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A complete study (on the Luberon, with comparisons to the Pyrénées) about dog attacks on mountain sheep (PDF):
http://www.pyrenees-pireneus.com/Pastoralisme-ChiensErrants-EtudeCERPAM.pdf

Some important conclusions:

First of all, the study concludes that stray dogs (chiens errants) are very rare.

11.5% of herders experience at least one dog attack per year, 21% less than one attack per year (on average). During the 4 year duration of this study, 74% did not experience a single attack. 74 + 21 => 95% of herders almost never experience dog attacks (the study reaches this conclusion, not me).

However, 70% of attacks concentrate on 5% of herders, who are, quote: "traumatized".

It concludes that there are however a greater number of herd displacements due to dogs, which concludes that dogs not on a leach are a hassle more than a danger.

Finally, 90% of the dogs identified in sheep attacks are residential dogs from surrounding areas (10% are the dogs of trekkers). Attacks caused by stray dogs are extremely rare. So maybe our shepherd should focus first on people in his own "country" ...

Note: the same website states that tourists should tie their dogs when approaching a herd because it can make the herd panic.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Aug 24th, 2006 at 11:00:36 AM EST
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