A song about the dangers and difficulties of being an agitator (also called "decoy" or "bad guy", ie the one who gets bitten) in French Ring Sport. The Ring decoy wears a complete "suit" of padding, but the dog is allowed to bite anywhere. Most of the French dogs are very fast and hit like a bullet, usually biting low on the leg. Some say that Ring is to Schutzundt as Ice Hockey is to Soccer.
I wrote this song after coming home from the first ever US seminar on Ring Sport. It was a wonderful event. Working dog people came from all over the US and Canada. Most of the decoys were very experienced Schutzhundt decoys and they initially thought that Ring was going to be easy. They went home much wiser, but also in love with the challenges of the sport.
We trainers and handlers went home full of enthusiasm too. My Chelsea and Bones later earned their "Brevet de Chien de Defense" and I taught Bones at least the basics of most of the Ring I, II, and III exercises. To go beyond the Brevet you really do need to have a decoy who knows the game and can teach the dog to be very quick and to counter all the usual decoy tricks.


(to the tune of "Super Skier" as sung by the Chad Mitchell Trio)

by Pam Green , © 1990


Well, they called him "Super Decoy"
As they sat around the clubhouse,
For he bragged there was no dog he couldn't train.
So they said, "Agitate for Ring:
You will find it's just your thing,
Provided you are fond of feeling pain !"

He hollered "Send the brute !"
As he climbed into the suit.
He declared, "Ring agitation is a breeze !
I shall never come to harm !"

As he offered up his arm
To a G.S.D. who hit below the knees !

He strolled onto the field
To shake hands with the handler:
"Bonjour, Monsieur, comment allez-vous?"
Without being "fass"ed ,
The Rott defended her master
With a thigh bite that was crushing, black and blue !

He was hiding in the blind
As the Terv was sent to "Find !"
She discovered him and then began to bark.
So he tried to make a run,
As he fired off his gun,
The Terv attacked his ankle like a shark !

He fled far down the field
Running fifteen miles and hour,
'Till the Malinois grabbed him by the ass.
Well, the Decoy was fast,
But the Malinois was "fass"ter;
So the Super Decoy landed in the grass !

He thought his moves were quick,
As he shook his bamboo stick,
And he faced the Bouv with menace in his eyes.
"Now I know I'll do my best,
'Cause this is just a Courage Test."

But her crotch bite gave his "courage" a surprise !

They still call him "Super Decoy"
As he wheelchairs 'round the clubhouse
And admits there might be more he needs to learn.
"Well, I thought I was fast,
But these Ring dogs are "fass"ter:
Soon as I've healed, I'll want another turn!"

Now the Moral of my story,
Though my story's pretty gory,
Is " Let your macho to some wisdom yield :
Buy the best suit that you can
Then talk Ringsport like a man;
But never let them send you on the field !"


footnotes :

"Super Decoy" is based on "Super Skier" by the Chad Mitchell Trio, which in turn is based on "M.T.A" ("let me tell you the story of a man named Charlie"), which in turn dates back to a song "The Wreck of Old 97" (about a famous and disasterous train wreck) ,. which takes its tune from "The Ship That Never Returned" (written in 1865 by Henry Clay Work)

to play The Wreck of Old 97 :

to hear Super Skier performed by the Chad Mitchell Trio, click on Super Skier to download into a new window. This file is about 2.2 MB, so this would be slow on a dial-up connection. Notice the last line of the performance is "and let's get Charlie off the M.T.A.!", thus showing the song's ancestry.

and if you wanted to hear M.T.A. performed by the Kingston Trio, click MTA to download this 3 MB file, a long wait on a dial-up connection. This song was written as part of a political campaign for Walter A. O'Brien, a Progressive Party candidate for mayor of Boston, announcing a commitment to repeal the 5 cent fare increase. For a history of this song. O'Brien had a song for each of his 10 platform points ; he lost the election anyway. for further information see http://www.mit.edu/~jdreed/t/charlie.html which includes links to MP3 files for Ship That Never Returned and for Wreck of Old 97 .

There are some serious logical flaws in the song M.T.A. (it was written as a political campaign song, so logic may not have been a high priority).

I find it hard to imagine anyone setting out from home with only ten cents in their pocket or purse. Wouldn't you want extra change for the vending machine at work ? A few dollars in case you want to go out for lunch or contribute to an office pool ? But even if Charlie set out with only one dime, there are still serious logical problems.

To better appreciate the protection (attack) excercises of French Ring, you probably can find some movies of French Ring on youtube.com. (but you need a fast connection for that; try the public library computers if all you have at home is dial-up).



site author Pam Green copyright 2003
created 1990 revised 7/30/2011, 8/25/2020
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