Contributors to this thread:
Dogs? - Cougar & Bear vs. Cat only
Any thoughts on dogs that run Cougars only versus hounds that run both Bear & Cougar?
Is a "cat only" dog likely to be better for cougars? ... or is a bear/cat dog more versatile and actually better.
I realize that either way, they usually get turned out on a specific track and their job is following that track. I am a dog guy, so I am well aware of the difference of individual dogs and their abilities and skills, or lack thereof.
Inquiring minds would like the thoughts of more experienced cat hunters.
We mainly ran cats but had no problems on bears. Like you said they follow what they are turned out on. I believe if a dog can run a cat it can catch any bear. That being said I don't feel the same about a bear dog catching cats as good as a cat dog. Mainly because bear sent is much stronger.
In Montana were I live you can't run bears but twice over the years my dogs found bears that were in there dens. the bear season was long over But the dogs didn't know that and both times the bears were in the dens
I have a buddy that is a serious houndsman. He has he runs his dogs both for cats here in Montana and bears in Idaho. In his words it takes a far "grittier" dog for bears. Bear races sometimes go for 20 miles or more. With large bears rarely treein. Prefering to fight.. Lions are easy.. Irronically he says a bobcat is far better challenge than a lion. He usually trees over 30 cats a season... several jobs and numerous bears.
svrelk said it as good as it can be said. Lions are easy. Bobcats are tough to catch. Don't have any experience with bears.
I can tell you that what I saw firsthand at Skinner Creek in BC, those bear dogs were as "gritty" as they come. I know some of his hounds run both. I'd ask Doug from Skinner Creek and he can definitely shed some light.
Guys here in WI that have bear dogs seem very successful when they go out west after lions. They say the hardest part is for them to get around due to altitude and terrain. As far as bobcats, they are easy to tree/bay here. Those chases frequently only last minutes.
I have been told the same thing that svrelk states by guys that run both Lions and Bears almost verbatim.
Bears take way more grit. Any dog will catch a lion. For those of you that say a good cat dog will catch every bear have not caught very many bears. There are two things I would never own, a lion hound and a coon hound. If you have spent much time hunting small cats and bear you would know what I mean. I look for dogs that always want to catch game on the ground and run to do so. If you are trailing a bear 20 miles plus you need more dogs that will get in front and stop the bear. People make the mistake of having dogs that are content to stay behind the bear only stopping the bear when the bear chooses. Every dog in my kennel has to run lion, lynx and bear or they don't stay around to long.
Ghostbird, Make sure if you are looking for a bear dog you get a real bear dogs, there are lots that look good in a pack but not alone on a mean bear.