Best homesteading breed to run off bears

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Judith, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

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    What is the best breed of dog to run off bears? My concern is that if they protect from bears they will be eating the livestock. Livestock guardians such as GP's and anatolian shepherds are just too hairy for my taste. I have been told to get an Akita or a blue heeler. Thoughts?
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are talking about black bears, most any aggresive yapping dog will work. Black bears are big cowards, and a loud Jack Russel will send them to the next county.
     

  3. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    My mutt does a great job running off anything that doesn't belong here and she is great with the kids too! Why don't you try your local animal shelter or the paper and look for a mix breed that is friendly with people?

    Our other 'watch dogs' are a flock of geese. They run anything that isn't considered 'ours' off the place.

    Cheryl
     
  4. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    We had a black bear in our yard last evening just after we had milked. My 2nd daughter has yellow labs and is giving us a pup this fall. It ought to be yappy enough to keep bears out of the yard, and big enough to live outside without much trouble. Who knows, maybe I can train it to help me with my grouse hunting.
     
  5. katlupe

    katlupe Off-The-Grid Homesteader Supporter

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    We have a black lab mix and we live in the middle of the state forest land and don't have any wild animals come to our place. There are lots of signs of bears all through the woods, but all we've ever seen is deer. Of course, this area is recreational too, so they probably stay away because of the people.
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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  7. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    I live in Tennessee, and have hunted black bear in North Carolina, so I've had a little, but only a little experience here.

    Almost any dog can chase off most bears. Bears don't like noise--it's more the barking that chases them away than any actual fear of the dog. A single dog, short of some of the true hunting, fighting breeds, without backup has little chance against a determined black bear, that is, a bear that's determined to do whatever it had in mind, but you seldom get that situation. Usually they're opportunists--they'll go for the easier target that doesn't have those noisy, annoying dogs.

    Be aware though. Some bears learn that dogs mean people with guns, so they'll run when the dog starts up. However, black bears are smart, often smarter than the dogs chasing them. They'll head into the brush and then they'll turn and ambush the dog. A female with cubs may well chase the dog.

    I'd look for a territorial breed--a dog that guards its home as opposed to a dog that chases animals. My brother kept a hunting pack, but doesn't any longer. We used Plotts and Plott mixes to hunt the bears, with Airedales sometimes for catch dogs. All of these are good at their jobs, but they aren't particularly good around children and other animals, at least, not after they've been into the hunting gig. That's a gross generalization because some of them are very good. It's just that the Airedales we've hunted with, for instance, don't know that pouncing and grabbing even in play can be rough on lambs and they easily go back into the chase/fight mode when things run from them.

    Labs are surprisingly successful as anti-bear dogs. The herding dogs, heelers for instance, do an excellent job, and they tend not to pursue the bears much beyond the flock/herd's safety margin.

    Ray
     
  8. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! I have to deal with alot of grizz. Which for the most part i find to be smarter and more elusive than the black bears in our area. They will often come in pairs and one will distract the dogs and the other will grab a pig or whatever. my concern is my foals next spring.They could easily become bear food. Yapping dogs with these guys do nothing. I need a dog that will actually charge a bear and not back down. I do not want to have to shoot these magnificent creatures, relocating them has been useless. They are back every spring. :viking: I would be happy if I could just leave them be but that is not going to happen sad to say.....
     
  9. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

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    Great daines where originally bread as bear hunters, akita's were used for same. akita's tend to go after all livestock, but can be trained from little not to.
     
  10. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

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  11. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    A big German shepherd will run a bear right up a tree.
     
  12. TedH71

    TedH71 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Be forewarned the Karliean Bear dog is actually VERY dog aggressive...you can only keep one at a time. Good luck I would personally recommend a catahoula, blackmouth cur, or a lacy over the plott hounds. They're smart enough to bay and keep the bear busy. You could also try a Tibetian Mastiff..that's why they keep those dogs..but they're a bit hairy..same thing with a KBD. The above cur dog breeds aren't as hairy.
     
  13. cabe

    cabe Well-Known Member

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    Only chance you would have to make sure dogs dont die , is to have two of whatever you get, Raise them as litter mates, and keep them outside in only the worst weather. I have a border collie / bulldog mix and he has tackled several big black bears on his own, but once he lost.I spent weeks nursing him back, and I killed the bear eventually, but had his brother been there it would have been a different matter.Marty.
     
  14. mulliganbush

    mulliganbush Well-Known Member

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    If you have grizzlies, they're a whole 'nother ballgame from the black bears. I've been told and read that foal is a delicacy to the big guys.

    I think the right idea is that you'll need more than one dog, and you'll need some additional security--electric fencing, signal bombs, not to stop the bears, but to slow them down. The dogs should only be the holding force--that is, they only stand between the bear and the foals for long enough for you to get there. The kind of dogs you'll need to really take care of bears will be costly and need lots of training, and once a dog is trained to kill, it's very hard to keep it focused on a single species.

    Ray
     
  15. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    I have and have had Akitas for many years. I can tell you from our own experience that once they recognize something as being a member of their pack it is protected by them. Of all the Akitas we've owned over the years there was only 1 who would kill our stock. We rescued him at the age of 9 so he was pretty set in his ways. Our other Akitas would go to great lengths to get along with the rest of our animals. We had one male who lived until he was 14 years old, he was a super dog. He would let our ducks and chickens pick in his bowl, drink his water and sleep in his house---with him! One rainy, cool spring night we kept hearing him howl. I went outside and he was sitting in front of his house looking inside. It was full of muscovy ducks who preferred his straw filled house over their own. Maybe they felt protected from the raccoons and fox. We even had ducks set up housekeeping in his house and hatch their eggs in there---and he would squeeze in there with them at night. If the muscovys hissed at him he would back right off. His attitude was "I can chase your kitty but don't you dare even think about chasing my kitty." He meant it too. Many Akitas are like that. My mom gave me 2 ---6 week old kittens then was very nervous about my dogs with them. You should have seen them! After the first few days of the kittens getting used to the dogs a common sight was the kittens running and playing on and over the dogs as they lay on the floor. Bounce, bounce, boing! The dog would pick up their head, look at the kitten as if to say "Oh, its only you." then put it back down. It does take a bit of training and getting to know the breed. Akitas are not barkers. It seems to be a big effort for them to bark. If and when you hear them bark you'd best check it out and fast. They will stand "at attention" with body language meaning they are ready for whatever comes but not making a sound other than a barely audible growl way deep down in their chest. Once you see this you won't forget it. I had one incident where a truck driver came up our driveway wanting to use our phone when he could have gone to any of the neighbors who are right on the road and were home. I got very nervous and said no. He tried to force the issue so I opened the front door (we were standing on the porch) and there was my big male standing right there all attention, body language saying "Go ahead, make my day." I never saw anyone beat feet down that driveway so fast as he did. Just like any other breed there are variations but I think the Akita makes for a great dog no matter where you live.
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..................Just a thought on Ak's.....They have a strong prey instinct but are very trainable and are a very loving breed towards their immediate family . If , you opt for Ak's you should really consider getting a male and female as pups and raise them together . Also , If you keep cats and other dogs Ak's should be raised up around these animals so that they "know" that they are a Part of the animal family . But , you should always feed Ak's by themselves as they don't share their food with ANyone . The reason is fairly simple , really as back when they were having to hunt IF another animal took their Kill it meant Starvation so they have a reason for being fairly "Intense" about NOT sharing their "Kill" you feed them each day . They are a very special breed and IF you ever get a Pair you will want them "IN" your family from now on . Can you tell I'm "in love " with the Breed . Contact many breeders before you choose and I don't think I would want a Brother\sister from the same litter . Personally , I would acquire the best temperment\blood lines I could afford and plan on raising atleast one litter from a breeding pair and then you will be very well compensated for your time . fordy.. :)
     
  17. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    We do get grizzlies wandering down from time to time, but its the black bears and most worrisome: the cougars, that do most of the bothering around here. Our 3 Pyrenees do a great job of running all the predators off, although they do give the bull moose(s) a pass during the rut. Those monsters jump right into our pasture and terrorize the horses. Pyrenees are a pain in the hindquarters with their roaming habit, and they have eaten a number of guineas when they (the pyrs) were pups, but they were chasing bears off the front porch when they were six months old. The coats are beautiful when brushed out, but tend to get matted and pretty dirty on outside dogs thatlive in the barn, but we have them clipped down every summer and it works well for us.
     
  18. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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  19. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    A few well trained Airedales would do the trick ;-)

    Make sure you go for the larger, Oorang style. They still use them up here in Western MD and in TX to hunt bear!

    If you put the training into them they will also leave your livestock alone. Only worries would be the little stuff - chickens, flighty birds, rabbits...

    Andrea
     
  20. ponyexpress

    ponyexpress Well-Known Member

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    My Akita has never offered to bother any "domestic" animal. She seems to instinctively know what she can and can not hunt. A few years ago someone gave me a half dead tabby tomcat. She smelled him, nosed around all his bandages, then proceeded to wash his ears and face! Now they are the best of friends and play ALL the time. She drags him around by his head, he rides on her back.
    One morning she thought our resident black bear was a threat to me, and went after him and would not come back. I ran and got Dh (he's a much better shot than me). Could hear them going at it hot and heavy in the brush. I got a big tree limb and went tearing in there screaming at the absolute top of my lungs --- I thought my dog was getting killed! Bear ran off --- knocked down dog got shakily to her feet, and stood her ground. Dh got there and called her off. She still wouldn't come--- she ALWAYS keeps herself between me and any perceived threat. He gave me the rifle and went and picked her up and carried her back to the house. Bear had slapped her silly and bloodied up her face.
    She is without a doubt, the best dog I have ever had, and I have been lucky enough to have MANY wonderful dogs. And she is a "throw out" Someone dumped her.
    Anne