An outstanding school

An outstanding school

Far from the city, in Saint-Lazare, Quebec, a remarkable training facility is the delight of people and their 4-legged friends. Here’s our guided tour.

August 15, 2019

Off a country road, in the heart of a forest of mature trees, you might catch a glimpse of a 4-legged figure or hear barking. If you continue down the wooded drive that leads to Guides Canins, you’ll come upon a 13,000-square-foot building dedicated to dogs. Out back, more than 75 acres of land are set aside and equipped for all sorts of training. The person in charge of this remarkable establishment is truly a committed Pawsie!

Responding to demand

The year was 1991. Julie Sansregret, a freshly graduated animal-health technician, was working at a clinic for small animals and horses. While fielding recurring questions about dog training, she realized that her own education was incomplete and decided to sign up for further training. Inspired by her teacher, who quickly became her mentor, Julie resolved to make a difference in the lives of both dogs and people.

“I started out by helping people select their dog—making the right match,” she explains. “I helped provide the right tools for new owners who weren’t 100% ready to have a dog.” She also taught a few classes at the clinic on house training and mouthing. But as the puppies grew older, her clients wanted to carry on training. Because the demand kept growing, Julie decided to diversify her services and left the clinic to dedicate herself full-time to teaching classes. She bought the land in Saint-Lazare and had the training arena custom-designed and built. Julie Sansregret’s mission was to promote better communication and understanding between dogs and people, and help them be happy together.

Becoming better citizens

At Guides Canins, you can sign up for group or private classes, workshops (occasional classes for people who don’t want to commit to a complete session) as well as guided practices (for dog owners seeking inspiration or who might have a hard time practising outside a group setting). You can also take part in outings—described as group ‘happenings’—by bike, on foot and even on skis. Outings are open to all: free for people taking classes and $5 for all others.

Signing up for a session of training classes is the best way to get acquainted with Guides Canins—after all, their mission is to improve the human-dog relationship. Aside from classes and the 7 parks (3 fenced-in and 4 devoted to agility training and Frisbee), Guides Canins provides boarding and grooming services. You can sign up for 6 months or 1 year, but the establishment is open to all: non-members can practise harness sports on 5 km of walking trails for $5 a day per dog.

Midwife for canines

As if she isn’t busy enough, Sansregret also breeds a small number of Vizslas. Counting on her team’s support, and with her specialized veterinarian on call, she’s helped deliver her bitch Ivie’s 3 litters.

Leading her merry pack of dogs, this accomplished woman continues to make room in her agenda for an expanding range of new projects. We’re curious to see what the future still has in store for Julie Sansregret.

To find out more, visit

Photo credits: Personal collection

Thumbnail: Julie’s first Vizsla litter, born on September 1, 2015. At right: mom. At left: dad. In between: the entire litter, aged 14 months

Cover: Julie and Kiva during a training session

Photo 1 Kiva in action

Photo 2 Julie and Kiva competing

Photo 3 : Julie Sansregret helping Ivie deliver her litter in 2018; Julie’s holding a 1-minute-old puppy.

More like this
Copied to clipboard

This site uses cookies

We use cookies. These are small text files downloaded to your computer (smartphone or other electronic device) which save your browsing preferences and help customize your online experience. By using Pawsie, you agree to our cookie policy.

OK, I understand