French Ring Sport – What Is It, Training, Competition & More

French Ring Sport – What Is It, Training, Competition & More

We all know about the usual sports that a dog can engage in. Obedience trials, agility, even frisbee games are pretty well known. However, there are many sports that aren’t as well known all across the world. One of these is the French Ring Sport. This is an engaging sport that holds complexity and requires thorough training. If you want a challenge, you can work your way up the three commanding levels of this sport. However, what does it include and what does your dog need to learn before entering?

With so many owners wondering ‘what is the sport French Ring?’, we wanted to help provide a concise guide to the sport. Whether you are considering being a spectator, true fan, or training and entering a participant, you will learn everything you need right here. We have also created a handy FAQ section with further answers to aid your knowledge of the sport.

What is French Ring Sport

French Ring Sport is a sport for your dog which combines obedience, jumps, and protection skills. From the moment you and your dog enter the ring to the moment you leave, they have to be completely under control. You are not able to praise them too much, give food praise, physically correct your dog, use a leash or collar except for the heel on leash test. One of the many tests within the sport, this trial requires you to have your dog behave and stay by your heel through a pre-decided pattern. There are three levels (Ring I, Ring II, and Ring III), each including the three pre-mentioned elements, although obedience is a priority in each. The purpose is to test a dog’s ability to be a good protection/guard dog.

History of French Ring

French Ring Sport originated in the 1800s. It was used to find the best breeding candidates with high-quality traits. These could be the ability to guard, training capabilities, and physical attributes. This way dogs that were selectively breeding to create a good litter of guard dogs were naturally enhanced to help that goal. The creator of the sport is argued but many states that Edmond Moecheron was the founder. It actually closely resembles another sport known as Belgium Ring Sport. This helps build on the case that Moecheron was the founder as he was a Belgium Shepherd breeder. He traveled through France and Belgium regularly with training demonstrations. Eventually, the first generalized ring sport took place in Mechelen, Belgium, in 1907. After this, the two sports branched out to create their own rules and requirements.

France formed an association known as the Societe Centrale Canine (SCC) which was created in 1881. This is the main French kennel club and held many rights over French Ring Sport. So once the sport was introduced to America in 1986, An American association was formed for governing this sport in America with permission and aid from the SCC. They are called the North America Ringsport Association (NARA).

Rules and Scoring

Firstly your dog will require an initial temperament known as the Certificat de Sociabilité et d’Aptitude à l’Utilisation (Certificate of Sociability and Aptitude for Work). Once they pass this, they then need to acquire a Brevet to advance to the French Ring Sport I. A brevet is a fifteen-minute examination to assess your dog’s guarding ability, basic obedience, and physical strength. It includes unique obedience trials such as changing of tricks and positions and ensuring they can refuse food without the handler being visible. Your dog will require above-average fitness and protection experience to pass this trial. Once your dog has done so, they will be eligible for the French Ring Sport I.

The sport consists of a handler, an aggressor (an individual wearing a bodysuit), and the dog or dogs. The dog must be obedient to a fault throughout. There is a judge and deputy judge who direct and monitor the performing dog and owner. Each exercise will have a maximum amount of points to win with faults deducting points. The Brevet has a maximum of 100 points to earn, Ring 1 has 200, Ring II has 300, and Ring III has 400.

Passing Requirements

Each category has different requirements to advance.

Brevet

  • Your dog must score 80 points out of 100
  • They must score 24 points in each of the protection exercises (each total 30)

Ring I

  • Dogs will have had to have scored 80 points in the Brevet to be eligible for this.
  • 160 points and they will receive achieve the title Excellent
  • 140 points and they will receive achieve the title Very Good
  • 120 points and they will receive achieve the title Good

Ring II

  • A rating of excellent (160 points) must have been achieved in Ring I
  • 240 points and they will receive achieve the title Excellent
  • 210 points and they will receive achieve the title Very Good
  • 180 points and they will receive achieve the title Good

Ring III

  • A rating of excellent (240 points) must have been achieved in Ring II
  • 320 points and they will receive achieve the title Excellent
  • 280 points and they will receive achieve the title Very Good
  • 240 points and they will receive achieve the title Good
french ring sport definition
The dogs competing in the French Ring have started training as early as the age of 8 weeks.

Trials in French Ring Sport

Regardless of the level, French Ring Sport has 3 groups: obedience, guarding, protection, and jumping. Understanding the requirements of each trial at every level can help you to be ready before entering. Do note that every country may have slightly varying rules, however, we are going to summarize some common trials in each category below.

Jumping

Agility is a key part of French Ring Sports and jumping is particularly common. Following your instructions, initial position, and accuracy can all affect the quality of the jumps and receiving points. Broad jumps are another element which are separating bars with a landing zone that the dog must jump over. The length varies depending on the country however for America it can be 3 – 4.5 meters depending on the stage and other affecting factors.

Obedience

This is the key factor you will need for French Ring Sport as it influences their control in every area. Some of the obedience categories include heeling, retrieving, refusing food, changing positions, and interactions with and without their handler. It is key that your dog is able to follow your commands immediately, effectively, and whether or not you are around or in view. This can influence their abilities and points in all areas of the competition.

Protection

As its history explains, this sport existed to help pick good breeding parents with guarding traits. Therefore, these categories often have the highest points for your dog to earn. These tasks can be about attacking, guarding, escorting, and many others. Your dog will need a lot of practice in guarding concerning all types of different techniques.

Training for French Ring

A lot of training for hours will be needed to get your dog prepared for the French Ring Sport trials. In order to help we have labeled some tricks and exercises you will need to revise.

Jumping

Three areas we advise getting your dog used to in regards to jumping are labeled below:

  • Hurdles
  • Long Jumps
  • Palisades

Your dog will need to have the stamina to do many physical activities consecutively alongside the strength to jump long distances. The more practice they have the more their confidence and stamina will increase.

Obedience

You need to ensure your dog has learned a wide variety of tricks for starters. Secondly, your dog needs to be taught good behavior in all kinds of circumstances. Around lots of people, in noisy areas, with and without you present, and even around food. Below are some tasks in the competition to consider:

  • Heel on and off the leash
  • Food Refusal
  • Retrieving under different circumstances
  • Interactions without trainer present

Protection

This area has the highest points for single categories and requires perfection from your dog. They need to be able to attack and defend on cue. Furthermore, your dog needs to be able to escort someone even with distractions. Obedience and proper guard training go hand in hand for each area of protection training. This could include:

  • Defense
  • Attacking
  • Escorting

French Ring Sport – FAQs

We have summarized a few of the more common questions regarding French Ring Sport to help clarify any remaining queries.

Can any dog enter French Ring?

To enter your dog requires:
– A scorebook
– A microchip or tattoo
– Healthy from injury and disease
– Must pass the temperament test

Can you skip to Ring III?

You must have all the requirements to get to Ring II and therefore have to work your way up. Starting From Brevet and slowly progressing through each level. Even if your dog is very advanced in training, points from each level must be acquired to promote to the next.

Are there Ring Shows outside of France?

There are French Ring shows all over the world! Although this sport is specific to France, it has fascinated others from many different countries. Therefore, clubs have opened worldwide with the permission of the SCC to host the sport. It is worth researching where events are being held as some may be near you.

Could a small breed participate in French Ring Sport?

Any breed is permitted to enter this sport, small included! As long as they meet the requirements they are allowed. However, some breeds will struggle to be able to do all the sports and trials within. Checking their physical capabilities is key and not pushing a dog if they physically cannot do it.

What is the best breed to compete with?

Two competing breeds are argued between who is the most adept for this sport. The Bouvier des Flandres and the Malinois are both very intelligent and physically advanced dogs.

muzzle wearing dogs
There is a segment in the competition where the dogs are asked to wear a muzzle.

French Ring Sport is a fascinating combination of obedience, agility, and guard dog training. It offers an amazing show to watch and participate in. Achieving ratings in this sport is incredibly impressive and offers a whole new experience for you and your dog. A time of bonding, fun, and challenge can bring you and your dog closer together. Be prepared for a long but engaging journey.