Frequently asked questions
Are the dogs dangerous?
Our dogs are sociable and like people as they supply their food, care for them, brush them and play with them. Some dogs are shier. Those that were rescued from a shelter may be more suspicious of strangers but with time, they come to trust you. Because we do not know the full details of their past, it sometimes happens that some people engender more mistrust that others, but as a general rule, they know that people are good to them.
With age, dogs become less tolerant of other members of their own species or when young children walk around them. If young children are present, caution should be exercised even when dogs are well adapted socially.
What happens if I need to cancel or if you cancel the activity?
In the event of a cancellation, regardless of the reason, all activities, bookings and deposits are postponed to a later date. We do so without any expiration date (eg the activity can be postponed to next year if the winter ends).
We do not offer refunds: as our activities are subject to multiple changes (weather, pandemic (!) And others) and it is through these activities that we ensure the well-being of our dogs, we have chosen this policy safer for all pack members.
For group bookings (schools, clubs, etc.), please refer to your invoice, the cancellation policy is specified there for your group.
Can I take my own dog to Kinadapt?
We do not accept any other dog on our territory that has not been introduced by the pack leader. Small dogs are very much at risk among our pack since they could be construed as intruders or prey by our dogs.
In order to introduce a Labrador size or Border collie size dog, we request that their health record be up to date and that they be neutered. We allow one hour to introduce them to the pack and the cost is $85/hour. We then assess the behaviour of both your dog and ours as well as your own behaviour. After your dog has been introduced to the pack, you may go hiking at any time on our territory.
Why is dogsledding so expensive?
The first reason is that we are an entirely private organization, receiving no government assistance whatsoever. Other factors include the time-frames related to dogsledding activities which are only possible during four months of the year and from this revenue, we must cover the costs of dog care which amount to a minimum of $1,000 per dog, per year. As well, as a company, we have decided to keep our dogs, in retirement, until the end of their lifetime. Since we have more than 80 dogs, this amounts to a budget of more than $80,000 and we have approximately a dozen dogs that no longer participate in dogsledding activities.
We have a large private territory and more than 20 kilometres of trails we use for our activities. The maintenance, equipment and upkeep of our trails are quite costly, which makes our indirect costs very high. For greater public safety, the standards of Association Aventure Ecotourisme Quebec are very rigorous and require that our staff be certified in first aid for remote areas. We therefore have to adhere guide-client ratios and pay rates associated with the competency level of each guide.
Moreover, since 2014, the Quebec Animal Health Protection Act has required that keepers of over 50 dogs must have a permit from the Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ), and are subject to rules and regulations therefore the subsequent costs of overseeing the welfare of all dogs under their care.
What do your dogs do during the summer season?
Our dogs are athletes and train during the entire year but with less intensity during hot summer days. People can come and meet our dogs and participate in activities with them during the summer season and even during their dogsled training time. We take our dogs out for free outings, along with one of our guides and they can enjoy the cool refreshment of one of our streams. We practise canicross on a regular basis with our dogs where they can travel through our mountain trails, along with our guides, athletes and active individuals who love to take part in hiking expeditions or train in cross-country running activities. In the fall, we begin training our dogs by harnessing the dog teams for pulling the all-terrain vehicles. As well, our dogs participate in recreational and educational programs and interpretation activities on a year-round basis. You can visit the dogs at any time by appointment.
What becomes of the dogs when they are too old to run?
We have some dogs that still run at 14 years of age! When they experience difficulty following the team, we gradually phase out their runs with the sled. We start with half-days, then give them more time to rest between outings. They still take part in free outings and canicross activities and when they are too old, we leave them free as much as possible until they show signs of discomfort. They usually die a natural death but when they show signs of suffering we call on our veterinary to help.
What do your dogs eat?
They eat chicken (meat unsuitable for human consumption), fish (trout and salmon) and bison (butcher’s meat scraps from La Terre Des Bisons). Our supplier prepares the meat in frozen block forms. In the summer, we give them some frozen meat and some kibble feed. During the winter, we make a kind of soup with thawed meat and add feed to the mix which makes it very rich and balanced diet.
At what age do dogs start their dogsledding career?
When they are babies we leave them to run freely under the watchful eye of the mother and some other females (aunts) who absolutely adore the babies. When they are around 4 months old, we let them run after their mother who is participating in canicross activities along with our guides. We let them try the harness when they are around 6 months old while playing freely in the fields. When they reach 9 months to 1 year of age, they will make their first attempt at dogsledding along with more experienced dogs that are known to be patient with the younger ones and will help them gain confidence in various positions in the dogteam. It is essential they have fun when running the sled. It is through encouragement and positive experiences that we mould them into motivated canine athletes!