Continuing with some more stories remembering our awesome LGD Tundra…
Before we moved to Willow Creek Farm we lived in a little cabin on a small plot of land and had chickens and meat rabbits. The bear traffic in that area was constant from May through the end of October. We had at least one come through our property every night, and in the fall we saw them at all hours of the day. They were mostly looking for garbage, and would always give our bear-proof dumpster a try before moving on. One particular bear had decided that since we wouldn’t let him at our garbage, he wanted our chickens.
Living in the Rockies, Mtn Man has always done a very excellent job at building our livestock housing as solid and bear-proof as possible. Nothing is ever totally bear-proof, they are very strong. But most of the time they are not desperate enough to try very hard or for very long. Our chicken coop at that house has an exterior pen that had wire sides and a wire roof. There was also wire buried for a foot out from the pen walls so nothing could dig in. Two trees acted as corner posts for the end of the run, the other end hooked to the coop.
This particular bear was probably a 2-year-old. Not fully grown, but still pretty darn big. Tundra was not a big dog as far as LGDs go. He only weighed in at 55 lbs. But he had a big presence when it came to protecting the livestock and would go after predators viciously and as if he thought he was a 150 lb dog.
We were inside at about 8 in the morning and we heard Tundra go crazy with both his alarm bark and a vicious snarling/fighting sound. Mtn Man ran out to see what was going on. As I approached the back door Mtn Man stuck his head back in, saying “You have to see this…Tundra has a bear treed!”
Sure enough, the bear had been trying to get to the chickens and Tundra had treed him in one of the trees that served as the corner post for the run. We let Tundra bark and jump at the bottom of the tree for awhile, with us encouraging him, to try to haze the bear a bit. Then we put him indoors and went inside ourselves to watch out the window. The bear waited a few minutes, then climbed down and ran away in a hurry.
We didn’t have any more trouble with that bear and the chickens.
At Willow Creek Farm Tundra had plenty of run-ins with bears as well, but all of them occurred at night through the walls of the barn. The bears in this area like to try to break into the barn at night. Tundra was always closed into one or the other of the stalls. The bears would listen to where he was barking from and then would try to break into the other stall – the door that he wasn’t right behind. Thankfully though, his barking always wakes us up, so when that would happen Mtn Man would go out and chase the bear off. Without Tundra’s barking at them when they tried to break in I am afraid we definitely would have lost some livestock to bears over the years because we wouldn’t have heard the barking and woken up to go chase the bear off.
Tundra was small, but a mighty bear-dog.