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Best LGD breed for bears - bees, apples, and kids?

 
Aaron Althouse
Posts: 22
Location: Shine, WA - Zone 8b
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Hi there, I'm looking for some input on the best breed of dog for protecting our orchard, bees, and our kids (not in that order of course!) from a clan of black bears who visit us each fall. I attached a recent shot of one of the juveniles coming from the apple orchard this past fall. We've seen the sow and as many as 3 cubs in the past year. We'd like to let them roam where they want, but we have a neighbor who thinks it's a good idea to put food out so she can get some pictures or something. :/

Thanks!

Aaron

(Edited for image upload issues)
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[Thumbnail for 12-1-2014 9-27-51 PM.png]
da bear
 
Jan Dohner
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Posts: 39
Location: Michigan
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Bears are serious business and a big job for dogs to handle if the bears are aggressively going after stock. LGDs do discourage bears because they will bark furiously at them (giving you an alert as well), and LGDs will charge them - both actions will discourage them from crossing fences. Large mowed and cleared buffer zones around pastures and other farm or human areas will also help. Electric fencing and noisemaking devices are also good a negative conditioning. Your best best is a combination of all these. And I would really consider two LGDs if your neighborhood bears pressure you.
 
Aaron Althouse
Posts: 22
Location: Shine, WA - Zone 8b
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Thanks Jan! I appreciate the insight. I hadn't thought about noise makers, and I can see now how a combo approach can work. I have a basic e-fence around my apiary, but it's expanding in the spring. Nice to hear from ya!

-AA
 
Jan Dohner
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Location: Michigan
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We are beekeepers too! We have placed livestock panels around the two areas where our hives are located in pastures, as an extra barrier for stock and predators.
 
Aaron Althouse
Posts: 22
Location: Shine, WA - Zone 8b
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Yes, from what I can tell, livestock panels appear to be the best way to go. Do they present just a physical barrier, or are they electrified?
 
Jan Dohner
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Location: Michigan
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We don't electrify them since we don't have bears, but you certainly can. We don't want the LGDs and the sheep or goats knocking a hive over.
 
Aaron Althouse
Posts: 22
Location: Shine, WA - Zone 8b
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Oh! Makes sense - lol. Thanks again for the information!
 
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