10+ Dogs That Can Fight Bears (And Protect You From Them 2023)

There’s that saying a dog is a man’s best friend, and that cannot be truer in the face of danger. A well-loved dog will throw itself at a threat to protect you. But coming face-to-face with a bear is completely different from other dangers. The strong and vicious animal is extremely dangerous, and even having a dog with you may not help. But there are some dogs who are better suited for this task and can fight bears to protect you.

A dog, no matter how big or strong, cannot actually fight a bear and win. But they can bark and pose as a protector to make the bear go away. The constant resistance might drive the bear away and save your and your dog’s lives. So, here are 10+ dogs that can fight bears and protect you from them.

What Dog Can Kill a Grizzly Bear?

No dog can kill a Grizzly Bear in a one-on-one battle. But there are some dogs, like the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, the Karelian Bear Dog, and the Akita, that were used in the past to hunt bears. These dogs are large and powerful and can hold off against a bear to get you enough time to get away. But they won’t be able to kill it.

What Are the Best Dogs for Protection against Bears?

The best dogs for protection against bears would be livestock guarding dogs (LGD), like the Kangal Shepherd, Tibetan Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, etc. These dogs are not only huge and strong, but they are also very smart and can make independent decisions. These dogs are also very loyal and would fight the bear to the best of their strength.

10+ Dogs That Can Fight Bears (And Protect You from Them)

1. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

Let’s start off the list of dogs that can fight bears with the Tibetan Mastiff. The dog breed is large in size and weighs about 45 – 68 kg (100 – 150 lbs.). They are efficient livestock guarding dogs, protecting flocks from large predators like bears.

Tibetan mastiffs are also very stubborn and strong-willed and need patient training to keep in check. They are pretty independent in nature and can be aloof at times. But these pets are also very loyal and protective, particularly towards children.

  • Size: male: 66 – 76 centimeters (26 – 30 inches); female: 61 – 71 centimeters (24 – 28 inches)
  • Lifespan: 12 –15 years
  • Origin: Tibet

2. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are huge, weighing somewhere around 45 – 54 kg (100 – 120 lbs.). These dogs used to serve as bear-hunting dogs and guard dogs in the past. 

Their sharp intellect and devotion make them particularly good companions. Don’t let their imposing size fool you, as these dogs are very calm and gentle.

Caucasian shepherd dogs are also very fierce defenders and can fight off large animals like bears. Nowadays, these dogs guard prisons in Russia.

  • Size: male: 72 – 75 centimeters (28 – 30 inches); female: 67 – 70 centimeters (26 – 28 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Circassia

3. Karelian Bear Dog

Karelian Bear Dog
Karelian Bear Dog

Hailing from Finland, the Karelian Bear Dogs are temperamental dogs that show aggression toward other animals. But they are affectionate and loyal toward their masters and family. They are very good at hunting and used to hunt big animals like bears, wild boars, and moose. 

Their possessive and aggressive nature would be assets while facing bears. They let their masters know when a stranger animal is nearby and attack ferociously against predators. They are also quiet on their feet which helps them launch surprise attacks against bears and such.

  • Size: male: 54 – 60 centimeters (21 – 23 inches); female: 49 – 55 centimeters (19 – 22 inches)
  • Lifespan: 11 – 13 years
  • Origin: Finland

4. American & Japanese Akita

American Akita

Another great choice for bear-fighting dogs is the Akita. The breed is famous for its powerful structure and hunting ability. They’re rather temperamental and possessive. They are also great hunters and were used to hunting bears in Japan in the past.

The Akita is fairly big and very strong, which makes it a great protection against a bear. In the past, the Akita used to hunt bears in pairs, one male and one female. The male’s job was to distract the bear so that the female could bite and hold it until the hunter arrived.

  • Size: male: 64 – 71 centimeters (25 – 28 inches); female: 58 – 66 centimeters (23 – 26 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: Japan

5. Kangal Shepherd Dog

Kangal Shepherd Dog

Kangal Shepherd Dog is a livestock guarding dog breed that protects sheep from big-sized predators like bears and wolves and even from lions and cheetahs. They are very strong, weighing around 41 – 59 kg (90 – 130 lbs.). Their comparatively lower weight gives them better speed and agility.

Kangals are very good at alarming their owners of any imminent threat. In the face of danger, which is bear in this case, these dogs will prioritize their masters and the sheep and place themselves between them and the danger.

  • Size: male: 70 – 80 centimeters (28 – 31 inches); female: 63 – 75 centimeters (25 – 30 inches)
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Origin: Turkey

6. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino is another great example of a dog that can fight bears. This breed of dog was developed in Argentina to serve as game hunting dogs. They can hunt big game like bears and wild boars, thanks to their muscular body and athletic nature.

Dogo Argentinos are very brave and loyal and train as rescue dogs, police assistants, and service dogs. Its ferocity and strength are great assets when protecting its master or family.

  • Size: male: 60 – 68 centimeters (24 – 27 inches); female: 60 – 65 centimeters (24 – 26 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Origin: Argentina

7. Presa Canario

Presa Canario
Presa Canario

If you ever, unfortunately, end up encountering a bear, having a Presa Canario with you would give you a chance to come back unharmed. These large catch dogs are very strong, having an average weight of 45 – 68 kg (100 – 150 lbs.). They are incredible at guarding, game-hunting, and livestock-protecting dogs.

The Presa Canario used to fight in dog fights and also served as herding dogs for cattle and sheep. They are very intuitive and aware, sensing danger very quickly. The dogs are also very stubborn and possessive of their owners and family. 

  • Size: male: 58 – 66 centimeters (23 – 26 inches); female: 56 – 64 centimeters (22 – 25 inches)
  • Lifespan: 8 – 12 years
  • Origin: Canary Islands

8. Boerboel


The Boerboel is a breed of Mastiffs originating in South Africa. The huge dog weighs about 68 – 91 kg (150 – 200 lbs.) and serves as a guard dog. As a cross-breed of mastiffs and bulldogs, Boerboel has well-developed bone and muscle structures. It’s very strong and intelligent, making it perfect for protection.

Boerboel used to serve as game-hunting dogs, especially big game. While working in packs, they are dangerous and can even fight leopards and baboons. Their skill and strength in fights will give them an edge when facing a bear. 

  • Size: male: 64 – 70 centimeters (25 – 28 inches), female: 59 – 65 centimeters (23 – 26 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: South Africa

9. Cane Corso

Cane Corso
Cane Corso

If you’re looking for a dog who is as strong as it is affectionate, then Cane Corso is your answer. The Italian dog is fiercely loyal and loves its owner more than anything. Its big size and square face might come off as dangerous, but they are very loving and protective.

In the past, Cane Corso used to serve as big-game hunting dogs, targeting animals like bears and boars. They are also very good as herding and service dogs. Their loving nature also makes them great companions. 

  • Size: male: 62 – 70 centimeters (24 – 28 inches); female: 58 – 66 centimeters (23 – 26 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: Italy

10. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees

A breed of livestock guardian dogs, the Great Pyrenees protects the sheep from big predators like bears and wolves. The dogs of this breed are huge and weigh about 55 – 75 kg (121 – 125 lbs.) which is an advantage if they ever encounter a bear.

Not only that, but they are also very loyal and protective and wouldn’t leave you in the face of danger. The Great Pyrenees are intelligent and independent in nature, which is another reason for this breed to be such great guardian dogs. 

  • Size: male: 70 – 82 centimeters (28 – 32 inches); female: 65 – 74 centimeters (26 – 29 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: France, Spain

11. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is the last on our list of dogs that can fight bears but certainly not for their ferocity. The dog is large and strong and was specifically bred for hunting and pulling sleds. This breed is similar to the Siberian Husky but is bigger in size and more ferocious in nature.

Because of their huge size, Alaskan malamutes are good for hunting big animals like bears. Having this dog with you in the face of a bear significantly increases your chance of getting away unharmed. And while these dogs are aggressive against prey, they are also very affectionate to their masters. 

  • Size: male: 61 – 66 centimeters (24 – 26 inches); female: 56 – 61 centimeters (22 – 24 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Origin: Alaska

Fighting a bear is a scary prospect, but these dogs, with their immense love and loyalty, will not hesitate to antagonize one to protect you. If you give your dog enough love and training, they will be your fiercest protectors.

So, if you’re planning on exploring the wilderness, don’t forget to bring one of these dogs with you. With that, we’ll conclude our list of 10+ dogs that can fight bears. Don’t forget to look at our other articles if you’re interested in animals.


Wikipedia, Daily Paws, Japan Powered, The Spruce Pets, Vedantu

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