Meeting with the patron: bodyguard of the mountain meadow

You’ve no doubt caught them on your hiking trip, these big, cuddly white dogs blend into the fleece mass. With their tall size and strong build, these dogs are impressive and for good reason they are herd protectors against predator attack. is to protect the animal from a predator like a wolf. This is why it is better to have two dogs that will guard the flock, are loyal to animals and know how to protect. In addition, it also needs to have very specific physical aptitudes, Julien Boucher, owner of Ferme de Lagoute, explains: such as being quite imposing, having large jaws, even the shape of the skull is essential. so that the litter can adapt very well to the herd.” In addition to his hundreds of goats and twenty goats, the herder is the proud owner of eight Pyrenean mountain dogs, but also malinois and two border collies dog. So it’s very predictable: Julien is an animal lover. Soft talking to him is above all entering a very specific canine and farming universe. is the perfect ambassador for the Pastorale des Pyrénées and its show: guard dogs.

Dog and Shepherd

“Pastoralism supports the herdsmen with two solutions, the first one involves the parachute of shepherds near the herds on mountain pastures. It is therefore the help of The second solution is to provide a guard dog for the shepherds, or get a guardian. to protect the herd,” explains Julien, who continues: “In the guard dog department, there are five technicians and a coordinator and of course the superintendent. The service is simple, you are a breeder and you want a Pyrenean mountain dog to carry. You contact the Pastor, the thing. the coordinator assigns you a technician who will come to estimate your needs, the type of animal you have (goat, sheep, cow, horse) Then the technician will focus on knowledge of shepherd dog If the person has passed these stages, a puppy is brought to him and the technician comes monthly to see how it goes, the dog’s integration into the herd, education, respect grid, etc”. An adaptation job requires skills that are sacred to puppies but also to their owners. “Dogs and packs don’t naturally get along, must create a bond, when I have puppies, I give birth to them in a sheep shed, just like that, my animals get used to the smell of puppies and won’t refuse them when they come to sleep near them.Once the bond is created we can leave the dog with the sheep, it’s not afraid of anything.Take Olka our oldest dog me, the sheep are so used to his presence that he can sleep with them, it doesn’t bother them.” Julien smiled.

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. “These days, the situation is very complicated, many tourists and hikers don’t know how to behave in front of the dog, so they quickly get scared when they find themselves in front of the lovely person. If the dog barks, beware of that he is the guardian of a particular territory but many people complain about the noise dogs can make and so we end up with breeders forced to sell their pet dog. has complained to the dog. While he is as gentle as a lamb!” cried the breeder. A sensitive topic is central to the ministry’s concern: “It’s a time of transition, many shepherds caravans with their herds and, obviously, their loved ones. We must. sensitize tourists and hikers: if a dog barks, that’s Protect the Herd animals and make the dogs feel that they’re just passing through, maybe cohabitation,” advises Julien.

Especially since the guardian despite their strong body are the real balls of love 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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