Susan Braden - Breeder Of The Karelian Bear Dogs
& The Norrbottenspets
a Karelian Bear Dog for you?
First I want to make something very clear, just because
this breed has in it’s name, “bear dog” does not always mean every Karelian
will have the bear sense gene, which is the aggressiveness that is needed to
work bears. Very few Breeders of the Karelian Bear Dog have the chance to
show a live bear to their dogs, therefore that aggressiveness and correct
work on the bear is difficult to guarantee in every individual pup they
sell. That is why field tests and selective breeding may maintain this
quality in the Karelian Dear Dog. Karelians are not attack dogs! They are
considered an alert dog that protects, not a guard dog.
Karelian Bear Dogs are hunting dogs, you may be a non
hunter, but they are always a hunter. You can not take away the prey drive
instincts they have for chasing prey. Their keen senses are always at work,
constantly searching and analyzing the scents that are around them.
Karelians are working dogs. These dogs are usually
territorial, strong, and confident. They need a strong confident leader to
master their temperament. They primarily were used for their abilities to
hunt and or track game for humans using their sight and smell. *These dogs
require non-traditional training techniques as movement or scent easily
Karelians get along very well with other dogs if raised
together. However most are territorial and would not allow strange dogs to
come close to their house. The Karelians love everyone in the family, and
are absolutely reliable with children, They can be trained and taught to
tolerate other animals around the home, including chickens and cats. Human
aggressive Karelians are the results of irresponsible breeders and or poor
breeding ethics, stay away from them.
You need to ask yourself if you are getting a Karelian
for the right reasons. Most people like the novelty of owning a bear dog,
but are not willing to put the hours and devotion that it takes into
training and exercising a hunting dog. You have to know what this breed is
all about so you will know how to work with it’s instincts and not against
Tell your Breeder what kind of environment you live in,
why you are wanting a bear dog, how much time you have for bonding and
training, what other animals you have living with you, how many people live
in your home, will the dog run freely, how close are your neighbors, and any
other information you think they need to know. Then the Breeder should
evaluate all your information, and decide if a karelian is right for you.
Breeders who love and know their breeds will make the right decision in
honor of their pups.
Please do your part as a responsible pet owner and
research this breed before you adopt.
*I want to give some advise and share my opinions in
these short quotes, these are based on my years and experience of raising
and training Karelians:
Karelians are a free spirit animal.
You need to take the time to learn how to read their
body language, and to get into their heads.
They usually don’t mature until 2 years of age or
They need to be fed a nutritious diet, given lots of
exercise, and allowed time to be free to hunt and explore.
You need to bring them into your home, and teach them
the pecking order in your clan, them being the bottom of the order, or they
You need to research and study the stage development
and behaviors of puppies while they are going through their growth stages.
Know what he/she is going through, and how to help and train them during
Never raise two pups together, they will bond with each
other and not with you.
Do not give the command, “come” to your dog when
she/he is walking or running in the opposite direction.
Karelians come when they want to.
Karelians have selective hearing.
Karelians can easily jump a 6ft. fence.
Never underestimate the intelligence of a Karelian.
They will chew up at least one time, one of your most
favorite or valuable items.
You will say at least a dozen times, “What was I
thinking getting another Karelian?”
You will never meet a more challenging dog in your
Once you have owned a Karelian, there is no other breed
You either will love them or hate them, no in betweens.
Karelians are unique and have many amazing antics.
Karelians need a job!
Karelians learn quickly that their owner has no control
over them when off leash.
Stop yelling come, come, come, at your dog without
backing up the first command with some form of control, only conditions the
dog to ignore you.
Female Karelians have a higher prey drive, are a little
more persistent (hard headed), their perimeter around you when in the
outdoors is further out.
Karelians become anxious when you leave them behind,
they get upset, and may chew or dig things up.
A Karelian with no training is a dog placed in a
A Karelian can bark for hours and even days at a
squirrel in a tree.
I know all this mostly through trial and error. I have
trained many Karelians for various duties, I keep my dog trainer’s number on
Ask for help.
It makes no difference to the purebred Karelian or to
the mixed Karelian what their papers read, they just care that they are
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