La Plagne launches the first Canine Ski School in the world!

Published on 29/03/2023 by
Ecole de ski canine La Plagne

Making skiing accessible to all is in La Plagne’s DNA. Since the start of this winter, the resort with the red hat logo has once again demonstrated its open-mindedness by launching the very first canine ski school in the world! 

This winter is a test season for the ESF, with a view to an official launch next winter. La Plagne is making its contribution to animal wellbeing by allowing our four-legged friends to discover the joys of winter sports: no more long, boring days watching the apartment door while waiting for the human skiers to come back! Now, dogs can also enjoy the fun of the snow and a well-deserved medal at the end of the week.

Ecole de ski canine La Plagne

The idea started in the La Plagne ESF when Maxime DENIS, ESF director in Montchavin – Les Coches, recruited Oscar NASSIER (nickname “Boney”) to his team:

It was an idea that we had been really keen on for a while. I won’t lie, in Montchavin – Les Coches, we are dog lovers more than cat lovers. We have nothing against cats, but purring, sleeping by the fire and litter boxes don’t really fit in with the ski schools’ sporting values...”. And, of course, dogs really love everything about the snow: “They love rolling around in it and even eating it, it's an element that naturally stimulates them says Maxime.


Ecole de ski canine La Plagne

In addition to being qualified as a ski instructor for bipeds, Oscar has undergone special training to be able to teach our four-legged friends to ski. The training includes the technical aspects of course:

We approach the snowplough technique differently, with a natural solicitation of the back legs as well as the front legs. An enthusiastic dog can learn to brake in just a day.

Ecole de ski canine La Plagne

The psychological approach is also very important. “Boney” is in fact the only instructor in the resort to have written a thesis. His thesis on "applied canine psychology", which he passed with flying colours before a jury at the Maisons-Alfort veterinary school, is used on a daily basis:

In the group you see here, Riboul has difficulty concentrating, Nessy is hyperactive, Nepal is very calm and loves his sofa and Ouchka is anxious about doing well, so I have to adapt to each profile, says Oscar.

On Friday, each student leaves with their medal: "Some eat it before the end of the ceremony, but in general, it's a real motivation to come back the following year and continue to progress" concludes the young instructor. Kibble on the cake, the Tourist Office of La Plagne is launching a collection, with the funds going to the SPA, , the French animal protection society.

Ecole de ski canine La Plagne

Lessons for dogs of all levels, to progress at their own pace:

  • 6 x 2hr lessons, from Sunday to Friday
  • times: 10-12am OR 3-5pm
  • meeting point at the ESF
  • tea break: wet or dry dog food
  • quiet time or a relaxing walk to recover during the session
  • bowls, ski equipment and medals provided by the ESF
  • price: 145 € / week, includes Carré Neige insurance

The wooden medals "Pattes d'or" are created by the company "I Feel Wood", based in Albertville. Local, handcrafted and ethical production.

Ecole de ski canine La Plagne




Ecole de ski canine La Plagne




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