The husky den


An extraordinary experience, quite different from the traditional “ski lessons during the winter vacations”


Paul Olives, manager of the Repaire des Huskys located just outside the village of Arreau, is the man to whom I entrusted the onerous task of reconciling me with the canine species. It wasn’t easy

By Bruno Boubin

An original discovery

How to behave in the presence of a dog

So far, my relationship with dogs has amounted to … two bites to zero. Not for me, but for the dogs! So the prospect of visiting “Le Repaire des Huskys” didn’t exactly thrill me.

Discovering that, on top of all that, I was going to be entrusting my physical integrity to a former laboratory technician, was definitely nothing comforting. Yet I had an exceptional experience.


Diplômé d’État de la jeunesse, de l’éducation populaire et du sport option ” Attelage canin “, this singular “musher” opened his den in the summer of 2018. His ambition: to raise his visitors’ awareness of how to behave in the presence of dogs … through an educational discovery he has devised.

His method: exchange. At this stage of our interview, the prospect of me pawing Nordic dogs with the benevolent smile of the blossoming benign was still the stuff of nightmares. And yet…


Building confidence

To build up my confidence, Paul began my dog training by showing me how to behave in the presence of a dog. Virtually, it’s pretty simple. You stand still, hold out the palms of your hands and avoid making eye contact. In practical terms, you definitely feel like you’re adopting the behavior of the atoning victim.

He may have assured me that a dog’s vision is blurred but that the slightest movement is likely to attract his gaze, but when I entered the Huskys’ enclosure, I wasn’t doing too well. To set the scene, he asked me to position myself at a point in the enclosure where I had an unobstructed view … of the occupants of seven kennels.

Siberian Huskies, Greenland Dogs, Alaskan Malamutes, Samoyeds joyfully greeted our intrusion with the most … agonizing barking and agitation.

MY experiment could begin.


remember to reserve

It is important to make reservations when planning your stay.

Let yourself be tempted

An original way to discover a trade

Session sequence

Who tames the other?

Indifferent to the stress I was trying to mask by casting furtive glances in the direction of the 7 furballs facing me, Paul bluffed me. He spoke quietly to them, handing out a few treats from their bowl. He gave me time to realize that I wasn’t dreaming. Then, finally deigning to make sure I hadn’t fainted, he made the introductions. And that, my reader friends, left me speechless.

So much so that three minutes later, I was pawing at the husky with the pleasure and pride of a man convinced that the world belongs to him. So as not to frustrate anyone lucky enough to experience this, I’ll let them discover how a primal cynophobe managed to let go so quickly.


Softly, softly

This educational discovery is for everyone, and Paul has designed it to make meeting his dogs a singular moment. The first phase of this discovery consists of games. Without the presence of the dogs. Once each participant has mastered the rudiments of behavior, Paul invites them into the enclosure.

Those who might be reluctant to enter into a sudden relationship with a Greenland dog or a Siberian husky are cordially invited to observe them outside the enclosure. For the rest of you, enjoy the energy of these Nordic dogs as they gambol proudly around you. You’ll soon understand why the poodles failed the sled dog test.

And finally...

“Cani-rando” and “Rando-aventure”

Paul organizes “Cani-randos”, from age 8 upwards, by reservation only. For the more athletic, he also offers half-day “rando-adventures”. For full details, please contact “Le Repaire des Huskys” . Final clarification. When he greeted me, Paul made it clear that he was chatty. It’s been a while since a chatterbox has bored me with such enriching reflections.



Other ideas for visits


of moments to experience