discover the Woofest, a festival dedicated to dogs in Lyon

It is in an aquatic setting, that of the Grand Parc de Miribel-Jonage in Vaulx-en-Velin, that the first animal festival is being held this weekend for lovers of dogs and family festive moments, in particular horse races. obstacles and trials that are often fun to discover. Two days for the promotion of good practices and animal welfare.

Unconditionally, it is these images of masters running alongside their dogs that we remember the most when we talk about the Woofest. The Woofest, the barking festival, the festival dedicated to dogs. Because beyond the images of splashes and crews running on the leash in hand, we hear the yelps of joy launched by the faithful pets galloping in the water.

Human/dog sporting events attract many athletes and spectators who “melt” in front of “man’s best friends”.

This Saturday, May 13, 2,500 people gathered on the shores of the lake and around the canals to attend the various events: the “Woof Jump”, better known as “Dog Diving”. This canine discipline is similar to the long jump where master and dog rush from a quay. Three types of jumps are distinguished: the “Big jump”, the “Extreme Vertical” and the “Speed ​​Recovery”.

The most anticipated race is full of obstacles. The course includes a dozen, to follow at the pace of his choice in the company of his dog. There are those who try to set a time, and who train for it. And others who run just for fun! The discipline is open to all, whatever their sporting level.

Five years after being launched in Paris, the obstacle course is turning into a festival, explains Lucas Berullier, its founder. “For quite some time, we had the project to do something in Lyon by giving the event more scope. We must not forget that it was in the Lyon region that the cani-cross was invented in the 1990s, a team between the dog and its master which has enabled more than one to gain in dynamics during marathons.”

It’s spectacular to see so many people passionate about the canine world who want to be with their fellow creatures

Lucas Berullier, founder of Woofest

It is now done, in the heart of the 2200 hectares of the large park of Miribel-Jonage. The Woof Run, which has existed since 2018, is expanding the range of its proposals by setting up in Lyon, to the delight of participants and visitors.

On the menu: workshops such as the cani-padel, the cani-scooter where the dog tows a small platform mounted on bicycle wheels. And of course the Agility, where the companion seeks to improve the capacities of his animal by going up and down obstacles such as bales of hay.

Australian shepherds of all coat colors, Dalmatians, border collies, Nordic dogs including blue-eyed huskies, golden retrievers… Most dog breeds are there. “For everyone, it is a privileged moment to participate in the various workshops or races with their master.points out Lucas Berullier. You have to get along well with your dog. It’s amazing how much dogs listen to their owners, who we increasingly call ‘companion humans’!”

Present on the courses, about fifteen students from the veterinary school follow the participants to make sure that all goes well along the obstacles. Some passages, especially in semi-deep water, are not so easy to cross, especially when the mud is involved and prevents you from regaining the bank of a trench…

Some dogs are very afraid of water, they don’t know that they can swim naturally.

Mélodie Heyraud, student Veterinary School of Lyon

For dogs, these moments shared with their companion humans are very important, notes Mélodie Heyraud, one of the students at the vet school dispensary. “For them, it’s first of all a physical effort, they like to be confronted with new situations that they don’t know, and above all they appreciate being surrounded by their peers!

Among these situations, water. “For a dog, jumping into a swimming pool is far from obviousobserves Melody. Some dogs are very afraid of water, they don’t know they can swim. These courses with crossing of muddy canals and these long jumps are an opportunity to become familiar.”

On site, around thirty association stands are present. The Woofest is supported by SPA France. In addition, 1% of profits (entries, sales) is donated to the “1% for animals” label.

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