Hiking with your dog on the Alpe-Adria-Trail

12. Jul. 2019

Why you don't have to miss out on the company of your four-legged friend despite the current wild discussions about the "cow court judgement" on the Alpe-Adria Trail!

Why you don’t have to miss out on the company of your four-legged friend despite the current wild discussions about the “cow court judgement” on the Alpe-Adria Trail!

My dog’s name is Tara. Not because of her weight, but because of my affinity to Nepal. Tara in Nepali is called “star”. Tara is a black star because of her fur, although she slowly turns grey around her snouts. She will soon be 10 years old, but her urge to move – despite her advancing age – still seems almost infinite.

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Don’t worry: This picture of my Munsterlanderin Tara in the steep rock steps was not taken on the Alpe-Adria-Trail, because there are no such sections! But Tara’s urge to move does not stop even at climbing terrain © Trail Angels

So Tara always accompanies me as a motivated companion on all hikes into nature. On all ski tours through often deep snow in winter and on all mountain tours in summer. Only to the trekking tours in Nepal I have to leave her behind with a heavy heart. The unforgettable experiences that we were allowed to experience on the joint tours are countless. Experiences that we would not want to miss in the future. Even though the current, wildly controversial “cow court judgement” has shaken the Alpine region to pieces and, depending on the interpretation, its effects predict the end of alpine farming or the end of hiking tourism on alpine pastures.

With this blog we do not want to contribute to the general insecurity, but to appeal to the personal responsibility of all hiking dog owners and to contribute with these five tips to a carefree hiking trip with your four-legged friend:


Five tips for hiking with a dog

1. Never forget the right preparation
Get yourself and your four-legged friend in shape! As with humans, the stamina of dogs is also very different, because not every four-legged friend is an “endurance monster” like Tara. Prepare yourself for the long hike with your dog on day hikes. Because not only with the appropriate condition but also as a well-coordinated team the hike is simply less stressful!

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

2. The Alpe-Adria Trail – an ideal trail for dogs
Choose the ideal long distance hiking trail for your dog hike. The Alpe-Adria-Trail is definitely the right choice. Its unrivalled variety of landscapes will never get you bored, even for Tara and other dogs. And on hot summer days, shady forests and above all the many waters – from the mountain stream to the lake – promise the welcome opportunity to cool off. Also very important: there are no truly exposed stretches of track that could be an alpine danger for the dog and the owner. Especially, because you hike with a leash.

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

Ready – steady – GO © Trail Angels

3. Hiking with the dog on a leash
Which brings us to tip number 3: You always walk on a leash with your four-legged friend! This is also important to train accordingly (see tip 1) but saves you and your dog a lot of trouble. The Alpe-Adria-Trail meanders through fantastic natural and cultural landscapes and the encounter with wild and domestic animals will surely awaken the genetically strong hunting instinct of your four-legged friend (I experienced this more than once). And if your unleashed companion has escaped once, yelling will no longer help. Just a sincere prayer that your dog will not go on an illegal hunt. So: ALWAYS keep them on a leash.

4. The behaviour on the cow pasture
Which brings us to the cows mentioned at the beginning and the exception to the “ALWAYS on a leash” rule. We don’t want to get too involved in the discussion whether cows are a general danger for hikers with dogs today. It is a fact that the mother-cow husbandry prevails today on the alpine pastures and mother-cows perceive dogs as a danger for their calves. So the following applies: Wisdom wins! Simply try to avoid the herd of cows! The cows will identify this as defensive behaviour and will not pay attention to you or your dog anymore. If this is not possible because of the terrain and you notice that you already get the undivided attention of the cows: Let go of your dog (the cows will always be focused on the four-legged friend and your dog will always be faster than you!). Leave the danger area with a quick step and leash your dog afterwards!

Panoramaweg Südalpen Panorama am Hochplateau

The way it should be: Nathalie from the Trail Angels prefers the beautiful hiking area at the Alpe-Adria-Trail with her Border Collie Samy! © Trail Angels

5. More than convenient: Our dog package “Hiking with dogs”.
And at the end we are at Bookyourtrail.com. With your responsibility on the trail and the services of our package “Hiking with a dog” the hiking trip with your four-legged friend will be a carefree and unforgettable experience! The price includes the overnight stay of the dog in the room of the dog-friendly partner company and the additional transport of the dog food from accommodation to accommodation. What more could you ask for?

So, five important reasons not to be bothered by the current discussions and media shivering stories when hiking with a dog! Prepare yourself and your four-legged friend carefully for the journey and entrust yourself to our team in the Trail Info and Booking Center. Then you (and your dog) will have the journey of a lifetime ahead of you! Tara is already looking forward to the Alpe-Adria-Trail!


Günter Mussnig

The graduate geographer is one of the founders and managing directors of Trail Angels, which is responsible for the web platform Bookyourtrail.com. As a trekking & outdoor freak, he is one of the fathers of the Alpe-Adria Trail and has been exploring the Nepalese Himalayas for more than 25 years.

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