What are the restrictions on dogs in the Pyrenees?

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Walking and dogs in national and natural parks

What are the restrictions on dog walking in the Pyrenees?

In general there are few restrictions on dog walking in the Pyrenees, except in National Parks, Natural Parks and Reserves (see below for details). In some of these areas dogs must be kept on a lead; in others they are prohibited. Even when there are no specific rules, dog owners need to be aware that stray dogs are the second most important cause of death for sheep in the Pyrenees (after sickness). A shepherd has the right to kill any dog which menaces his flock.

The only dogs which are allowed to roam freely are the patous, specially trained sheep guard dogs. If your dog approaches a flock guarded by a patou it will attack.

Patou des Pyrénées

Patous are the only dogs which can be left alone with sheep

Can I walk the Pyrenean Way (GR10) with my dog?

You can walk most of the path with a dog on a lead but there are some areas where dogs are not allowed. The rules arae different in the National Parks, the Natural Parks and the Reserves and not all Reserves have the same policies either

The GR10 crosses these zones where dogs are prohibited totally (listed from west to east):

  • Parc national des Pyrénées (central zone).
    • the GR10 enters the park after Etsaut above the Chemin de la Mâture and leaves it again near the refuge d’Ayous
    • Beware: the very pretty variant which climbs the vallée de Gaube enters the park after Cauterets at the Cascade de Lutour and leaves it again after the refuge de Bayssellance on the way down to Gavarnie
  • Néovieille :the GR10 enters the park after Barèges at the Madamète pass and leaves it again at the Lac d’Oule before Vieille-Aure
  • Mantet Reserve: the GR10 enters the reserve near the refuge du Ras de la Carança and leaves it again just before Manter
  • Py reserve: the GR10 appears to run along the edge of the reserve between Mantet and Mariailles. Given the scale of the map which I have been able to consult it could be either inside or just outside.

Pyrenean Parks, Reserves, dogs and the law

Parc national des Pyrénées

“Dogs are not admitted, even on leads.” The Park has two zones. In this instance the regulation applies to the central zone and the Néovieille. See the plan of the overall area and the detailed plan of the Pyrenees National Park.

Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées ariègeoises

“In the interior of a Regional Natural Park, the law is the same at outside: you can hunt, fish, collect fruit and mushrooms, and walk your dog freely, but you must respect the rules on protected flowers, game reserves etc) and property rights.”

Rules on dogs in the Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées ariègeoises

Parc naturel régional des Pyrénées catalanes

“The presence of dogs may pose a problem for farm animals (disturbance of the herd, fighting with guard dogs etc) and for wild animals (attacks, distrubance).
For this reason it is recommended that you keep your dog on a lead. This is an obligation in the forests from 15 April to 31 July to avoid disturbing the Wood Grouse (except for sheep dogs).”

Reserves in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Reserves in the Hautes-Pyrénées

Reserve in the Ariège

Réserve d’Orlu : Dogs are not admitted even on a lead.

Reserves in the Pyrénées-Orientales

  1. Réserve d’Eyne  : dogs prohibited
  2. Réserve de Cerbère-Banyuls : maritime reserve: dog and cat fish are prohibited
  3. Réserve de Conat : dogs allowed with walkers
  4. Réserve de Jujols : dogs allowed with walkerss
  5. Réserve de Mantet : dogs prohibited
  6. Réserve du Mas Larrieu : outside the Pyrenees
  7. Réserve de Massane : dogs allowed on a lead
  8. Réserve de Nohèdes : dogs prohibited
  9. Réserve de Nyer : dogs allowed on leads
  10. Réserve de Prats de Mollo : dogs prohibited
  11. Réserve de Py : dogs prohibited
Border collie and lambs on the farm

Border collie and lambs on the farm

Can I walk with my dog on the GR11 in the Spanish Pyrenees?

As far as I can see there are no restrictions as long as the dog is on a lead (see below). However you need your dog’s passport and vaccination certificates.

Spanish National and Natural Parks

Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido

It is prohibited to « Llevar perros sueltos en interior del mismo – bring loose dogs into the interior », which suggests that one can walk a dog on a lead.

Parque Natural Posets-Maladeta

The Facebook page of the Parc Naturel Posets-Maladeta is more explicit: dogs are allowed in all the Natural parks (but they are not always accepted on the busses).

« A los que tenías dudas sobre la normativa de entrada de perros en el Parque, os informamos que dentro del Parque Natural Posets – Maladeta podéis ir con vuestros perros, pero SIEMPRE ATADOS, con el fin de que estén controlados y no puedan causar problemas en la fauna, flora y ganadería del Parque. Esta normativa es similar en todos los espacios naturales protegidos, tanto aragoneses como del resto del estado. —
For those who have doubts about the rules for bringing dogs into the Park, we inform you that you may go inside the Park as long as your dog is on a lead, so that it is under control and cannot cause problems for the wild animals, flowers and herds of the Park. This rule is similar in all the protected natural areas, in Aragon as in the rest of Spain.»  (27 août 2014)

Please let me know of any errors.

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