On the hiking trails of the Alpine regions, you can meet flocks of sheep safeguarded by guard dogs. Their job is to stay close to the flocks at all times, in order to protect them from predators, such as wolves or stray dogs.
In order to leave the sheep and their protector in peace, it is advisable to follow some important rules:
The 7 Rules of conduct with dogs guarding flocks
- If the guard dogs, bark to defend the flock, keep calm and avoid provocations with sticks or sudden movements
- In order to avoid the guard dog blocking your way, try to circumvent the flock and disturb as little as possible. This way, the dog will stay at his place with the sheep.
- If you are out with your dog, keep him on the leash and make sure that he does not disturb the flock. If the dogs begin to interact or play, remove the leash and let them define their relationship independently.
- Sudden movements may startle both the guard dogs and the sheep. As a cyclist or sportsman, it is better to move slowly and circumvent the flock without disturbing.
- If the guard dog comes to you, do not cuddle or play with him. His job is to be with the flock at all times.
- Do not offer food to the guard dogs. They receive food regularly.
- If the dog follows you, give no attention to him. He will soon return to his flock.
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