Navigation Content Activities in Austria

Useful tips while hiking the Alps

“Friends of Nature” (an international movement which aims to make nature accessible) has created a list of helpful tips to keep in mind when encountering herds of cattle while hiking.

 © OÖTourismus / Röbl
© OÖTourismus / Röbl
 © Österreich Werbung / Mallaun
© Österreich Werbung / Mallaun
Cattle are usually very peaceful animals and move away when they feel they are in danger. They only show a more aggressive behavior when they feel they have no other option or want to defend somehing, especially their calf. Be advised while hiking with dogs, cattle may get alarmed. Please pay special attention when bulls are nearby, they also want to protect their herd and therefor can sometimes react in a more aggressive manner.

Here are some useful tips for stress-free mountain walks:
General advice for hikers:
  • Keep a safe distance to the herd
  • Do not stroke, feed or come too close to calves
  • Do not hike through the middle of a herd
  • Avoid noise and hectic movements
  • Always close the pasture gates

Additional advise for hikers with dogs:
  • When encountering a herd of cattle look for an alternative route, do not pass the herd or come close to it
  • Dogs must always be kept on a leash (even behind the fence)
  • Take only trained dogs with you to hiking tours, which obey the orders of the owner
  • Do not go hiking with fearful dogs which in case of danger hide behind the dog’s owner and so endanger them as well

What do to in case a herd attacks:
  • A cow or bull preparing for attack can be recognized by the fact that it fixes its head down and his horns or forehead presented to you and comes closer
  • Don’t run! If a cow comes towards you move slowly to an exit or a pasture gate and do not turn your back on them. Never run away!
  • Immediately let the dog off the leash. The dog can protect itself.
  • Never stand protectively in front of the dog. You do not stand a chance against cattle.
  • Trees and shrubs can provide protection.

For more information contact:
DI Regina Hrbek – Head of the environmental Division
Phone:  01/892 35 34 DW 16
regina.hrbek@naturfreunde.at