Encountering Cattle 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. We've summarized them for you below!

    Hiking in the region of Hochkönig / Hochkönig

    General advice for hikers:

    Cattle are usually very peaceful animals and move away when they feel they are in danger. They only show more aggressive behaviour when they feel they have no other option or want to defend something, 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 therefore can sometimes react in a more aggressive manner.

    • 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


    Hiker with dog on Giggler Spitze

    Additional advice 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
    Kuh auf der Putzen Alpe

    What do to in case of a herd attack:


    • 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.



    Bergbauernhof Ganahl: Kühe auf der Alm

    For more information contact:

    DI Regina Hrbek – Head of the Environmental Division

    Phone: 011-43-1-892 3534-16

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