These are the behaviors to avoid if you come across this herding dog during your hike

Despite its sweet name and classy appearance, the patou can be aggressive if it thinks its flock is in danger. Here’s what to do if you come across a book on your way (originally published October 19, 2021).

The name sounds cute, but patou is not a domestic animal like other species. It is, above all, a working dog, trained from birth to guard the herd. Popular with hikers who may encounter them in pastoral areas. It can be aggressive, even attacking if it sees you as a threat to its flock.

Our article about a breeder who was fined 2500 euros after the attack of his dogs on a group of hikers caused a lot of reactions. The comments are sometimes related to the pet dog’s aggressive behavior, see bite.

They put their mouths on my neck

Dominique Bourbis

“The aggressive hound must be eaten. They attacked me twice and there were six to ten of them. There are too many dogs, especially in the national parks. Stop theism. sublime ministry” Pat Narcosian writes. “Last year, I thought my last hour had come. A sly guard and Anatolian shepherd came up from behind and pressed close to my neck… We were 1000-1500 away from a herd. more than 300 meters. After 30 minutes and my abduction of cakes, they left…. No shepherds… Look for bugs. In Hautes-Alpes” add Dominique Bourbis.

Jean-Pierre Iberti also had an encounter that he will forever remember. In the comments, he explains: “I found myself in front of four trails, luckily I was in the car, they followed me home, I waited for them to leave before going out, but where are the flocks? These dogs aren’t just there to hunt. shoot wolves, they don’t herd sheep.”

Jacques Courron is the president of FROSE (Federation of Sheep for the Southeast Region). As a sheep farmer himself, he knows dogs and their behavior very well. Although he admits that a small number of breeders are sometimes responsible, it is above all the ignorance of the users that causes the problems.

They do their job. The reaction of the walkers will create the dog’s reaction.

Jacques Courron, President of FROSE

At the entrance to the pastoral areas, signs announce the presence of herds. Hikers, hunters, mountain bikers must adapt their behavior. “In town, if a dog attacks you, you raise your voice, it calms down. The more you put pressure on these dogs, the more aggressive they are. They do their job. The reaction of the walker. set will produce the dog’s response.”

Regulations require breeders to keep these dogs to prevent wolf attacks. But for the patou, any “intruder” too close to its flock is a threat.

  • Do not make sudden gestures, scream or run away
  • Let them sniff you
  • Don’t pet them
  • Don’t feed them
  • Ignore them
  • Do not force the path, take a detour to avoid the herd.
  • Keep your dog on a leash beside you
  • Do not use pepper spray.

Listen to the advice of expert Jean-Marc Landry, author of the book “Le loup”:

For example, to declare an incident, a form is available on the website of the French Alpes-Maritimes Hiking Federation.

According to Jacques Courron, last year in Alpes-Maritimes, 8 cases of aggression were listed, of which 2 were serious (going as far as biting). In these cases, the animals are behaviorally examined by a veterinarian at the request of the provincial office to check whether they are fit for work. There are 500 working dogs in the Alpes-Maritimes and 400 in Var.

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