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Bear Hunting Dog Breeds – Rugged Hounds Built to Chase Down Mighty Bears Full Guide of 2024

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bear hunting dog breedsWhen bear hunting, you need a brave, tenacious breed with superior tracking prowess and stamina.

The gritty Plott Hound excels at rugged scent detection and tireless pursuit.

Treeing Walker Coonhounds are rapid hot-trailers, thriving in coordinated packs.

Focused English Coonhounds (Redtick) steadily cold-trail bears.

The brave Karelian Bear Dog pairs loyalty with intense hunting drive.

Versatile Bluetick Coonhounds combine independence, treeing ability, and pack skills.

Evaluating pedigrees, testing temperaments, and tracing hunting lineages guarantee you select the ultimate bear hunting dog breed.

Want to learn more about these remarkable canine athletes?

Key Takeaways

  • Plott Hounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds, English Coonhounds (Redtick), and Karelian Bear Dogs are renowned for their exceptional tracking abilities, stamina, and courage, making them ideal for bear hunting.
  • Characteristics such as grit, relentless endurance, scent detection prowess, pack dynamics, and a high hunting drive are crucial for bear hunting dogs.
  • Proper evaluation of pedigrees, temperament testing, and tracing hunting lineages are essential when selecting a bear hunting dog puppy.
  • While bear hunting dogs possess remarkable hunting skills, they require experienced owners who can handle their intense energy levels and provide appropriate training and socialization.

Plott Hounds

Plott Hounds
You can’t go wrong with a Plott hound if you’re looking for a bear dog with seemingly limitless stamina and the grit to stay on track no matter how challenging the terrain. Their superior scenting abilities and relentless tracking instincts make them a formidable choice for chasing down mighty bears.

Gritty Temperament

These gritty Plotts won’t back down from a challenge. Their courageous nature is threefold:

  1. Tough as nails
  2. Fearless in the face of danger
  3. Loyal partners to the end

Whether chasing down a coon or tenaciously treeing a bear, these rugged hounds tackle any trail with an unwavering drive that epitomizes true grit. Their iron will and bulldog tenacity make Plotts the ultimate bear hunting companion.

Superior Tracking Ability

You’ll be amazed by the Plott’s scent detection abilities on various terrains. These trackers undergo endurance testing, ensuring they can track bears relentlessly. By studying pack dynamics and implementing specialized training methods, Plotts develop skills rivaling bloodhounds, coonhounds, foxhounds, and running walkers – making them formidable bear hunting companions.

Infinite Stamina

You’ll need a bear dog with infinite stamina like the Plott. These dogs possess:

  1. Relentless endurance
  2. Fatigue tolerance beyond belief
  3. Supreme physical prowess
  4. Unwavering determination

The Plott’s athleticism allows it to tirelessly pursue bears over rugged terrain. Bred for generations by legends like Penny’s English Coonhounds and Kemp Walkers, the Plott’s stamina is unmatched among bear hunting dogs.

Treeing Walker Coonhounds

Treeing Walker Coonhounds
If you seek a bear hunting dog that can race swiftly and locate a fresh trail with its acute nose, consider the Treeing Walker Coonhound. These hounds were bred for agility and stamina, enabling them to pursue bears tirelessly while barking to indicate their whereabouts; moreover, their innate pack instinct ensures they collaborate effectively as a team.

Bred for Speed

The Treeing Walker, bred explicitly for speed, shines among bear hounds. These energetic dogs have incredible endurance, allowing them to tirelessly pursue bears over vast distances. With the right GPS equipment and training regimen, you’ll marvel at their relentless speed and stamina, reminiscent of breeds like the borzoi and Rhodesian ridgeback. Kemp Walkers exemplify this breed’s talent.

Hot-Nosed Trailing

You’ll appreciate their hot-nosed trailing ability – these pooches are experts at scent detection and cold trailing. When that redtick or Karelian bear dog hits a hot track, you’ll witness true nose power in action. Treeing Walkers from Penny’s English Coonhounds excel at scent tracking, rapidly closing the distance to their quarry.

Pack Oriented

You’ll appreciate the pack dynamics of Treeing Walkers. These hounds hunt as a cohesive unit, with a clear leadership hierarchy and coordinated strategies. Pack size impacts their vocal communication and tracking ability. Like the Tibetan Mastiff or Dogo Argentino, they thrive in a group setting, making them ideal for breeders like Plott Ridge Kennels.

English Coonhounds (Redtick)

English Coonhounds (Redtick)
Regarding bear hunting, you can’t make a mistake with an English Coonhound, particularly the redtick variety. Their intense concentration and relentless chase make them exceptional trackers, while their amiable demeanor guarantees they collaborate effectively within a pack and with their human companions.

Strong Focus

Just like those irrepressible Walkers, you’ll find Redticks are similarly possessed of laser-focused intensity when on the scent. This breed’s confident loyalty and vocal hunting style make them formidable bear hunters – though be warned, their stubborn independence and protective aggression demand trainable grit to channel effectively.

Sociable Nature

On top of their strong focus, you’ll love the sociable nature of English Coonhounds. These dogs:

  1. Bond closely with their owners
  2. Get along well with children
  3. Play nicely with other pets
  4. Remain friendly with strangers

Their amiable personalities make training and socialization a breeze. With proper guidance, they excel at bear control and big game hunting while staying ever the loyal companion.

Cold Trailing Ability

You’ll also appreciate their cold trailing ability – these hounds can steadily track a bear’s scent on foot, nosing along at a steady pace and building stamina as they go. Their cold noses and tireless tracking let them pursue bears relentlessly, trailing that scent until they’ve found their quarry.

Karelian Bear Dogs

Karelian Bear Dogs
You won’t find a more brave and loyal bear dog than the Karelian Bear Dog. With its exceptional holding power and high drive, this breed will relentlessly pursue and bay a bear until you arrive, making it an invaluable asset on any bear hunt.

Brave and Loyal

You’ll find the Karelian Bear Dog is a loyal companion and fearless hunter. Their instinctive tracking and protective guardian nature make them well-suited for bear hunting. These enduring hounds display:

  1. Brave temperament
  2. Unwavering focus
  3. Strong willed determination

Bred for centuries to hunt bears, the Karelian’s loyalty and courage are unmatched.

Holding Power

You want a bear dog with serious holding power. A Karelian’s tenacity can awe even veteran hunters. Imagine your hound baying, locked on that bruin, refusing to yield. You creep in, heart pounding as that snarling beast pivots towards you. That’s when you want a dog with the fortitude to hang on, no matter what.

Tenacity Endurance Courage Commitment
Unrelenting Tireless Dauntless Unwavering
Persistent Indefatigable Fearless Dedicated

High Drive

You’ll find the Karelian bear dog’s high drive coupled with an independent personality a formidable asset on the hunt. Their focused persistence and hunting aggression make them relentless trackers, yet their loyal companionship and temperament stability guarantee a trusty partner in the field.

Bluetick Coonhounds

Bluetick Coonhounds
You can’t go wrong with the versatile bluetick coonhound as your bear-hunting companion. With their independent nature and innate treeing instinct, these determined hounds excel at hot pursuit and cold trailing, making them ideal for tackling the rugged terrain and elusive quarry of bear hunting.

Versatile Hunters

While Karelian bear dogs excel at holding, you also need versatile hunters with adaptability. Bluetick coonhounds are multi-purpose hounds possessing the stamina, resilience, agility, and determination for a successful bear chase. Their cold noses and treeing ability complement the pack perfectly, making them indispensable allies on the rugged trail.

Independent Nature

You’ll find blueticks are quite the independent thinkers, with a headstrong nature that can border on stubborn at times. It’s that free-spirited attitude that makes them such versatile hunters, able to work solo or with a pack. Don’t mistake their aloofness for a lack of ability – these hounds know how to get the job done.

Treeing Instinct

You’ll be impressed by the bluetick’s treeing instinct – it scents a bear and trails with tenacity until cornering its quarry against a tree. Its tracking prowess and hunting stamina are unparalleled, and it works seamlessly in a pack, communicating and traversing the wilderness with environmental awareness. A bluetick is a bear hunter’s invaluable ally.

Choosing a Bear Dog Puppy

Choosing a Bear Dog Puppy
When selecting a bear dog puppy, you’ll want to meticulously assess the lineage, guaranteeing both progenitors originate from established hunting lineages possessing the sought-after attributes. Character assessments should also be undertaken, as you’ll require a courageous, determined pup with a keenness to pursue and corner bears.

Pedigree Evaluation

When choosing a bear dog pup, you must evaluate its lineage. Study the:

A strong lineage guarantees the pup inherits the desired traits of a fearless, driven bear hound.

Temperament Testing

After evaluating the pup’s pedigree, you’ll want to observe its temperament. Test for boldness, assess aggression levels, and evaluate independence – essential for bear dogs. Socialization strategies should also be considered, as pack dynamics play a role.

Boldness Testing Aggression Assessment Socialization Strategies
Loud Noises Food Guarding Tests Controlled Exposure
Novel Objects Bite Inhibition Positive Reinforcement
Startle Responses Warning Displays Pack Bonding
Restraint Tests Behavior Displacement Boundary Setting

Hunting Lineage

You want a pup from bear hunting stock. Look for:

  • Proven hunting history in the bloodline
  • Healthy, athletic parents with sound temperaments
  • Breeders who prioritize exercise and mental stimulation
  • A socialized pup ready for the demanding life of a bear dog

Bear hunting demands the best. Settle for nothing less when selecting your future companion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much do bear hunting dogs typically cost?

Brace yourself, the cost can be steep – good bear hunting dogs don’t come cheap. You’re looking at $500 to $1,500 for a quality pup from a reputable breeder. But remember, these dogs are bred for grit, endurance, and the relentless pursuit of bears – priceless traits in the field.

What are the grooming requirements for bear dogs?

You’ll want to brush your bear dogs regularly to remove loose fur and debris. Trim their nails as needed and check their ears for any buildup or irritation. Proper grooming guarantees their comfort and prevents issues like matting or infections.

Do bear dogs make good family pets?

Let’s get this straight – bear dogs aren’t your typical family pet. With their high-energy and single-minded focus, they’re more suited for experienced owners who can handle their intense drive and need for rigorous exercise.

At what age can bear dogs begin training?

You’ll want to start bear dog training around 8-10 weeks old. Early obedience and socialization lays a strong foundation for their future hunting career. Be patient, consistent, and make training fun to nurture their drive and prey instincts.

How long is the average lifespan of a bear dog?

Like a loyal hunting companion, bear dogs’ lifespans can stretch like a tenacious trail, ranging from 8-12 years with proper care and nutrition.


After securing your footwear, discovering the ideal bear hunting canine companion to share your thrilling endeavors is essential.

With their unwavering determination, these rugged hounds were meticulously bred to pursue and capture formidable bears.

From gritty Plotts to swift Walkers and dedicated Redticks, these dogs possess the endurance, motivation, and tracking expertise to guarantee successful wilderness adventures.

By scrutinizing lineages and exploring hunting histories, you’ll choose a canine partner with the necessary traits.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.