This represents a subtle knowledge supported by a discerning understanding of the animal behaviour. The shepherd is also the flock’s nurse. He cares for lame and injured ans, in constant contact with his animals, he prevents diseases. Today, more and more are the tasks devolved to the shepherd: he becomes the protector of his herd facing the wolves, the mediator of its space facing tourists, the biodiversity manager facing the authorities of nature conservation…
In order to facilitate the learning of these multiple know-how, a training of salaried shepherds is provided since 1931 on the Domaine du Merle (Salon-de-Provence). The one-year training includes theoretical courses alternating with practical internships in the region’s farms.
Since about ten years, the student-shepherdesses are more and more numerous. They mainly herd in alpine pastures during summer.