximum points they can earn are 12.
For FRII the dog must jump all 3 jumps. The maximum points available are hurdle – 16, long jump 12, palisade 10.


  • barrage – Decoy tries to intimidate the dog to stop him from biting. Depending upon the type of attack, this is usually with the baton in front of the decoy.
  • baton – a bamboo stick that has been split multiple times, or pieces of rattan tied together at one end to form a handle.
  • decoy – the person who is protected by a full body suit from dog bites and used to teach a dog to bite.
  • esquive – dodging, evading, etc. to make the dog miss its bite, slow the dog down on the entry, or force the dog to get only a partial bite (shallow bite).
  • charge – attack by the decoy towards the dog, a charge at the dog
  • SCC – Societe Centrale Canine
  • SCR – Societe Canines Regionales

This article was written by Kadi Thingvall in 1996 and originally appeared on the first English Language website on French Ring on the WWW, at: It has since been reposted throughout the WWW on many different websites, including