In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about French dog commands. If your family is multilingual, training your dog in French may be convenient.
Some owners teach their dogs basic French guide dog commands to ensure they only respond to one human or a select few. Finally, one last reason to do your dog training in French is to perform in French Ring Sport.
Before scrolling down this list of French dog commands, check out these related guides to help you out: How to Get Your Dog to Respect You and Negative Reinforcement Dog Training Guide.
French Ring Sport
French Ring Sport is a dog sport that incorporates obedience, agility, handling, and object protection. Therefore, the sport requires a brilliant, dedicated dog and a confident handler.
The most common breeds to appear in French Ring Sport are Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd Dogs, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers, though there are no breed restrictions in trials. The key players in a trial are the dog, the handler, the judge(s), and the decoy.
The decoy wears a French Ring bite suit to protect them from the dog’s bite and actively antagonizes the dog to test its resolve throughout the trial.
The dog must attack the decoy on command, save the handler and specific objects from the decoy, and ignore the decoy’s attempts at distraction.
Related: German Dog Commands and Useful Korean Dog Commands.
Common Dog Commands in French
The following is a list of the French Ring dog commands, which dog owners can use to train any dog in French, whether or not you plan to pursue the sport.
Each command includes the English and French command word and accurate French pronunciation. Handlers use some commands as preliminary training steps and others in training and trials.
1. Sit – Assis
The command to “sit” in French for a dog is “assis,” which is pronounced “ah-see.” This command is used in training and French Ring trials. For example, during the positioning portion of the French Ring dog trials, this is one of the commands the judge draws from a hat that the dog must perform.
2. Down – Couché
To get a dog to lie down on its belly. The French Ring command is “couché,” pronounced “coo-shay.” People use this command in training and trials. The judge draws this command from a hat during the positioning portion of French Ring trials.
3. Stand – Debut
The French Ring command to get a dog to stand when sitting or lying down is “debut,” pronounced “duh-boo.” This command is typical in training and French Ring trials. Like “sit” and “down,” this is one of the commands that a dog must perform during the positioning stage of French Ring dog trials.
4. Heel – Au Pied
The standard command to get a dog to stay at your side is “heel.” In French Ring, the order is “au pied,” pronounced “oh-pee-ay.” Heeling is one of the most critical elements in general dog training and French Ring trials. It demonstrates obedience and connection to the owner or handler.
5. Come Here – Vien Ici
To call a dog in French, you say, “vien ici,” pronounced “vee-en ee-see.” It is not a trial command. Instead, handlers typically only use this command in training to get the dog’s attention or get it into position for positioning exercises.
6. Wait for – Reste
The “wait” command instructs a dog to pause and hold further instructions. The order is “reste,” pronounced “rest,” with a little extra emphasis on the T in French.
Handlers use this command in both training and trials. Unlike “stay,” “wait” is only a momentary pause. Instead, it indicates that a further order is coming shortly.
7. Stay – Pas Bouger
The “stay” command is similar to “wait,” except it instructs the dog to stand completely still until released by the handler. In French, the order is “pas bouger,” pronounced “pah boo-jay.”
In trials, the handler commands the dog to stay indefinitely while they leave the area. Unlike wait, “pas bouger” is a complete command. Whether the handler stays close by or moves away, when given this command, the dog will not move until released.
8. Jump – Saute / Aller
A primary focus of French Ring training is the jumping portion. The handler commands the dog to perform vertical jumps over hurdles, climb over palisades, and sail over long jumps. The command for this in French is “saute,” pronounced “so-teh,” or “aller,” pronounced “ah-leh.”
9. Bark – Abois
In English, to command a dog to bark, you say, “speak.” In French Ring, the command is “abois,” pronounced “ah-bwah.” Handlers usually only use it as a separate command in training.
In French Ring trials, the handler combines this command with “search,” where the dog must locate an object or decoy and alert by barking.
10. Bite / Attack – Attaque
Attacking a decoy in a bite suit is another critical component of French Ring Sport. The command to bite or attack the decoy in French is “attaque,” pronounced the same as in English.
It is one of the essential commands in French Ring sport, as in most defensive dog sports. It’s worth noting that this command is a dual challenge for protection dogs.
They must understand how to attack command and not attack until directed. This task is exceptionally challenging when the decoy is taunting the dog.
11. Guard – Garde
To command a dog to guard or defend an object or person in French Ring, you say “garde,” pronounced the same as in English. In trials, the handler leaves the area, and the decoy makes several attempts to steal the object from the dog.
When the dog receives this command, it must know when to attack and back off. The dog must bite the decoy when they try to take the object and release them when they retreat. It is a high-level test of a dog’s protection ability.
12. Hold – Apporte
The command to ask a dog to hold an object in their mouth is “apporter,” pronounced “ah-port.” This is typically a preliminary command in training that is later combined with search or attack commands in French Ring trials. For dogs not competing in French Ring Sport, the “hold” command is the first step to retrieving.
13. Give – Donne
In French Ring, the command for a dog to give a held object to the handler is “donne,” pronounced “done.” When retrieving an object, the dog will keep it until given this command.
Note that with the “donne” command, the dog gives the object to the handler. It is different from the “out” command, which instructs the dog to spit out the object in place.
14. Go Out – En Avant
In French Ring trials, the handler commands the dog to “go out” or run away from the handler. The French command is “en avant,” pronounced “on ah-vahnt.” This command sets up the dog to receive the “return” command.
15. Out – Hault
The French Ring command for a dog to release or spit out an object (such as the decoy’s arm) held in its mouth is “hault,” pronounced “alt.”
It is different from the “give” command, which instructs the dog to give an object to the handler. With this command, the dog must spit out the thing where it stands.
16. Back Up – Recule
To command a dog to back up in French, the command is “recule,” pronounced “wreck-yule.” This command is part of the positioning trial in French Ring Sport, drawn from a hat by the judge.
17. Return – Retour
In French Ring trials, after commanding a dog to go out (“en avant”) or jump over an object away from the handler (“saute”), the handler will command the dog to “return” or come back. In French, the command is “retour,” pronounced “re-tour.”
18. Place – Place
The command for a dog to go to a particular location is “place.” In French, the order is “place,” pronounced “plass.” Handlers use this command during the positioning portion of French Ring trials.
19. Don’t Touch – Pas Touché
One stage of the French Ring trials is called “food refusal.” With the handler out of sight, the judge throws tempting treats to the dog, and the dog must not take or even move to take them. In trials, the handler doesn’t give a command, but in training, the order is “pas touché,” pronounced “pah too-shea.”
20. Search and Bark – Cherche Abois
The “bark” command used in training, “abois,” is combined with a search command in French Ring trials. The order “cherche abois,” pronounced “shersh ah-bwah,” instructs a dog to search for the decoy and alert by barking.
21. Search and Bring – Cherche Apporte
The hold command used in training, “apporte,” is also combined with a search command in French Ring trials. The order “cherche apporte,” pronounced “shersh ah-port,” instructs the dog to locate an object and bring it back to the handler.
22. Object – Objet
The preliminary training command that leads up to the search command is “objet,” pronounced “ob-jay.” This command instructs the dog to go to a particular training object. The dog does not mouth the object unless combined with the “apporte” command.
23. The Paws – Des Pattes
Training a dog to jump onto or over any uneven surface like a hurdle or palisade is challenging. It’s much easier if you begin training a dog to put its paws on an object.
The French command for this is “des pattes,” pronounced “day pat.” Once a dog learns this command, it’s just a step further to the “saute” and “aller” commands.
24. Hello – Bonjour
At the start of a trial or training session, the handler and dog greet the decoy. It would be unfortunate if the dog were in defensive mode during this greeting. The command to get the dog to sit while the handler meets the decoy is “bonjour,” pronounced “bone-jure.”
The “bonjour” command is an excellent way to signal your dog to stand down even outside French Ring Sport. For example, you could say “bonjour” as you go to greet a friend to let your dog know that the person isn’t dangerous.
25. Bye-Bye – Au Revoir
After the handler and dog have greeted the decoy, the dog needs a signal that pleasantries are over, and it’s time to get to work. This command is “au revoir,” pronounced “oh-rev-wah,” which means “goodbye.”
After the handler has said “au revoir,” the decoy will attempt to attack them. The dog must resist biting until the attack occurs and then defend the handler when it does. Of course, you don’t have to be a serious dog trainer to teach your dog what “goodbye” means.
Conclusion For The “Best French Dog Commands”
Whether you’re training your dog for French Ring Sport or want a fun party trick to show off to your friends, training basic dog commands in French is no more challenging than English.
Older dogs may take a little more time to catch on, but you can teach a young dog in both languages simultaneously, and then they’ll obey you exclusively.
For more guides similar to this list of French dog commands, you can check out:
- Popular Italian Dog Commands For Training
- Basic Dutch Commands For Dogs
- Basic Dog Commands in Spanish
You can learn more about French dog commands by watching “My French Guide Dog Commands and What They Mean” down below:
Andy is a full-time animal rescuer and owner of a toy doodle. When he’s not saving dogs, Andy is one of our core writers and editors. He has been writing about dogs for over a decade. Andy joined our team because he believes that words are powerful tools that can change a dog’s life for the better.
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