Meeting with the patron: bodyguard of the mountain meadow

the need
This week, the Gazette takes you to discover adorable dogs that watch over herds of many shepherds in the summer pastures. Education and common life, meeting with Julien Boucher from La Ferme de Lagoute.

You’ve no doubt caught them on your hiking trip, these big, cuddly white dogs blend into the fleece mass. For their tall size and powerful bodies, these dogs are impressive, and for good reason they are herds defenders against predator attack: “The Pyrenean Mountains, or Patous, are dogs that must have a real attachment to the pack, their main purpose is to protect the animals from a predator like a wolf.This is why it is better to keep two. The dog will be protective of the pack, loyal to the animals and know how to defend itself.It must also have very specific physical talents such as being quite stout, large jaws, even the shape of the skull is essential. so that the offspring can adapt very well to the herd,” explains Julien Boucher, owner of Lagoute ranch. . In addition to his hundreds of goats, twenty goats, the herder is also the proud owner of eight Pyrenean mountain dogs, but also malinois and two border collies. So it’s easy to guess: Julien is an animal lover. Talking kindly to him is above all entering a very specific canine and farming universe. He is therefore the perfect ambassador for the Pastorale des Pyrénées and its show: guard dogs.

Dog and Shepherd

“Pastoralism supports ranchers with two solutions, the first of which involves the parachuting of shepherds with herds on mountain pastures. So it’s human help. The second solution is to provide a guard dog for shepherds, or get a guard to guard a herd,” explains Julien, who continues: “In the guard dog department, there are five techniques. member and a coordinator and of course the supervisory director. The service is simple, you are a breeder and you want a Pyrenean Mountain dog to provide security for your herd? You contact the Ministry, the coordinator assigns you a technician who will come and estimate your needs, the type of animal you keep (goats, sheep, cows, horses). The technician will then focus on the shepherds’ dog knowledge. If the person has passed these stages, then we bring him a puppy and the technician comes in every month to see how things are going, the dog’s integration into the pack, the teachers. education, respect for nets, etc.” An acclimatization job requires skills that are sacred to puppies but also to their owners. However, it is necessary to create a bond, when I have puppies, I give birth to them in a sheepfold, so that my animals are used to the smell of puppies and will not refuse them. when they come to sleep near them Once a bond is made, then we can leave the dog with the sheep, nothing to fear Take Olka, my oldest dog, the sheep are used to in her presence that he can sleep with them, it doesn’t matter to them” Julien laughs.

In addition to his passion for pet dogs, Julien also feeds them, the puppy between his legs will soon leave
Comminges Gazette – Anaïs Juste

At the Lagoute ranch, Olka, Aramis, Pacha, Jenny, Poymayou and even Pizac, the keepers of the herd, a team of six sophisticated dogs sometimes surprise passersby. “Today, the situation is very complicated, many tourists and hikers do not know how to behave in front of a dog, so they quickly get scared when they find themselves in front of the dog. If a dog barks, it is to warn that it is the guardian of a particular territory. However, many people complain about the noise dogs can make and so we end up with breeders being forced to sell their adorable dogs. That’s how I got one, its owner had to part with it because neighbors filed a complaint against the dog. While he is as gentle as a lamb! cried the farmer. A sensitive topic is at the heart of Pastoral concerns: “It is a time of transformation, many shepherds conveying along with their herds and, of course, their loved ones. Tourists and hikers must be aware: if a patou barks, it is because it is protecting a flock. If the hikers show that they are not a threat to the herd, i.e. by staying away from the animals and making the dogs feel that they have just passed, it is possible to live ‘, advises Julien.
Especially since people who are adorable despite their large physiques are real love balls as soon as the first meeting takes place. They don’t hesitate to ask for caresses, before of course returning to the sheep.

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