Often, humans help join in the ruckus. “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. That meant that human error or ignorance—a camper failing to properly secure his provisions, for example—could result in a bear casualty. A: While I'm actually very distantly related to dogs, we generally don't get along. Of all wildlife you can encounter on a hike, bears are one of the most dangerous animals. These dogs have inhabited northeastern Europe and Scandinavia since Neolithic times. BH Black Mountain, NC. Keeping bees away can be as simple as watering your lawn. NYC Subway Bans Dogs Unless They Fit into a Bag. 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. Another study published in International Bear News in 2014 suggest dogs may actually trigger bear attacks. One day of “bear intimidation” tactics training can cost $500 to $900, and Hunt charges as much as $2,300 for a trained Karelian. In this post, we’ll share some tips on how to keep bears away when hiking and camping in the wild. The bottom wire must be no more than 8 inches off the ground. But for one breed—the Karelian bear dog—that sort of behavior is pure playground antics. in harm’s way. These dogs have to become your life.” (See the rigors of war dog training.). FIND THE BEST PRICE 2. DNA from the head matched DNA from the remains. The dogs are more than 20 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 50 pounds. “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. The best way to keep bears out of your fruit trees and orchards is to enclose them with electric fencing. It took two visits to the porch (with spark-away) by the aggressive bear and it never showed up again on the porch. Because packs of coyotes can steal cubs.”. Derek Reich, a volunteer who assists the Nevada Department of Wildlife with its bear dog team, says that the time and resources required to train bear dogs has limited the growth of their program. This is when you remain calm, talk to the bear and try and scare it away. This is why it is important to be aware of your surroundings while hiking through bear country. Other times it might now chose to follow you. They are used in Colorado around camping areas with great success. Not one human, bear, or dog has been injured in the years Hunt’s been working and training her dogs. Bears are intelligent creatures. keep the dog on leash … and think very hard about bringing a dog if its heavy bear country . The tubes and kegs are available in different sizes and work very well. And the work helps fund the institute. Don’t feed them or follow them trying to get a picture! Bears will generally avoid a busy trail, and the last thing you want to do is surprise a feeding bear. How Do Dogs Choose Their Favorite Person? She began training Karelian bear dogs not to hunt bears, but to ward them off. The idea was to teach the bears that the predators are better off doing their own thing and letting humans do theirs. In another case, officers were tipped off that an elk had been poached, and they went to the suspect’s house to investigate, finding an elk head. When trying to frighten away bears, give them an easy way to get away from you. 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. Now we know they glow, too, Centuries of breeding have reshaped dog brains. Photograph by Derek Reich Since then, law enforcement … She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Houston and reviews books for The Dallas Morning News. What is the best way to keep them and you safe and separate? Now it’s time to get nasty. Bears: I purchased a Spark-Away unit mid-summer at the height of black bear activity. Kara knew what to do, however, and made enough noise to startle the bear and chase it away. Karelian Bear Dogs: Instead of Sheep, These Dogs Herd…Bears, Meet the Dogs Rescuing Koalas from Wild Fires. After a few visits to a potential food source and receiving nothing but a painful electric shock, they will learn to avoid the fence (and … Sometimes the bear might just have wanted to go in the same direction you were. But they needed more evidence to bring the suspect to court. 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. Now imagine what a several hundred pound bear can do to a small coop. “The bear boogies out. Watering Your Lawn. You've likely risen many mornings to find your trash strewn about your yard or street. (Read about sniffer dogs that find cremated human remains in the rubble after wildfires.). “Over the years, Soledad and I have grown together in ways that can only be described as true partnership,” Pedersen says. When bears get used to being around people it can be more dangerous than if they are fearful. Several national parks, including Banff, Yosemite, and Glacier, have contracted bear dogs too. Our Yard Cover Shakin' Flake lawn dog repellent granules are ideal to keep dogs from digging up your lawn or garden. Close off the areas below decks and porches in the winter. Karelian bear dogs were bred to find and chase bears away from populated areas. Karelian bear dogs (pictured, Orca in Nevada) were originally bred in Europe to hunt big game. Double bagging and storing in airtight containers is also helpful for stopping bears. 1. “They want to go out and get that bear,” says Nils Pedersen, the wildlife dog program coordinator at Wind River Bear Institute’s satellite kennel in Fairbanks, Alaska. This video from Animal Planet shows one bear’s harrowing release: Cecily Sailer runs creative writing programs for the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. 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. —Sean McQuade, via email . They create obnoxious, threatening noise, and quiet down again when bears go back to minding their own business. If a bear comes too close, Rex barks viciously and stops as soon as the bear runs off. Ever had a bear try to claw its way into your house? One of the benefits of electric fencing is that it not only deters bears, but it teaches them to keep away. How do these tough dogs deter bears and convince them to leave an area? "If the bear moves in, the dogs go at the bear as a pack of dogs, very fast, harassing the nose while others nip at its flank. Studies have found there is a very good non-return rate,” according to Myers. Ann Bryant, executive director of The BEAR League, a volunteer bear conservation group in Tahoe, ran into obstacles trying to use them in populated areas. Safety-Sport Dog … It was the family’s third bear encounter in a month. Sometimes they fire beanbag rounds or rubber bullets to scare the bear even more, and then the bear dogs are released. In 1996, Hunt founded the Wind River Bear Institute, headquartered in Florence, Montana, to train a special breed of dogs to be “bear shepherds”—to bark and scare away bears when they get too close to human settlements and to condition them to steer clear. 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. Also, block off any crawlspaces below your home by nailing wood panels across them. They're all yappy little dogs to me. The bears entered homes and public buildings, and people were afraid to go outside. 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. Cecily is also the proud momma of two hounds, Henry and Mabel, but Wony the Pug was her first dog love. Our website uses cookies. Prevention is much easier to handle than an actual encounter. 5. Karelians almost look like a blend of bear and wolf, but they’re warm, curious, and friendly with humans. Karelian bear dogs (pictured, Orca in Nevada) were originally bred in Europe to hunt big game. 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. “It's also easier for a lot of agencies to just kill the bear,” Reich said in an email. They can also be amazing self-defense sidekicks, alerting us to danger or scaring off unwanted visitors. 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. Hunt realized that bears can be taught, just as we teach ourselves and our dogs new tricks all the time. This black-and-white breed is native to Finland, where the breed is considered a national treasure. Halt! “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. What bear would want to raid a cooler while having to listen to screams and barks and noise-makers? Saturate them well. If you want to keep unwanted dogs away, Bear Urine is a great choice. 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. https://www.rover.com/blog/karelian-bear-dogs-instead-sheep-dogs-herd-bears The dogs were able to track down the carcass in 40 minutes. 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 dozens of polar bears descended upon the northern Russian archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, no one was sure what to do. 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. 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. “It can work, it’s not a panacea….You really got to research it, be dedicated at it. After the dogs have barked at the bear for a while, they open up the bear’s cage. A dog in bear country can be both a deterrent and an attractant. (Learn more: Two rare bear attacks show a rise in conflicts with people. Karelian bear dogs are quick on their toes and don’t scare easily; these traits made them useful to hunters of large game, like moose, boars, and of course bears. 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. 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. “The good thing about bears is that they’re smart enough to know [and] to learn quickly. Dogs must be kept on a leash while in the park and are not allowed on trails, in the backcountry, or left unattended at any time. (Also read about dogs that can sniff out cancer.). Disney’s Live-Action Lady and the Tramp is Here! By talking calmly aloud while you are walking, most bears will hear you coming, and move away before you even get close to them. The best thing you can do to avoid bears when hiking with your dog is to stay on the trail. When it’s time to release the bear, a team of Karelians and humans stages a nerve-wracking goodbye party, firing rubber bullets as the bear is released and bringing out the dogs to bark and chase the animal. ), 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. In some cases, wildlife officers will trap a bear that’s sniffing too close to a human home. So I’ve put together a list of tips that will help keep the bears from showing up at your camp site. “Why? Bear dogs are especially helpful when a bear gets habituated to a particular spot, such as a garbage dump. How to Keep Bears Away From Garbage Cans. One bear biologist, Carrie Hunt, has made it her life’s mission to find effective, non-lethal methods to prevent human-bear conflict. (Total buzzkill.). The Forest Falls, Calif., youngster was home alone one afternoon when a bear tried to climb in through an open kitchen window. - Check out Tripadvisor members' 180 candid photos and videos of Karahan Hostel He is on guard as long as he’s plugged in, barking when the bear is too near and … It's not gonna end well. Dazzle pursues a black bear in Lake Tahoe. A bear climbed it one day, ripping right through the barbed wire on top of it. The hypothesis: these larger, bolder breeds will fend off wolves and bears more effectively than common dogs like the Pyrenees and akbash. It’s an increasingly important role as polar bears move closer to human activity because of melting sea ice. Finnish breeders originally intended the animal to be a big game hunting dog, but Hunt realized they could be trained to manage wildlife, too. Bear kegs are another method of keeping bears away from your campsite. If a bear approaches you, keep your dog calm, and step out of its way. 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. “Anya and Dmytry were a huge hit at our public lectures and outreaches and were able to help us talk some bears out from under homes,” Bryant said in an email, but “it quickly became evident that allowing them to chase bears through neighborhoods and across busy roadways and through shopping center parking lots was not a good idea.”. Repeat this daily until the bees vacate the hive. At the same time, bears were becoming more comfortable venturing into human space, putting themselves (and humans!) You should also be aware of your surroundings at all times. They’re not large dogs (compared to a mastiff, say), but they’re stocky, powerful, and stay low to the ground. “Bears are naturally afraid of canids,” Hunt says. Tips for Keeping Predators Away. “I had this dream, and it became a reality because I never gave up,” she says. “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. Kara Jackson has. Karelian bear dogs (pictured, Orca in Nevada) were originally bred in Europe to hunt big game. Poly tape and wire are other options for electric fences to keep out bears. The Wind River Bear Institute breeds, trains, and sells Karelian bear dogs as well as contracts them out to agencies that don’t have the resources to have their own program. These natural dog deterrents are also very effective to stop horses and even wolves! 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. I tell you this to reiterate the point that you just can't keep them out with regular methods! In the past 3 weeks, we’ve had four bears within close proximity to people. Dogs may also harass a bear unnecessarily or pique a bear's curiosity. It operates by radar and knows when a bear (or a burglar) is attempting to enter a house. “I think that our personalities were complimentary to begin with...but the joy that this dog brings me cannot be adequately put into words. So what should you do to stay safe around these creatures? Bred to protect sheep flocks and homes from predator attack, and of … After watching how wildlife rangers’ dogs could scare bears away, she was inspired. Most of the tactics for keeping bears from showing up at your camp site have something to do with scents. You might want to look into other breeds that are considered good sheep guardians (like the … The investigators went out to search for the rest of the elk’s body, but they came up empty-handed. Keep a Bear Out of the Garden & Yard. 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. 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. Keep dogs on leashes and under controlsome dogs may act aggressively toward a bear, which would cause the bear to react in defense. Bears will go right through electric fencing once they are food-conditioned and know that food is available. Other than employing repellent tactics, you should also spray garbage areas with disinfectants regularly to reduce odors that attract bears. Dogs aren’t just great companions. 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. But within 20 minutes of bringing in the bear dog team, one of the dogs found elk remains. Several years ago, bears that came in contact with humans were put down, even if no one was harmed in the encounter. Certainly, for some humans living near bear populations, Karelians are truly man’s best friend. It's a lot of effort and resources put into an animal who may just be harvested in a hunt the next week.”. Those were the only two options and neither one of those was effective at all.”. To see what cookies we serve and set your own preferences, please review our Cookie Policy. When sprayed in an animal's face, the solution causes extreme discomfort in it and gives you time to safely leave the dangerous area. Electric fencing only works, however, if it is operating before bears become a problem. Keeping a guard dog such as a Great Pyrenees or Shepherd will prevent predators from coming too close to livestock. Sign up and get $25 off pet sitting and dog walking! “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.”. Just Watch These Border Collie Puppies Meet Sheep for the First Time, 9 Surprisingly Dangerous Foods for Dogs (Starting with Popcorn), Animal-Saving Volunteer Pilot Flies Shelter Dogs to Safety Each Weekend, Lorkie Breed Profile: Lhasa Apso Yorkie Mix, Revealed in Photos and Fun Facts. Soledad can smell polar bears under feet of snow and alert Pedersen when she’s found a den, thus allowing the den and its inhabitants to finish their long sleep undisturbed. These areas are the perfect place for bears to hide out, so block them off, particularly in winter. Spotting a wild animal in its natural habitat is always an exhilarating experience. They track it, bark at it, nip at its heels, until the dogs are called back by their handlers. 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