Recreationists may run across bands of domestic sheep when visiting BLM or Forest Service lands. The sheep are typically protected by Great Pyrenees guard dogs as a non-lethal method of predator control to ward off coyotes, mountain lions, black bears and wolves. The white shaggy dogs are not pets, and they take their job seriously.
When you encounter sheep, please follow these tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable recreation experience:
- Open and close gates as you pass through.
- Put your pets on a leash.
- Mountain bikers should dismount from their bikes when encountering a band of sheep. This normally will prevent the guard dogs from viewing bikers as a threat to the sheep. Walk your bike through the sheep and then continue your ride.
- If the Great Pyrenees guard dogs approach you on your bike, keep your bike in between you and the dogs. Talk to them; let them know you're human.
- If you see pack stock approaching on the trail, pull off to the side and let them pass through. Say hello to the riders.