Bear Hunting Dogs – 9 Dog Breeds to Keep Bears at Bay

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Bear hunting with dogs brings a wholly rate of emotions to mind .
More specifically, the reasonably controversial bear hound .
however, there ’ mho besides another random variable of bear hunt ( which could actually be beneficial to wildlife ) .
But beginning, let ’ s explore bear hound and why it can be damaging wildlife populations.

Some people disguise hounding as a service for company while others deem it a sick sport .
even hunting advocates seem to turn their back on bear hound because it ’ s not only unfair but damaging to wildlife and possibly their own dogs .

  • Bear hounding often orphans cubs
  • Being chased into trees incites incredible anxiety in the animals
  • Hounds are ofen hurt during encounters
  • Non-target animals are chased since controlling dogs over large distances is impossible
  • Hunters often trespass on private propety, target endangered species, or chase bears onto busy roads

Why are bear cubs orphaned ?
Because hunters don ’ thyroxine manage to check or misidentify the sex .
sometimes, they eliminate the threat on sight when encounters with their dogs result .
other times, bears are chased over miles and overcharge of their energy which may seal their fortune, just for the hunters to notice the bear is off-limits due to senesce or gender.
But as mentioned, bear hound is not the only way to hunt bears with dogs .
Below, I ’ ve listed all the breeds desirable for bear hunt .
Trust me, a lot of breeds mentioned in other articles are absolutely not desirable for hunting bears in any way, form, or shape .

Whate are Bear Hunting Dog Breeds Used For?

Hounding doesn’t necessarily only serve as a sport, instead bear hunting dogs are also used in some areas to control rising bear populations, but modern non-lethal methods include Karelian Bear Dogs to scare bears away.
Two Hounds with large teddy bears on their backs are both mid-jump to catch a bird. As the polar ice melts, the phone number of bears roaming northern rural regions in Russia increases .
naturally, this creates a conflict between the inhabitants of little towns and these massive ( and endangered ) polar Bears .
All parties involved will hopefully seek out a peaceful solution rather of allowing hold hunting with dogs, particularly considering that it ’ s us humans who are destroying their natural habitat .
North America might soon face a similar problem and wildlife and law enforcement are seeking solutions .
Until nowadays, bears who ’ ve gotten excessively used to people are either euthanized or put far off into another territory, both far from optimum solutions .
Hounding is partially allowed to serve as “ population control ” but all these ( partially inhumane tactics ) could be replaced by an all in all unlike method .
Organizations such as the Wind River Bear Institute created an actionable plan that includes dogs – but in a non-lethal way .
Dogs such as the karelian Bear Dogs are used to scare bears away in the trace steps :

  • Bears who get too close and/or too used to humans are identified
  • Bear hunting dogs are brought in to scare them (resembling Coyotes out and about stealing bear cubs is part of it)
  • Upon release, the dogs track the bear, bark, and nip at the bear’s heels until called back
  • If the bear has gotten used to a specific spot, they trap the animal and bring in the dogs to scare them and then release
  • Additional methods like firing rubber bullets can be utilized

deplorably, there ’ s not a bunch of literature out there discussing this means of controlling bears .
rather, most ( outdated ) inquiry papers focus on the traditional hold hound and its efficacy .
tied though there ’ s not a draw of resources, I ’ ve tried my best and compiled a list of breeds that were traditionally used and could be introduced to this more modern way below .
Any pawl engender successfully working bears offers a huge top to the old ways :

  • No known injuries to the dogs
  • Bears are not unnecessarily eliminated
  • No compromise in safety around campgrounds and National Parks for humans
  • Karelian Bears Dogs have been able to find evidence of poaching and save polar bear dens near oil or gas fields

however, not all areas ( think residential ) are suitable for this type of bear control .
Besides the tug to raise and train these dogs, controlling bears this manner is more labor-intensive .
then now you know about hounding a well as non-lethal bear hunting with dogs, but which breeds are actually suitable ?

9 Bear Hunting Dog Breeds

The best bear hunting dog breeds include the Karelian Bear Dog, Plotthound, Coonhound, Foxhound, as well as large game hunters such as the Dogo Argentino or Rhodesian Ridgeback.
here ’ s the broad number of dogs capable of hunting big game such as bears :

  1. Karelian Bear Dog
  2. Plotthound
  3. Coonhound
  4. American Foxhound
  5. Bloodhound
  6. German Shorthaired Pointer
  7. German Wirehaired Pointer
  8. Dogo Argentino
  9. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Karelian Bear Dog

Among the top spots for pawl breeds used to work bear is the finnish black-and-white karelian Bear Dog .
Black and white Karelian Bear Dog which is among the best bear hunting dog breeds.
early engender ambassadors have been recorded in other colors american samoa well such as red-grey or pure crimson .
however, black-and-white emerged as the desired color since the breed standard was formulated in 1945 .
The karelian Bear Dog looks like a traverse between Border Collie and Husky with some resemblance to breeds like the Samoyed or a more wolflike german Shepherd .
While working hold is their playing field of expertness, they can besides compete in search and rescue or sled andiron trials due to their sturdy double coat and survival.

Plott Hound

technically besides among the Coonhounds, the Plott Hound has a unlike ancestor though .
Plott Hound looking at something off-screen.
Plott Hounds don ’ t descend from English Foxhounds but rather from “ Hanover hounds ” in Germany .
The german immigrant who brought these dogs to the US frequently hunted bears in the mountains with his dogs .


There are respective types of Coonhounds such as the Redbone, Bluetick, Black and Tan, American English, and Treeing Walker Coonhound .
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are among the most sleep together of the Hounds and quite sensible hunters excessively .
Side profile of a black and tan Coonhound with long ears and a sleek tail which can help when hunting bears. ever wondered where the son “ treeing ” comes from ?
It ’ sulfur because this Hound is known to trail smaller game until it climbs a corner with the pawl waiting below and barking to signal the localization to the orion .
Walker comes from the breed ’ second creator .
This breed is besides normally used for traditional bear hunt where the dogs are hunting outside the hunter ’ randomness control and much camp for quite a long time at the bottom of the tree .

American Foxhound

The american Foxhound ’ sulfur robust and even streamlined skeletal system is complimented by their soft eyes .
American Foxhound with gentle eyes carries a stick but can turn into a fierce bear hunter with a melodious bark. The bark that makes wear hunters love the American Foxhound could prove damaging to your neighbor ’ south ears .
so before considering one, beware of their fierce barking which can be entirely be controlled through train and exercise to some degree .


Bloodhounds are known to be among the dogs with the best sense of smell out there ( that and their incredibly long ear ) .
Four Bloodhound puppies with long sloppy ears. Potentially suitable for tracking down bear. Did you know that the baggy ears are actually there to block out sound when they ’ rhenium following trails ?

German Shorthaired Pointer

The german Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunt andiron .
While Pointers are normally trained to point at birds, they can theoretically be used for pursuing and barking at bears besides .
German Shorthaired Pointer puppy exploring off-leash, showing age-appropriate exercise to maintain proper growth.

German Wirehaired Pointer

german Wirehaired Pointers could be a good fit for hunting bears .
The german Wirehaired Pointer may sound and look similar to the GSP but they ’ ra different breeds .
German Wirehaired Pointer standing on a bench surrounded by green plants. While their stringy coat places first on the GWPs identifiable traits, their identical love and quite freelancer character is a close second .
Make sure you have plenty of time and committedness to research since this is a very active breed .

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is the first andiron of the Mastiff type on this list ( there are actually 22 Mastiffs in entire ) .
White Dogo Argentino in daylight standing on grass and squinting at the sunlight.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

rhodesian Ridgebacks are actually hunting lions in packs in their home area .
contrary to democratic impression, Ridgebacks don ’ t actually fight the lions, but they ’ rhenium full at baying them .
Rhodesian Ridgeback lying down and facing the camera with a slightly tilted head.

What is the Best Bear Hunting Dog?

The best bear hunting dog is probably the Karelian Bear Dog with Hounds coming in a close second.
What the best hold hunting dog breed is besides dependent upon the climate and geography in general .
In cold climates, the siberian Laika was normally used for hunting and/or bay bears while Hounds are more suitable and far-flung available in the USA .
In theory, many early dog breeds such as big game hunters or pointers could be trained to do parts of working bear but they ’ re not bred specifically for this aim .
They are bred for a kind of work though and technically could be used for working bears in a non-lethal way .

Are Karelian Bear Dogs Rare?

karelian Bear Dogs are rare as family pets in the US while they are systematically among the top 10 in their home country Finland .
In Finland, there are over 1000 finnish Hounds ( i.e. karelian Bear Dogs ) registered each year which puts them at spot count 7 for the most popular breeds in 2019 and 2020 .
At least 700 KBDs were registered in Finland for over a ten now .
That being said, there were 50,000 registrations in entire so that puts the KBD alone at about 2 % of the sum registrations.

everywhere else in the world, it ’ s condom to say that the KBD is pretty rare except for countries with increasing bear populations ( even then, it ’ s not guaranteed ) .
Besides North America, Northern Europe where the KBD is used for elks, Asia and Russia come to mind but there have been no reports of the KBD being coarse there .
Sources :

  • Humane Society on bear hounding:
  • More about the Karelian Bear Dogs:
  • How KBDs save lives.
  • Study on population reduction:
  • Brown bear encouners with dogs and hunters
  • US regulation by state (may be subject to change) on hunting with dogs:
  • Finland on the KBD:
  • Finnish registration numbers KBD:
informant :
Category : Dog

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