What Is a Tahltan Bear Dog?


Quick Answer

The Tahltan bear dog was a breed of dog developed for hunting black bear by the Tahltan First Nations people, an ethnic group residing in what is now British Colombia. The dog is no longer recognized by any breed registry and is considered extinct.

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Full Answer

Tahltan bear dogs were fox-sized animals with upright ears, a bushy, rounded tail and dark fur. They tracked game and held it at bay until human hunters came in for the kill with spears or arrows. Along with bear, they were also used to hunt elk and beaver. Because they were so small and light, they could run over thin snow crust without breaking through and were carried by their owners over wide expanses when hunting game. The last two officially registered Tahltan bear dogs disappeared in the 1970s with no record of their death. Since the late 1990s, breeders have sold similar-looking dogs as Tahltan bear dogs, drawing ire as the animals have little to no blood from the original breed.

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