In response to the return of large carnivores (such as wolves) to our region, farmers are increasingly using guard dogs to protect their herds. Here are a few tips on how to interact with the dogs (Patou or other shepherd dogs) and their herds.

safety tips


Stay calm and allow the dog time to make sure you do not pose a danger to their herd.


Avoid disturbing the herd. Keep your distance from the animals and, if possible, bypass the herd.


The guard dog follows you when you move away. Ignore him, he will soon return to his flock.


If you are riding a bike, get off and walk next to it.


Never provoke the dogs; do not threaten them with sticks or make sudden movements.


Never feed or attempt to pet the dogs.


If you perceive livestock guardian dogs as a danger avoid eye contact with the guardian dog, but do not turn your back, and retreat.


If you fear for your safety, stay calm and retreat.


Avoid nighttime hikes. At night, guard dogs are particularly reactive.

In order to avoid any potential problems, we strongly advise you not to hike with your dog in areas where herd protection dogs are stationed. Guard dogs see your pet as a threat and will react accordingly. In the event of an unexpected encounter with a guarded herd:

  • Keep your dog on a leash
  • If there is a confrontation between the two dogs, let go of your dog’s leash. They will quickly establish a hierarchy
  • Do not cross through a protected herd with your dog
  • Pass by the herd, giving it as wide a berth as possible
  • If in doubt, turn back

Maps of the protected mountain pastures

Find below the map of the mountain pastures where you may encounter herding dogs.

Useful numbers

ContactPhone number
Champéry tourist office+41 24 479 05 50
Val-d’Illiez tourist office+41 24 477 20 77
Morgins tourist office+41 24 477 23 61
Mountain rescue144

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