• Lauren Mitchell

First ever Canicross event coming to St. Lazare


Canicross racing that pairs human runners and their four-legged companions is just one of the activities taking place in St. Lazare May 14 to May 23 in an event that also includes agility competitions and obedience trials.

The Guides Canins Canine Multisport Training Center in St. Lazare will be hosting the inaugural Canicross race this mid-May as part of their annual Spring Trial event. Dogs and their accompanied owners will be competing in different activities as a team, with the goal for the canines to work on achieving their personal best. This year the center is holding their yearly Spring Trial from May 14 all the way through to May 23. Guides Canins is searching for those who would either like to participate in the action accompanied by their four-legged friend, or for those who would simply like to come and watch the spectacle.

“Canicross is a relatively new sport,” explained Julie Sansregret, owner of Guides Canins. “Its popularity is blooming in western Québec, as it is very popular around Québec City. Canicross is a great way to get both your dog and you in shape. It makes the walking/exercising dog duty a fun one. It takes minimal equipment, such as a dog harness, special bungee leash, belt to free your hands and a pair of running shoes. It is easy to learn, because everybody knows how to run and all dogs are natural pullers - you see the benefits instantly.” Sansregret said the event is the first one in the region.

“We would love to bring the popularity of the sport here. Anyone who can run and who has an active dog can participate in the sport. They will also discover that we have great trails to do this locally.”

The activities, taking place at the Guides Canins center located at 1200A Montée Poirier, St. Lazare, will begin Saturday, May 14, with the first edition of the FQSCA Sanctioned Spring Canicross Race taking place. The activity will be compromised of a foot race as owners run through trails with their dogs in a harness. There will be the option of a 2-kilometre discovery race or a 5-kilometre sanctioned race.

On the same weekend will be the Obedience/Rally Trial held by the Doberman Pinscher Club of Greater Montreal. Teams will be evaluated on their expression of partnership, communication, and ability to perform various tasks depending on level of registration.

Also on Sunday, May 15, the Rat Sport Competition will be held. Rat Sports are based on the hunting skills of the dog and teamwork skills with their owner. Rat Sports began as a concept taken from dogs who worked on farms to catch all of the rats who might get into the famers crops or spread diseases in their animals. Today, Rat Sports involve evaluating dogs on their ability to find a hidden rat (who is secure and safe in a tube, they will not be harmed) and to then signal to their owner that they’ve found it.

For the last week of the games, there will be a week-long Agility Competition showcasing dogs of all levels, whether a beginner or a master, that will be ongoing from Tuesday, May 17 to Monday, May 23. Agility is a team sport for both dog and trainer in which the handler guides their dog through an obstacle course, all while being on the clock. The object of the game is to have the fastest time in completion of the obstacle course.

To register for the Spring Trial event, please visit their website at www.guidescanins.com/en/trials-2016/

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