Bear Hunting Dog Breeds : 9 Best Breeds To Keep Bears Away

Are you considering acquiring dogs for bear hunting purposes? Or are you simply curious to know which dogs are suitable for bear hunting purposes? If yes, you will find this article helpful: as it has information on the various bear hunting canines, as well as how one can acquire dogs that are suitable for bear hunting.

A bear hunting dog serves the role of tracking, pursuing and distracting bears until the human bear hunters reach the spots where the bears are. Examples of bear hunting dogs include the Alaskan Bear Hunting Dog, the Karelian Bear Dog, The Coonhound, Dogo Argentino and the Akita Bear Dog, among others.

Some bear hunting dog breeds were developed specifically for this purpose (of hunting bears). But it is more common to find a dog breed that hunts bears alongside other animals. So it doesn’t specialize in bears alone.

Bear hunting dog
Bear Hunting Dog Breeds

People usually hunt bears for their fur, as well as their meat. There are also cases where people hunt bears simply because they have become a nuisance. In this case, a bear fighter dog may simply serve the purpose of scaring the bears away.

So in the latter case, the focus is on using a bear dog fighting pack to scare the bears away, with no intention of following up and killing them. This is quite distinct from the traditional bearhounding.

Bear hunting with dogs is fun, though there are also those who consider it a crude spot.


How Are Dogs Used In Bear Hunting?

Before we start looking at bear hunting dog breeds, it is important for us to understand how dogs work in the bear hunting context.

As it turns out, in the bear hunting context, dogs serve three purposes. The first purpose is that of tracking bears. Dogs are very good at tracking bears. If someone happens to get one of those dogs bred for bear hunting, they can be particularly useful in this role.

The second purpose that dogs serve in bear hunting is that of pursuing the bears. Bears have this tendency to flee upon encountering dogs (even when they have the ability to fight dogs with ease). This is a fact bear hunters take full advantage of.

The objective is to pursue the bears up to the point of exhaustion, at which point killing them tends to be much easier. Again, if you happen to be having one of those dogs bred to hunt bears, then it can be very helpful here.

Even when the bear fighter dog doesn’t manage to drive the bear to exhaustion, it may push it to a point where it has to climb a tree. Once there, it becomes much easier for the human bear hunter to shoot.

The third purpose that dogs serve in bear hunting is that of distracting the bears. Here, for instance, you may have dogs running bear in circles, distracting it until the human bear hunter closes in.

One may ask, can a dog outrun a bear? A dog normally can’t outrun a bear, especially if it is the bear that initiates the chase. However, bears have this strange habit of running when they are chased by dogs (even when they can outrun and kill the dogs).

That is what makes the dogs bear hunting role a possibility.


Can A Dog Kill A Bear?

The truth of the matter is that a dog can’t ordinarily kill a bear. A bear is much stronger, much faster and much fiercer than a dog.

In the bear hunting context, the role of the dogs is not really that of killing the bears. Rather, the role of dogs is that of tracking – and where necessary pursuing and distracting — the bears until the human bear hunters arrive.

The human bear hunters kill the bears by shooting. That is what hound hunting bears is all about.

Even when you find hounds treeing bear, they do so with the intention of distracting it till the human bear hunters arrive. Not with the intention of killing the bear themselves.

There is really nothing like a bear killer dog. The dogs used to hunt bears only track and where necessary pursue and distract the bears till the human bear hunters arrive.

It would be unrealistic to expect anything like a bear killing dog, when you consider the differences between the two animals.

True, you may find a dog bred to fight bears. But that is not by killing them. Instead, it is mostly by scaring them, by chasing.

The same applies for dogs bred to hunt bear. Their role is only to track, and if necessary pursue and distract the bears. Dogs that can kill bears are mythical, at best.

Thus the answer to the what dog can kill a bear question is ‘none’. Dogs that can kill a bear in a direct confrontation are nonexistent. What is more credible is the possibility of a bear killing dogs.

Thus if you were trying to find which dog can kill a bear (in a direct confrontation), then the answer is ‘none’.


What Kind Of Dog Is Used For Bear Hunting?

For a dog to be useful for bear hunting, it needs to have certain qualities.

Firstly, it needs to be courageous. It takes a lot of courage for a dog to venture somewhere where there is the scent of a bear. Therefore any dog that hunts bears has to be very courageous.

Secondly, dogs that hunt bears have to be agile. You have to understand that for dogs hunting bears often entails venturing into very tricky terrains. Therefore a bear hound dog needs a lot of agility.

Thirdly, a bear hound (dog for hunting bears) has to be intelligent. It needs to have a good attention span, and have the ability to make sound judgment decisions in split seconds.

Good bear dogs also have the ability to withstand the adverse climatic conditions they often have to operate in.

Bear hounds also need to have considerable strength and endurance. If you ever witness dogs baying bear, then you will appreciate why strength and endurance are important in this context.

Contrary to widely held notions, the bear hunting dog size is not particularly important. In fact, some of the dogs they use to hunt bears are quite small.

It is not a must that every dog used to hunt bears be a giant.

Still, some of the best dogs for bear hunting are quite big and loud.

It is important to mention that it is possible to find a certain dog breed for bear hunting (whose specialty is this role).

When people develop a dog breed to hunt bears, they try to ensure that it has all the essential qualities for bear hunting.

Thus a dog bred to hunt bears will have lots of courage, agility, intelligence, strength, endurance and so on.


Which Are The Bear Hunting Breeds Of Dogs?

The dog bear hunting breeds are those that have the qualities necessary for bear hunting. In other words, these are dog breeds that hunt bears successfully.

Some bear hunting dogs breeds were developed specifically for this purpose. So these are specialized dog breeds for bear hunting.

However, you may find a dog breed hunt bears even if that is not what it was specifically developed for.

In fact, you may realize that the dog breed bear hunter relies mostly on was not specifically developed for the purpose of hunting bears.

Thus rather than having a dog bread to hunt bears, you find that the discovery of its bear hunting prowess was by chance. Some of the bear dogs are actually in this category.

It is possible to find a certain bear fighting dog breed abundant in one part of the world, yet it is completely unavailable in another part of the world.

What bear hound breeds share are qualities like courage, agility, strength, endurance, intelligence and so on. Those are very essential qualities in bear tracking dogs.

Generally, the best dogs for bear protection are the dogs breed to hunt bears specifically.

It may be a grizzly bear looking dog (a bearded hunting dog) or it may be a very soft looking dog. What matters in a breed of dog that hunts bears is its ability to track, and where necessary pursue or distract bears until the human bear hunters get to the scene.

Normally, a bear hunting dog puppy will start out looking and acting like any other puppy. But as time goes by, and as it matures, it acquires the qualities necessary for bear hunting.

We will now proceed to look at some of the best bear hunting dog breeds.


The Alaska Bear Hunting Dog

The first bear hunting dog breed name that comes to mind for many people is the Alaska bear hunting dog.

One of the things that make this a good bear hunting dog breed is its ability to function well as a member in a team.

It is important to remember that bear hunting is almost always a teamwork effort. Therefore the best bear hunting dogs are those that are able to function well in team settings.

And Alaska bear hunting dogs fit that bill very well.

Other things that make this a good bear hunter dog are qualities like its agility, strength and courage.


The American Foxhound

If you are looking for an American bear dog, then you will find it in the American Foxhound.

Thanks to its mellow eyes, this looks like a docile dog. But in fact, some people regard it as the best dog for bear hunting. And when listing bear hunting dog names, this one usually gets a spot.

This is a rather loud dog. Thus, the bark it gives upon tracking a bear can be helpful to the human bear hunter in picking the specific spot. This is key, especially if the hunting is in a location where GPS usage is impractical.

Of course, if your preference is for a dog that looks like a grizzly bear, this may not make the cut. In terms of appearance, this actually looks like a very soft dog – mainly thanks to its mellow eyes. But it is effective at bear hunting.


Dogo Argentino

For the Dogo Argentino hunting bear almost comes naturally.

Some people regard it as the best dog to keep bears away. It is in the category of mastiff bear hunting dogs, and it is remarkably effective.


The Karelian Bear Dog

This is one of those dogs whose original breeding purposes were those of hunting bears.

Thus if someone ever asks you, what dog was bred to hunt bears, you can mention the Karelian dog with confidence.

The Karelian Bear Dog bite force is enough to do a lot of harm to a bear. But being a good bear fighting dog, it mostly works by tracking and pursuing the bears, rather than getting into direct confrontations with them.

So this is not one of those dogs that attack bears mindlessly, and end up dying or with nasty injuries. It prefers to tackle bears in an intelligent manner, on behalf of its human masters.

Nonetheless in a Karelian Bear Dog vs grizzly fight, chances are that it would give a good account of itself.

It may not be the biggest bear dog, but it is extremely effective.

Lately, people have found it useful for simply chasing nuisance bears: even when the intention for the bear hunters is not to kill the bears.

Bear hunting dog
Bear Hunting Dog Breeds


The American Pitbull Terrier

Accounts of Pitbulls hunting bears exist, and from very long ago.

The American Pitbull Terrier may not have the ability to get into direct confrontations with bears. In a Pitbull vs grizzly bear direct fight, chances are that the Pitbull would emerge the loser.

However, when it comes to tracking and where necessary pursuing and distracting a bear, the American Pitbull can be quite good.


The Coonhound

This is a highly intelligent bear hunting dog, which is able to track bears even in the trickiest of terrains.

And if you have a preference for English bear hounds, you may find them within the Coonhound family.

Further, if your preference is for a black bear dog breed, most of the Coonhounds will often fit the bill.


The Chinese Bear Hunting Dog

This is actually a cross between the Tibetan Mastiff bear hunting dog and the Chow Chow dogs.

It is a clever and fearless dog, which can make it the best dog for protection against bears, if you happen to get hold of it.

This dog has the appearance of a mastiff bear dog. And it is definitely somewhere near the top of the best bear dogs breeds list.


The German Shorthaired Pointer

If you prefer a German bear hound, then you may find it in the German Shorthaired Pointer.

This is a powerful, yet not usually intimidatingly big German bear hunting dog.

It is the fact that it is a ‘pointer’ dog that earns it a spot in the bear dog breeds category. As a pointer dog, it may be able to track bear locations, then point those out to the human bear hunters, who can then proceed to do the needful.

As noted earlier, in any dog used for hunting bears, the ability to track well is very important. This dog has excellent tracking and pointing abilities.


The Akita Bear Hunting Dog

If your preference is for a Japanese bear hunting dog, then you will find it in the Akita.

This is a giant bear hunting dog, with a fierce appearance to match. For this dog breed hunting bears comes naturally: that being what it was originally bred for.

Outside the bear hunting circles, the Akita is actually a reasonably gentle dog.

In fact, if someone were to ask you, what dog hunts bears and is also reasonably gentle, the Akita would be a good answer.

Thus if you are seeking a dog breed for hunting bears which can still function well in normal social settings, the Akita may be a good fit.


The Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Some people also refer to The Caucasian bear hunting dog in question here as the Russian bear hunting dog.

Further, this bear hunting dog Russian people developed may also be referred to as the Siberian bear hunting dog.

This is a special Russian dog bred to hunt bears. Some people even go as far as referring to it as the Russian bear killer dog. This is because they place it in the category of those mythical dog bred to kill bears.

But as noted earlier, dogs that kill bears directly don’t exist. They do help in tracking, pursuing and distracting bears on behalf of human hunters, but that is besides the point. The notion of a dog that can kill a bear directly remains attractive in most people’s minds.

A Russian bear hunting dog puppy may be very gentle, but as it matures, it attains the necessary fierceness for bear hunting.

These are highly effective bear hunting dogs, though they may be rare in some places. Therefore in certain regions, finding a Russian bear hunting dog for sale may be extremely hard.

Nonetheless, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog aka Russian bear hunting dog is extremely effective at bear hunting roles.


What Is The Best Dog For Bear Protection?

In the simplest terms, the dog that fights bears most effectively would be the one that qualifies to be termed as the best for bear protection.

There are many types of dogs that fight bears. That includes those that are capable of scaring (chasing) bears away without injuring them – such as the Karelian bear dog. In most cases, these may be the best for bear protection.

Besides the Karelian Bear dog, the Caucasian Shepherd dog and the Coonhounds also tend to give good accounts of themselves.

Of course, much also depends on how one trains the dog. You may get a very good dog breed for hunting bears. But if you don’t know how to train bear dogs properly, then you may not get the best results.


How To Acquire A Bear Hunting Dog?

You first need to make up your mind on the specific bear hunting dog breed you will be using. So you start by selecting an appropriate dog breed to fight bears.

The next step is to find breeders from whom you can buy the bear hound. To this end, you may conduct a search for bear hunting dogs for sale near me – or something like that.

Chances are that you may find someone offering coon and bear dogs for sale near you.

If you can’t find any nearby, you should expand the search – until you get the dog you were searching for.

Once you find a suitable dog, you may need to negotiate a reasonable bear hunting dog price.

Thereafter, you can proceed to purchase the dog, and start bonding with it. While at it, you may also need to buy accessories, such as a bear hunting dog box.

Sometimes, people who previously kept bear hunting dogs may be unable to maintain them. So they take them to dog shelters. Therefore with luck, you may be able to adopt a suitable bear hunter dog from a local shelter as well. That option is there.


Final Verdict – Bear Hunting Dog

A bear hunting dog is one that people deploy in bear hunting expeditions – typically for purposes of tracking, and where necessary pursuing and distracting bears until human bear hunters arrive.

Once the human bear hunters arrive, they may proceed to shoot the bear, thus completing the hunt.

Bear hunting dog
Bear Hunting Dog Breeds

These dogs usually need to have lots of strength, agility, endurance, intelligence and courage (among other qualities), to be successful in bear hunting.

Examples of bear hunting dogs breeds include The Alaskan Bear Hunting Dog, The American Foxhound, Dogo Argentino and the Karelian Bear Dog. Others are the American Pitbull Terrier, The Coonhound, The Akita Dog and the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.

It may be possible to buy bear hunting dogs puppies from breeders who specialize in these sorts of dogs.

Alternatively, if you happen to find abandoned bear hunting dogs in dog shelters, there is also the possibility of adopting them from there.

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