With the arrival of summer, more and more travelers are choosing to go on rural getaways during their vacations. Incredible landscapes, the possibilities of doing adventure sports or simply the search for a place to disconnect from the stressful life in the city constitute some of the main attractions of this type of tourism. If you have also chosen a mountain town as your next destination and, above all, if you are going to take your pet with you, you should keep in mind that there are some very special inhabitants that you can run into during your excursions.
Mastiffs are large dogs whose mission, since ancient times, is to guard and defend livestock from their natural predators. These animals accompany herds of cows and sheep to pastures and are a fundamental link for the balance and coexistence between extensive livestock farming and the protection of threatened species such as the wolf. That is why it is essential that you know how to act if you encounter a mastiff when you walk with your dog in the countryside.
A shepherd dog is one of the flock and its main function is to establish a security perimeter around it to prevent incursions and attacks. Someone who is not familiar with the way of life where mastiff dogs are used is likely to think that they are abandoned or dangerous. We explain why you should not intercede in the work of these animals:
If a mastiff breaks into the path where you are walking with your dog, it means that you are close to his livestock, even if you do not see it. The animal will identify you as intruders and will begin to bark and chase you with the aim of scaring you away. In this case, you should not shout, run away or make sudden movements. Not only will it be of no use, because the mastiff won't leave until you do, but it will make him even more nervous.
In this situation, you will have to leash your dog immediately if you have him loose and avoid eye contact. The mastiff might think you are a predator and attack you. To avoid scares, the ideal is to quietly move away from the sheepdog at least 20 meters. That is why you will have to make a detour in the opposite direction to where the cattle are.