Five things to do and not to do, in the presence of a Patou or other sheepdog

The scene takes place at Auron station. A couple of trailers with their dog film themselves and complain about being “assaulted” by nine patous.

However, they multiply the bad gestures. By panic, trauma or ignorance. Sylvain Merveille, referent protection dogs for the Paca region at the Livestock Institute, delivers his decryption.

Dogs bark but are “balanced”

Patous bark, it’s their way of doing their job: to let you know that you are approaching the herd. “I find them balanced. Especially given everything that’s going on around: there are motorbikes, pedestrians, bicycles… It’s a lot of stress.”

People should have stopped

When the guard dogs identify you and come towards you barking, it is because they want to check that you do not represent a danger. “You have to stop and let yourself be controlled. Calm the dogs with your voice and don’t make sudden gestures.”

Don’t raise the tension

Already, not having stopped is a bad signal. “Dogs bark to say don’t approach and then they feel misunderstood. Then people yell, threaten, look into their eyes. It builds the pressure. Dogs bark and it alerts teammates.”

Do not force the passage

A golden rule: do not cross a herd. Always make sure to bypass it. And in no case, force the passage.

Ask about

To avoid this kind of situation, it is better to know the codes but also the places where you are likely to encounter herds and guard dogs (which is the most effective against wolf attacks). “Thirty years after the return of the wolf, it should be a hiking reflex: go to the tourist office and ask where the herds are.”

Avoid taking your dog to the mountains

Even if it is not prohibited in the mountains outside the Mercantour park, the domestic dog, in addition to its many impacts on the fauna and flora, is a real X factor in an encounter with guard dogs.

“It’s a source of stress. When you love your pet, you shouldn’t put this pressure on your dog. This walk is not beneficial to him”.


Leave a Comment