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Adventure film-maker takes adopted dog paragliding in French Alps

Shams adopted Ouka a Samoyed after being returned to the breeder twice as too energetic. ‘He was born to fly!’

Dog and owner paragliding over Alps

Samoyed dog and owner paragliding over Alps Pic: Shams/

Ouka the Samoyed loves paragliding with his French owner Shams, an adventure film-maker who travels the world in a self-built camper-van.

“Ten years ago, I quit my job to travel and do outdoor sports and make images and videos.

But during Covid, life became hard, so when friends told me about Ouka, I adopted him. He had been returned to his breeder twice because he’s so energetic,” said Shams.

“Samoyeds are bred to pull sledges in Siberia, need three to four hours’ exercise a day, and can’t be left alone.
I hoped he would enjoy paragliding, because some dogs do. I had a harness custom-made for him and trained him step by step. 

Our first flight lasted 12-15 seconds, and he wasn’t afraid. So we flew for a minute, then 15 minutes and then half an hour. Ouka has never shown the slightest fear.”

When Shams, 39, says décollage (take off), Ouka comes running and stands between his legs ready for the off. 

“In the air, he is very relaxed. I’d say he was born to fly!” They have been mostly in the French and Italian Alps since Shams adopted Ouka last year but are now looking forward to exploring the world together (

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