Another study published in International Bear News in 2014 suggest dogs may actually trigger bear attacks. Carrie Hunt is a bear biologist for the Wind River Bear Institute, and she noticed several unfortunate gaps in the way bears are managed and treated in zones where the two species intersect. ), Typically if a bear shows up at a dump or digging through someone’s garbage, “you’d either show up, corner the animal, and euthanize it,” says Alan Myers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, "or you would dart the animal, put it in a cage, and take it many miles away. Several years ago, bears that came in contact with humans were put down, even if no one was harmed in the encounter. He is on guard as long as he’s plugged in, barking when the bear is too near and … Dogs can sometimes keep bears away from a camp, but very often, a dog initially chases a bear and then the bear chases the dog right back to the camp. A dog in bear country can be both a deterrent and an attractant. How to Keep Bears Away From Garbage Cans. Will having a dog in the tent attract you, or will dogs keep you away?. Sign up and get $25 off pet sitting and dog walking! Stop the neighborhood dogs from messing in your yard with Bear pee. Dogs may also harass a bear unnecessarily or pique a bear's curiosity. “They were able to prosecute once again based on being able to find the carcass, which we never would’ve found without the bear dog,” Beausoleil says. The bears entered homes and public buildings, and people were afraid to go outside. The best way to keep bears out of your fruit trees and orchards is to enclose them with electric fencing. “It was in my DNA to want to communicate with dogs and bears and work to help them.”, SubscribePrivacy Policy(UPDATED)Terms of ServiceCookie PolicyPolicies & ProceduresContact InformationWhere to WatchConsent ManagementCookie Settings, We knew platypuses were incredible. When bears feel cornered, they are more likely to initiate an attack. Two rare bear attacks show a rise in conflicts with people, Also read about dogs that can sniff out cancer, Read about sniffer dogs that find cremated human remains in the rubble after wildfires. It sounds harsh, but it’s meant to protect the bear’s life by discouraging repeat home invasions. The study revealed 49 of 92 reported black bear attacks in Canada and the United States from 2010-2015 involved dogs, many of which were off-leash. After watching how wildlife rangers’ dogs could scare bears away, she was inspired. The best thing you can do to avoid bears when hiking with your dog is to stay on the trail. (Learn more: Two rare bear attacks show a rise in conflicts with people. Several national parks, including Banff, Yosemite, and Glacier, have contracted bear dogs too. Prevention is much easier to handle than an actual encounter. By talking calmly aloud while you are walking, most bears will hear you coming, and move away before you even get close to them. Beausoleil, who handles dogs Indy and Cash, says while their main duties relate to bears and cougars, they’ve also been tasked with helping investigate poaching. Here’s how, ‘Puppy dog eyes’ evolved so dogs could communicate with us, If you’re chronically stressed, your dog could be too. These dogs have to become your life.” (See the rigors of war dog training.). Bred to protect sheep flocks and homes from predator attack, and of … “I am confident saying that thousands of bears have been spared the bullet using this nonlethal technique,” said Rich Beausoleil, a wildlife biologist with Washington’s wildlife department, which has eight dogs, in an email. It operates by radar and knows when a bear (or a burglar) is attempting to enter a house. (Total buzzkill.). So I’ve put together a list of tips that will help keep the bears from showing up at your camp site. Furthermore, training bear dogs is a lot of work, and not everyone’s up to the challenge. Bears will generally avoid a busy trail, and the last thing you want to do is surprise a feeding bear. Maybe the best way to deal with a bear encounter is to try to prevent one altogether. But for one breed—the Karelian bear dog—that sort of behavior is pure playground antics. If a bear approaches you, keep your dog calm, and step out of its way. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, land managers at oil and gas fields and other work sites are required to establish mile-wide buffer zones around polar bear dens, preventing activity until their hibernation is over. (Also read about dogs that can sniff out cancer.). A number of parks and wildlife teams use Karelians for the very same reason—to discourage bears from wandering into residential and park areas. When bears get used to being around people it can be more dangerous than if they are fearful. Photograph by Derek Reich Since then, law enforcement … Also, block off any crawlspaces below your home by nailing wood panels across them. With the body, law enforcement was able to prove the crime and prosecute the case. “This dog is an ambassador for teaching the public about how to get along better with bears and also teaching bears that they have to move away from humans.”, Carrie Hunt, Founder, Wind River Bear Institute. Now it’s time to get nasty. DNA from the head matched DNA from the remains. A: While I'm actually very distantly related to dogs, we generally don't get along. Now imagine what a several hundred pound bear can do to a small coop. Pedersen has formed a very close bond with his principal Karelian bear dog, Soledad. BH Black Mountain, NC. - Check out Tripadvisor members' 180 candid photos and videos of Karahan Hostel Spotting a wild animal in its natural habitat is always an exhilarating experience. When sprayed in an animal's face, the solution causes extreme discomfort in it and gives you time to safely leave the dangerous area. This video from Animal Planet shows one bear’s harrowing release: Cecily Sailer runs creative writing programs for the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. Close off the areas below decks and porches in the winter. A bear climbed it one day, ripping right through the barbed wire on top of it. Not one human, bear, or dog has been injured in the years Hunt’s been working and training her dogs. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to keep bears away when hiking and camping in the wild. This is why it is important to be aware of your surroundings while hiking through bear country. “The good thing about bears is that they’re smart enough to know [and] to learn quickly. You should also be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you want to keep unwanted dogs away, Bear Urine is a great choice. Hunt emphasizes that safety is her chief concern when sending dogs after bears, and she says they’ve had no injuries in the field either. In some cases, rubber bullets and beanbags are used to further discourage the bear from hanging around, teaching them that areas with humans can be dangerous. Bear dogs now work with wildlife and land managers in the states of Washington and Nevada, as well as Alberta, Canada, and even in Japan. Sometimes they fire beanbag rounds or rubber bullets to scare the bear even more, and then the bear dogs are released. These dogs have inhabited northeastern Europe and Scandinavia since Neolithic times. He was aggressive towards people and vehicles as well. They're all yappy little dogs to me. After more than twenty years at the helm of the institute, Hunt says she’ll be stepping back soon from the program, and Pedersen will be taking over as executive director. This black-and-white breed is native to Finland, where the breed is considered a national treasure. Soledad is a huntress.”, Together they’ve released 500-pound black bears in Tahoe and pushed mama grizzlies with cubs out of campgrounds in the Rocky Mountains. The results have been promising. In the 20 years he’s been working with bear dogs, Beausoleil says he hasn’t seen any dogs injured because of their work. You've likely risen many mornings to find your trash strewn about your yard or street. “It’s a huge, full-time job because that dog is there with you all the time,” Bryant says. “It's also easier for a lot of agencies to just kill the bear,” Reich said in an email. They track it, bark at it, nip at its heels, until the dogs are called back by their handlers. For most of us, this means our dogs bark when our neighbors walk down the street or when something goes bump in the apartment upstairs. The tubes and kegs are available in different sizes and work very well. evitaochel / Pixabay. Keeping bees away can be as simple as watering your lawn. “Officers searched hundreds of hours looking for it, and someone said, ‘You know what, geez, I wonder if the Karelian bear dog guys could find this?’” Beausoleil says. Keeping predators away can be simple and nonlethal with a few tricks that will help prevent predators from coming into your yard, killing your livestock or pets, and becoming comfortable around people. Make sure that whatever electric fence system you use, your fence is at least 3 1/2 feet high, with wire strands no more than 8 inches apart on a permanent fence, and 12 inches apart on a temporary fence. Keep a Bear Out of the Garden & Yard. Keeping a guard dog such as a Great Pyrenees or Shepherd will prevent predators from coming too close to livestock. Spray objects and areas around the hive as well as flowers, bushes and plants that attract them. One of the benefits of electric fencing is that it not only deters bears, but it teaches them to keep away. Kara knew what to do, however, and made enough noise to startle the bear and chase it away. These Big Dog Owners Accepted the Challenge. Watering Your Lawn. Photograph by Derek Reich Since then, law enforcement and wildlife agencies in the United States and Canada increasingly have begun turning to dogs as an alternative to keep bears away. Often, humans help join in the ruckus. Bears learn to fear dogs and people during such incidents, which makes them less likely to become problem animals. Hunt realized that bears can be taught, just as we teach ourselves and our dogs new tricks all the time. It is best to spray at night when bees are dormant in order to avoid agitating them. Finnish breeders originally intended the animal to be a big game hunting dog, but Hunt realized they could be trained to manage wildlife, too. Kara Jackson has. Similarly, black bears’ ranges are expanding and oil and gas development is increasingly close to or in bear territory. 1. Many state wildlife agencies in bear territory have some form of bear response plan, including the deployment of agency staff members trained in aversive conditioning techniques. Electric fencing only works, however, if it is operating before bears become a problem. A 400+ pound bear was determined to rip the screens off windows and break into the house. Orca (left), Dazzle (center), and Rooster—"bear dogs" with the Nevada Department of Wildlife—drive away a black bear in Nevada's Lake Tahoe Basin. Should polar bear hunting be legal? It takes off like a rocket,” Myers says. “Over the past 25 years of work where we do about 800 bear-shepherding actions annually, we’ve never had a bear hurt, never had a dog hurt, and never had a person hurt.”. Rather than intimidating squirrels and cats, Karelian bear dogs keep bears—yes, as in brown, black, and grizzly—on their toes. These areas are the perfect place for bears to hide out, so block them off, particularly in winter. This “invasion,” as it’s been called, has sparked conversations about how prepared wildlife managers in North America are for an influx of polar bears as they lose critical habitat from melting sea ice and take to land in search of food. Our website uses cookies. For those with compost piles, be … She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston and reviews books for The Dallas Morning News. Of all wildlife you can encounter on a hike, bears are one of the most dangerous animals. They are used in Colorado around camping areas with great success. “We’re taking that innate ability that they have and applying it for conservation, using them both for detection but also for conflict scenarios with large and potentially dangerous wildlife.”, Nils Pedersen, Director, Wind River Bear Institute. (Read about sniffer dogs that find cremated human remains in the rubble after wildfires.). These natural dog deterrents are also very effective to stop horses and even wolves! Though bears sometimes return even after such negative experiences, the rate at which they return is far lower than when they are just trapped and then physically removed. Electric fences must be 4 feet high with a quick pulse. “They’ll bark at this animal and scare the heck out of it [to] let them know it’s not where it’s supposed to be and it should never come back to this location,” Myers says. If a bear comes too close, Rex barks viciously and stops as soon as the bear runs off. You might want to look into other breeds that are considered good sheep guardians (like the … Karahan Hostel, Yusufeli Picture: The pension's beehives. 5. The Wind River Bear Institute in Florence, Montana, has stepped in to help protect both bears and humans, and the key to their success is the Karelian bear dog. Repeat this daily until the bees vacate the hive. Despite the enthusiasm for the program among some state wildlife managers, Karelian bear dogs aren’t the best choice for everyone or every setting. Other than employing repellent tactics, you should also spray garbage areas with disinfectants regularly to reduce odors that attract bears. NYC Subway Bans Dogs Unless They Fit into a Bag. By then, the bear has hopefully learned its lesson that that’s not a place it wants to return to. When the wildlife department was tipped off that a grey wolf had been poached—the first in recent memory—it was critical to find the body. It was the family’s third bear encounter in a month. The Forest Falls, Calif., youngster was home alone one afternoon when a bear tried to climb in through an open kitchen window. When dozens of polar bears descended upon the northern Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, no one was sure what to do. “Why? While few of us ever worry about surprise bear encounters, for folks living near the Rocky Mountains, where human populations are expanding into wildlife territory, bears are a more menacing problem. Karelian bear dogs were bred to find and chase bears away from populated areas. Tips, stories, and reviews for people who love dogs, powered by Rover.com, the world's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. They’re not large dogs (compared to a mastiff, say), but they’re stocky, powerful, and stay low to the ground. The hypothesis: these larger, bolder breeds will fend off wolves and bears more effectively than common dogs like the Pyrenees and akbash. Keep an eye out for bear scat, something your dog might also alert you of. The wildlife officer will trap the bear at the site, and then bring in the dogs. “I’m going to just work on breeding and raising the dogs and matching them and placing them in agencies (where) I know them,” she said. Cali the Golden Retriever helps me demonstrate the benefits of my bear-proof food bag for backcountry camping. Bear kegs are another method of keeping bears away from your campsite. The Rex Plus Barking Dog Alarm scares off bears or other intruders. So what should you do to stay safe around these creatures? Read on to learn more about these brave, skilled dogs and the people who train them. Dazzle pursues a black bear in Lake Tahoe. It's not gonna end well. 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