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Considering self-sustainable living in a bear country (like the wilderness of Canada) can the dogs be used to protect animals and fruit trees against bears?

I'm reluctant to the invasive methods like electric fences that require a lot of resources and constant maintenance, or hunting down and killing bears that settle nearby, because it's their home too. But are there dog breeds that are able to cope with a bear and successfully keep it away from my territory?

I know that dogs can cope with wolves and coyotes, but brown bears are the other pair of shoes.

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    That is what dogs were (partially) bred for? Also, the dog wouldn't have to be able to physically fend off the bear, it just shouldn't be overly afraid and bark loud enough to get the message over. E.g. in Slovenia dogs are used for this purpose.
    – Erik
    Sep 21 at 8:00
  • I don't know if this will help you, or even if this technique works, but years ago I was scheduled to go on an expedition into an area with polar bears. One piece of advice I was given (and again, I have no idea if it really works) was to frequently urinate in all areas surrounding our camp to mark the territory. Sep 24 at 13:07
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    @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket I doubt it because polar bears are renown for not caring about anything that should scare them off. Sep 24 at 18:14
  • I can only comment from experience. The answer from @Mark is good. No dog or pack of dogs can handle a bear. One swipe from their claws will kill the largest and toughest breeds. The best that you can hope for is the barking will scare the bear away. Some dogs have no fear and will challenge the bear. That will result in the dog's death or a crippling injury. Sep 25 at 20:52
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I'm not aware of any dog that can go up against a brown bear and survive. Even wolves have trouble -- a brown bear can easily steal the kill from a small wolfpack. Your best option is probably a noisy dog that can alert you and let you take whatever non-lethal measures you feel are appropriate (rubber bullets, bear spray, etc.)

And be ready to follow up with lethal force: brown bears, especially the grizzly subspecies, sometimes get cranky as a result of being injured. Yellowstone National Park rangers, for example, always have someone carrying a shotgun loaded with slugs as backup for the beanbag rounds, firecracker rounds, and other non-lethal deterrents used to move bears away from the campgrounds.

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