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Discussion Starter #1
This morning on the B4 work walk, Atka was tolling along next to the road and we heard a noise in the woods. Typically it is a Doe with her fawn and I tell Atka to leave it (or lie down) and then we move on.

Well, this was no fawn or doe.. I looked to see and here come two little Bear Cubs..

Atka is not a barker (thankfully) unless I give the word. To her credit she looked at me and I told her "leave it" and "lets go" and so we did. The cubbies went up a tree and looked and as tempting as it would be to watch for awhile, you know Mom is very near by. Moms with Cubs tend to be less than understanding of dogs and people. So we continued our walk without incident and when we came back by, they were gone.

I have practiced leave it and continuing with a walk a lot of times with stuff like rabbits and squirrels and deer.. this is the first time with bears...

THIS is why it is so important to me to have a dog that responds to cues and why I am so anal about following thru. Every cue must be completed every time it is asked for. A cue should be obeyed until a new cue is given, the dog dies, or is released.....
 

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ooo goodness! Glad you're safe!

I saw a video of some stupid fools who thought id be cute to feed the roly poly little bear cub they stumbled across during a hike.


not cute. *shudders*. not cute at ALL.
 

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Sometimes, Discretion is the Better part of Valor. :)

I wasn't concerned that Atka would disobey.. and she did not disappoint me. I was more concerned that if she met up with the cubs she would want to bring them home... and I doubted there Mom would want to sign the adoption papers.. (she tried to get me to adopt two cats at Petsmart yesterday).

Seriously, I was not scared or worried. I was cautious and aware.. two things that have served me well in my encounters with wild things.

People worry me way more than wildlife and statistically are way more dangerous.
 

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That is so cool. That is one of those possible life changing events that did not happen because the many hours of training paid off large. Kudos to the Elana/Atka training/working duo. Batman and Robin move over as elana and her wonder dog needed no rescuing.
 

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Good for you and Atka. I agree, commands and cues are important for everyday BECAUSE they are important in situations like this.
 

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Wow. I'm speechless.

That story makes me want to go home and start a training session right NOW.
 

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FYI to anyone who doesn't have such an obedient canine: If the dog doesn't IMMEDIATELY disengage from barking at the cubs, put as much distance between yourself and the dog as you can without running. You can come back later to collect the dog's remains.
 

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Thats great. I have no doubt Blaze would do the same. But we dont have many bears around here to test it out on (not that I want too lol) but plenty of deers, foxes, coyotes, bunnies ect that it has been tested on, and worked like a charm. training is importent. And most people do get how importent it is, until its to late.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
FYI to anyone who doesn't have such an obedient canine: If the dog doesn't IMMEDIATELY disengage from barking at the cubs, put as much distance between yourself and the dog as you can without running. You can come back later to collect the dog's remains.
This is why the "quiet" command is so important. Actually, in my dog's case (and every dog I have ever owned), barking is just not something they do much.

A Mother bear and cubs is no joke to play with. Not much cna stand up to 400 pounds of bear... (maybe RoneE's Plott Hound).

There is a huntable population of bears here in the Catskills and there is a season on them that conincides with deer season.

Often bears come through, but mostly it is young male bears. This is the first cubs I have seen and yeah.. they were pretty cute in a deadly sort of way!
 

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When Mom is protecting her cubs she is not eating the thing she is protecting them from. Typically a bear will swipe with a paw and the blow will disable the aggressor. The claws may do some ripping.

If the aggressor is able to get up, a second swipe and then biting...

Once the aggressor is no longer a threat, Mom leaves with her cubs. You get to take away the remains (as long as they aren't your own).

Even knowing this I was not afraid. My dog does as asked and we just moved on as the bear also did since the cubs were gone when we went back by 15 minutes later. The cubs were not really afraid either.. curious.. they went up the tree but not far and looked at the dog and at me. I looked and we moved on. No drama. A Hermit thrush was singing in the back ground. I love early mornings. Maybe I will see these guys again.
 

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FYI to anyone who doesn't have such an obedient canine: If the dog doesn't IMMEDIATELY disengage from barking at the cubs, put as much distance between yourself and the dog as you can without running. You can come back later to collect the dog's remains.
The problem is if the bear goes after the dog the dog will run and likely lead the bear right back to you.

The bear probably knows the dog is there, barking or not. Their sense of smell is like a dogs.

Leash the dog and as calmly as possible get out of there.
 

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I have conflicted emotions about this post- on one hand, I’m reading this thinking “Atka is incredible!!” and on the other hand I’m thinking, “Boy, I bet that even the most well trained Samoyed in the world would have ignored a handler’s call in order to chase those two bears.”

So, while I agree that solid recall IS important, I’m also humble enough to realize that that type of solidity can’t be reach by every dog, or even every breed. As a future northern breed owner, I would have never been able to have my dog off lead.
 

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I expected someone to say this. I agree, if you do not have a dog (or a breed of dog) that is this well trained, he should be leashed.

I will also say that if I ever owned a dog that I could not train to this degree, I probably would not own that dog. Funny thing is, every dog I ever owned WAS trained to that degree and only two of those were GSD's. I had others.. lab mixes, GSD/Siberian mix, Setter Mix, Standard Poodles. I never knew there were dogs, other than sight hounds, that could not be trained to this degree until I came on the DF. It was here that I learned the GSD could not be kept with cats (both mine were/are and I learned this AFTER the fact). <shrug>

Maybe I set the bar real high when I train.. and either I have been very lucky or I have been doing something right. Maybe it is because I expect the dog to do as asked and so my body language does not give away any other expectation. Maybe it is the dogs I have had to train. Maybe it is all of these or none of these.

I don't know.

I just know if I ask my dog to not chase something, she doesn't. If she is chasing and I ask her to stop she does. My dog.. not every dog. That is all I do know.
 

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The problem is if the bear goes after the dog the dog will run and likely lead the bear right back to you.
I thought about that. What do you do if the dog goes streaking by you with afterburners firing? Fact is: a blackie sow will probably not pursue the dog very far. She won't back off of any threat to her cubs (ever), but she probably won't abandon them to run down a threat that has left the scene of the crime.
 

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.... and having a dog trained to that degree makes having a dog a lot more enjoyable for dog and person. Nothing like walking around off leash with total confidence.

Having said that, seeing bears is a tough test. Bears and dogs are notorious for not liking each other, something primal.
 

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I have conflicted emotions about this post- on one hand, I’m reading this thinking “Atka is incredible!!” and on the other hand I’m thinking, “Boy, I bet that even the most well trained Samoyed in the world would have ignored a handler’s call in order to chase those two bears.”

So, while I agree that solid recall IS important, I’m also humble enough to realize that that type of solidity can’t be reach by every dog, or even every breed. As a future northern breed owner, I would have never been able to have my dog off lead.
Well the answer to the Samoyed or any dog problem is that you train, train, train and then when the moment of truth arrives such as a sit and no break stay at the curb when strange kids are yelling at the dog to come across road and there is heavy traffic zipping by. Whoops a dog doesn't get killed. I believe a few years ago I read a Samoyed had actually defended his/her owner from a Polar bear attack. I'm sure this dog wasn't trained for it but it was a different moment of truth. In closing all any training does is up the odds in the owner's favor. Let's face it elana is a training fanatic and it shows.
 

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What do you do if the dog goes streaking by you with afterburners firing?
He probably won't. He's more likely to stop either right behind you or between you and the bear.

It is sort of amusing to think of your dog disappearing thru the woods at 30 mph and leaving you there alone with the angry mom. Thanks Fido. I guess its one way to find out about your relationship with the dog, LOL.
 

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WVASKO- I appreciate the sentiment. Samoyeds did used to hunt polar bears and are very loyal dogs, but that doesn’t mean they’ll sit and stay if you ask them to, especially if there is something more they’d like to chase. Although they are the most biddable of what people consider sled dogs (which really, sammies aren’t considered sled dogs as much as they are all purpose dogs) they’re still not 100% dependable with a command like that, especially if there is something they are more interested in then your command.

Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t a Samoyed out there that would have listened to the command. Some sammies are great in obedience. However, on the whole, this is not strength of the breed’s.

It’s their nature to be independent and think for themselves. It’s why you have to KNOW your breed and your dog. Now, don’t mistake what saying. I’m a huge advocate of training. If you don’t want to train, don’t have a dog. Seriously.

However, you do have to be realistic in situations like that.

Do you all remember that post that DogStar posted about her husky? The one that had both parents in obedience and that none of the stock the dog came from had ever been used to sled?

That dog still took off and ran away the first chance it got, and she did EVERYTYHING right. Sometimes it’s just the breed. That’s why we can give breed advice- certain breeds are known for certain things.

So, I hope that people who read this post can realize that their dogs have limitations. Just because you train a dog doesn’t mean that it will do as you as when push comes to shove.

I’m glad that situation didn’t end badly for either dog or master, but it could have very quickly.
 

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I guess its one way to find out about your relationship with the dog, LOL.
If past history is a reliable indicator, my dog would sit behind me and watch while I dealt with the threat. If we're out walking, and get charged by another dog, I always put him in a sit and step out to confront the dog. With an angry bear, that would be one time I'd hope he wouldn't revert to trained behavior. It's possible that he'd be overcome by the adrenaline/testosterone dump, and square off with the bear. He is very fierce with baby bunnies, and grasshoppers, and stuff...but somehow I doubt it.

I think somebody would slip and fall on the greasy spot that used to be us.
 
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