Are there dangerous dogs?

Most dogs along the more popular camino routes are well-used to seeing pilgrims and rarely take much notice of them.  Those which are specifically used as house guard dogs are usually either behind fences or chained up. However in rural areas dogs are routinely used to protect flocks or farms and it is wise to check that you do not inadvertently walk between the dogs and their flock. Use common sense and do not approach unfamiliar dogs unless their owner indicates that it is safe to do so.  Give a wide berth to loose dogs; dogs perceive a direct approach as more threatening than walking around them in a wide arc.

In the unlikely event of meeting an unfriendly dog, remain calm and do not run as this triggers the instinct to chase prey. Avoid direct eye contact which can be seen as a challenge.  If you call for help do so calmly but don’t shout or scream or wave your arms or stick at the dog.  Stand still or if safe to do so walk or back away slowly keeping the dog in your peripheral vision.


Confraternity of Saint James,
27 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NY, United Kingdom.
Tel: (+44) (0)20 7928 9988
Company Limited by Guarantee, Registered no. 4096721 — UK Registered Charity no. 1091140
Founded in 1983 to promote the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela

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