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Rural holidays and barking dogs

3 posts
Rural holidays and barking dogs

I’m writing to say how much we’ve enjoyed our recent holidays in the Monédières region of Limousin, in the Department of Corrèze.

It’s the perfect place for a driving holiday because, for such a scenic area, the roads are surprisingly empty… an absolute delight to the average jaundiced UK driver! The region is typified by rounded hills (some as high as the UK’s Lake district), and is dotted with pretty mediaeval villages… not the ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ types that especially in the summer, seem to be a victim of their own success. These are ‘real’ villages where local people live and work as they always have.

We have stayed in gites and Chambre d’Hotes around the village of Corrèze, which is another delightful village with a mediaeval centre, set in the rural heart of the department of Corrèze (along with the river that gives its name to both). To the north are the hills of the Monédières, to the south the falls of Gimel-les-Cascades and to the east, the stunning Dordogne Valley.

Sadly (and this is my main motivation for writing), Corrèze is blighted with barking dogs. They are often left outside, chained to kennels or in compounds, under-stimulated and (it seems) under-exercised. They sometimes bark for hours non-stop, daytime and nighttime, yet somehow the owners and their neighbours don’t seem to notice. Unfortunately for the tourist business, a lot of people ‘en vacances’ who we’ve met over the years (as well as some gites owners) find that it spoils their holiday, and in some cases is the biggest reason not to come back.

I’m sure the local authorities could do more to discourage this, but possibly it’s only the ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ that have recognized the importance of tourism…

Barbara Miller

Loire Valley
Level Contributor
7,056 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

Probably hunting hounds. It's what happens in the country - one of the disadvantages along with cowpats and mud. As you said yourself: it is the real country - barking dogs are part of it, tourists are just a sideline.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,175 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

What, exactly, do you propose that local authorities do? Outlaw dogs? Mandate official barking hours? Permits? Muzzles, perhaps? How about shock collars?

Then dogs can't bark to herd sheep, herd cattle, protect their owner's properties, or sound a hunt....because herding sheep and cattle, protecting the family farm, and hunting (a major part of life in rural France) are of absolutely no importance at all when compared to tourism.

But let's not stop there -- let's ban roosters crowing, cows mooing, and sheep baa-ing, too...and don't forget those infernal songbirds. Silly things, always singing as soon as there's a hint of light in the morning.

If you're going to choose to stay in the countryside, you have to take all the sights and sounds and smells of the countryside, not just the ones you like.

3 posts
3. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

Thanks for your replies... I suppose you could construe from my posting that I'm some sort of townie with an idealised view of country living and zero tolerence of the sort of inconveniences involved.

As it happens, I live in the country in the UK, and have been holidaying in rural France for more than thirty years. Normal country noises and smells are not a problem for me... I'm more concerned with noisy dogs in village settings. In the same context in the UK, they would be considered to be a nuisance.

Yes the majority of the offenders are hunting dogs, but a lot of these dogs get no exercise or attention between one chasse and the next, and the owners don't seem to have any voice control of the dogs outside of hunting.

I'm not sure what can be done, but perhaps if the Mairie were to recognise that tourism may be affected, they could start chipping away at traditional attitudes to dog ownership.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
38,175 posts
11 reviews
4. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

the key phrase here is "in the same context in the UK".

It's not the same context, and it's not in the UK...and the attitudes to dog ownership are those of a regional village in France, not those of the English countryside.

Therefore it is what it is, which we are all free to accept or avoid...because if we manage to change it, it's no longer what it was.

3 posts
5. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

Again Sunshine 817, you seem to be misconstruing my meaning. I'm talking about attitudes to dogs in one specific village, where there are a cluster of dog owners who don't seem to care too much about: a) the surrounding community, and b) the welfare of their dogs.

In my experience, the attitudes of these owners are NOT typical of French rural villages.

If the local authorities can change the attitudes of this small minority so they become more community minded, and also better dog owners, then yes, they have managed "...to change it" and "it's no longer what it was", but why is that necessarily a bad thing?

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
23,133 posts
109 reviews
6. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs


I do understand what you are saying,,but, I will disagree that those dog owners were in the minority,,

My relatives had a family house outside Paris,, I spent several summers there, and noticed a big difference. Big dogs seemed to lunge at every fenced yard I walked by in the village. I had assumed they were kept as loved family pets,, but more often they seemed like guard dogs,, I cannot count how many "Mechant Chien" signs I saw..

My own great grandmother had such a dog,, Atosse,, he was kind of mean,, but , frankly , he did not live the life of a dog here.

She let him in the house very infrequently, although he did have the run of a very large fenced garden. I wasn't afraid of him,, but I didn't ever push my luck wth him either.

I would consider dogs who bark all day to be bored. Whether it is custom or culture,, its not right.

Hunting hounds may be a bit different,, don't know about them.

7. Re: Rural holidays and barking dogs

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