Hiking with dog through fields with cows

Hiking with dog through fields with cows

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Cadeby
Cadeby
5 posts
new member
Mar 5, 2018 - 5:43 PM

I will be travelling to Switzerland for 3 weeks in late June-mid July with my husband and a dog, which will always be on a lead. We plan to do lots of hiking, mainly in the Berner Oberland and Valais cantons, so I expect to see many cows, presumably with calves at foot.

My question is - do Swiss cows FREE RANGE in the meadows that popular hiking trails pass through, or are they generally contained behind electric fences? I have read about a few fatal cow versus hiker attacks in Switzerland, and since protective female cows and dogs are not a good mix, it helps to be informed.

Thanks.

Chantal
Chantal
944 posts
top member
Mar 5, 2018 - 8:06 PM in reply to Cadeby

Hi Cadeby, and welcome to MySwissAlps,

There is usually no electric fence. Cow attacks do happen, but they are quite rare. Often there is a sign warning hikers to steer clear of mother cows and their calves. At least you know that they are in the meadow if you can't see them yet.

Do not get between a calf and its mother. I also make a little bit of noise so that I don't surprise the cows and I just walk slowly and calmly and don't approach them.

Read this web page as well: www.myswissalps.com/hi king/etiquette.

Arno
Arno
10347 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 6, 2018 - 7:14 AM

Hello Cadeby,

You'll find some guidelines attached. The basic rules are to ignore them (no approaching, no close-by picture taking) and not surprise them. If they approach you it's often out of curiously. If they lower their head and make sniffing noises they feel threatened and you need to move. I don't have a dog but I guess it's best to keep at the greatest possible distance. And always on a lead, even if you see others who ignore that rule. I haven't had issues with cows apart from one that licked my arm, repeatedly. I guess it liked the sun tan.

Last modified on Mar 6, 2018 - 7:14 AM by Arno
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Cadeby
Cadeby
5 posts
new member
Mar 18, 2018 - 4:36 PM

Thanks for your responses. We'll keep our dog under close control and hopefully stay out of trouble.

I can't wait to visit, and know this will be the first of many Swiss adventures. I envy you locals !!!

Arno
Arno
10347 posts
expert &
moderator
Mar 18, 2018 - 8:57 PM in reply to Cadeby

Please let us know how it went if you can. We have a trip reports section here.

Enjoy your stay!

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