If you and your dog are getting a little bored of the standard walk around the block, Rexplex Canine Sport Facility might be the place for both of you. Located in the heart of Sturgeon County, Rexplex has become a regular destination for dog-lovers from all over the region. It is a place where no matter the skill level of either the dog or owner, you and your canine pal can take classes to work on agility together, keep in shape or just do a bit of bonding. Now going into its third year, Rexplex continues to grow and gather a community of like-minded pet owners to celebrate the joy and possibilities of canine companionship. Think you or your dog might have a new trick in you? Our visit certainly left us inspired. Take a look.
Alanna St Jean, owner of Rexplex, has been around dogs her whole life. Until recently though, she wouldn’t have considered herself very knowledgeable when it came to dog training.
“I had been renting out our old horse-training space to a dog trainer for several years,” she says. “But it wasn’t until two years ago that I really decided to embrace the concept of a dog-training environment.”
From there, Alanna contacted a few more trainers and coaches in the area, and Rexplex was born. It was small at first, a dirt-floor warehouse with a few training obstacles, but word-of-mouth quickly caught on, and Rexplex has been growing ever since.
Many dog owners arrive at Rexplex wanting to take classes from professional trainers, but they use the skills they’ve learned in class to practice exercises with their dogs one-on-one. Apart from the indoor agility-training area that Rexplex is known for, the facility also offers obedience training and will soon expand to include retrieval training, as well as an entirely separate puppy-training building. As Alanna explains, the dogs aren’t the only ones benefiting.
“The dog is running the exercises, and the owners run alongside them, so they get quite the workout, too. It’s a two-for-one deal,” Alanna laughs.
Think you might want to give it a try? Signing up is as easy as visiting the website and contacting one of the trainers. And if you’re not sure that your dog is a good fit (or fit enough!), Alanna is always happy to recommend an appropriate training session. “Even older and younger dogs can benefit from training. There are modified lessons for puppies that can teach them some foundational skills, and older dogs can do all the standard exercises too, just at a slower speed.” Alanna has even had owners bring in dogs with injuries, limited mobility or missing legs. “You just have to be aware of your dog’s capabilities and give them an appropriate challenge. You might be surprised at what they can accomplish.”
While Alanna still sneaks in to see the master-level dogs at work, the success stories of beginner dogs have become so regular that she barely takes notice anymore. “It’s just shown me how easy it is for dogs to learn these skills,” she says. “What I still love to see is the excitement that the owners have when they watch their dogs succeed. The enthusiasm motivates the dog, which in turn motivates the owner. I love watching them become closer as time goes on.” One run around the Rexplex agility course and you and your dog will both understand what that walk around the block has been missing. t8n
“Training really helps owners connect with their dogs. Shy dogs gain a lot of confidence, and more exuberant dogs get a nice outlet. There are just so many advantages to agility training, for both pets and owners.”
–Alanna St Jean
Rexplex offers summer camps for adults as well as children. At the children’s camps, kids learn valuable skills alongside their dogs, while the adult camps bring in professional trainers from all over the world to train together and exchange knowledge.