Blazing and signposting to show you the way, the behaviour to adopt in the presence of sheep guard dogs and more advice for a successful hike. Advice for a peaceful hike!
Sheep guard dogs
These dogs are not particularly aggressive towards humans but as their role is to dissuade intruders from getting near the herd they will probably stand between you and the flock and bark.
They work on their own, independently from the shepherd and there are often several of them (“pack” work).
Behaviour to adopt
We therefore advise hikers not to go through a herd but to go round it at a distance.
When faced with a guard dog, do not run, do not make any sudden movements, do not look it in the eyes (Like all dogs, it may interpret your staring as an aggression) and stop long enough for it to identify you, stay calm and passive, do not threaten or stroke it.
If you are on a mountain bike, get off it. A fast-moving bike stimulates the dog’s chase instinct and it may perceived it as a threat.
We advise you NOT to take your pet dog with you in sectors where there are herds. If you do take your dog, keep it on a leash so that it cannot disturb the herd and can not be seen as a potential threat by the guard dogs. If the guard dogs come towards you, put your dog behind you.
Download the advice
- Download the advice on “How to behave in the presence of guard dogs”
- If you suffer an incident with a guard dog, please fill in the downloadable sheet
Reflexes to adopt when you get near a herd and its guard dogs
How to behave on your bike or mountain bike
How to behave near sheep pens
Blazing and signposting
All the hiking trails are blazed and signposted according to a national standard published by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre.
The GR®, (long hiking trails) blazed in red and white, will take you on hikes of several days on itineraries through great territories (e.g.: the GR®653D to St James of Compostella, the GR®4 which goes through the Verdon Regional Nature Park, the GR®5 across the Alps).
The GR de Pays® (local long hiking trails), blazed in yellow and red, are itineraries which are often looped and take several days. They allow you to discover a range or a valley (e.g.: GR de Pays® Les Tours de Lure, GR de Pays® Les Tours du Haut-Verdon, etc.).
Blazed in yellow, circuits for day walks or hikes will take you to the four corners of the department through magnificent mountain pastures, from peaks to valleys and forests and grazing pastures where you may be lucky enough to see chamois, golden eagles and marmots and enjoy the beautiful colours and variety of a protected plant life.
In the field you will see painted blazes which will guide you all along your itinerary.
New hiking signposting has been set up in the department. At each intersection in the network of hikes you will see a directional post with the following information:
Advice to hiker
- Be polite with local people and respect private property.
- Respect the living silence of the place.
- Respect crops and grazing land.
- Shut gates to sheep pens after you.
- Leave places as clean as you would like to find them when you arrive.
- Do not soil the water points, they are rare.
- Do not light fires.
- Avoid taking shortcuts across the bends in some trails.
- Keep your dogs on a leash.
- Dogs forbidden in the Mercantour Park.
Reporting a problem on a hiking trail
So that you can enjoy the blazed and maintained trails in the department to the full, please report any problems encountered on the hiked itineraries by using the le Suricate national website. (in french)