Skip to content

Bears and Dogs

Bears and Dogs

The recent killing of a dog in Prince George is indeed a sad case. We love our dogs and I am very sorry for this man’s loss. It is important to recognize that this man did carry bear spray but though deployed, it was ineffective in protecting his dog. Further study and analysis would help in the understanding of its failure to assist. Bear spray is proven to be an effective deterrent in bear conflict situations. Along with its proper use and an understanding of bear behaviour, encounters such as these can be a defused quickly without escalation or avoided all together.

Bears and DogsMy other concern with this incident is the misrepresentation of the bear in this article. The Cos stated “…they are wild animals, there is not really any way to predict how they are going to act…”. After spending years both living and working closely with these animals, I have witnessed first hand actions against them stemming from the human fear of bears leading to the misunderstanding of their intentions. I have witnessed bears doing what bears are suppose to do suddenly being chased around for sport by off leash dogs. It is clear to me that bears who live near communities, have most often been treated unfairly and severally traumatized by dogs most of their lives. If we learn to filter out our unfounded fear of bears and really listen to their stories perhaps we would be able to understand better their true nature and what brought them to this point? If people paid attention they would soon realize that maybe this bears behaviour towards this dog was actually predictable. This has been my experience. *More then 52% of incidents involving a bear attacking a human, there is a dog involved. The bear chases the dog, and the dog comes back to the human.

The statement was also made by the Cos that “…these animals tend to see pets as a food source at times.” I would like to see some proven examples of this behaviour in a bear. In my experience I have never known of a case where a dog is targeted, killed and eaten by a hungry bear. There appears to be no science to support this comment.

Bears work hard to live in a peaceful way. Their tolerance and generosity in nature towards humans never ceases to amaze me. The words being used by Officials to represent their intentions needs more accuracy and definitely more kindness. In this we can better learn about the true nature of these animal and what they need to peacefully continue to live in this complicated overlapping world with humans.

Peace, Ellie

Ellie Lamb is a bear behavior expert who has been involved in many aspects of bear conservation and safety. You can find her on her Facebook page. We hope you enjoyed Bears and Dogs.

2 thoughts on “Bears and Dogs”

    1. Great Trish. Yes, we just have to spend time seeing things from a bears perspective. Bears don’t do things irrationally. They always have a reason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow by Email