sunnuntai 30. kesäkuuta 2013


I have been posting to my other blog things about Inaridou (soft) shiba puppies but also "real" happenings. Looking through the other blog I decided to re publish some text - as the first one a story about our Shibas meeting a mechanical bear (first published 11. August 2012) 

"Inari" - Jusei No Takayuu av Enerhaugen in action in April 2010 ©Yvonne Wuoti
The bear is Finland's national animal. It was an animal feared also in the past, but also a sacred and respected being. Of the important role of the bear in our ancient era and the soul landscape of the Finns tells also the fact that our language has for this species over two hundred different names. Europe's largest predator the brown bear remains an issue of respect where ever it is moving.

The European brown bear's length is 130-250 cm (51, 18 in -98, 43 in) and tail length is 5-15 cm (1, 97 in -5,91 in). Females weigh 90-170 kg (198, 42 lbs  to 374,79 lbs, males 95-300 kg (210 lbs - 662 pounds) . There are an estimated 900-1300 bears in our country and they are found throughout Finland except the Åland Islands. However the population is concentrated in eastern part of Finland.

"Harumi" - Ura No Namihime Go Asahi Keisukesou  and "Seita" - Dragon House Invictus  in action ©J.Puranen
In Finland there are killed each year from 60 to 80 bears. While hunting them dogs are often used to help. They are allowed to a fresh olfactory and if only possible not older than one night. A shy dog ​​refuses to follow the trace of the bear. Initially, the dogs are following a bear silently. When a dog or dogs can detect contact with the bear or the  fleeing bears fresh odor, it should start a so called stop barking or aspiring the running bear. Dogs try to get with the barking contact with each other and their pack leader. Experienced bear dogs intend to draw attention to themselves and disservice to attract his master's sight. This kind of a dog requires a lot of courage and innate skills.

Before you go bear hunting or just by chance meet a bear while walking in the forest, its wise to get your dog tested. Erik Blomqvist (kennel Rävas) and Antti Paloheimo (kennel Orismalaikan) developed a machine bear to test the dogs reactions and the working properties prior to the actual situation. "Penu" is built on a Kamchatka hunted bear, two 24-volt electric motor and tires. This standing pedestal bear can be remotely controlled from a cache.

How the test is designed

Different breeds have been tested with the bear, also other than hunting dogs.  This could be caused by the fact that the owners wish to receive further information regarding the nature of their dog and its behavior under various conditions.
"Inari" - Jusei No Takayuu av Enerhaugen in action in April 2010 ©Yvonne Wuoti

As you evaluate the behavior of your dog, it’s good to study the nature of its interpretation in different situations. Dogs with different types of character react under certain circumstances in different ways. Usually the test result refers to the nature of the dog's attitude, for example towards people and other dogs, or the activity and vibrancy of it. That behavior is part of the personality, including emotions, needs, drives, and mood. These features are often inherited and this mental form and entity of an individual are relatively constant, and the dog's behavior in different situations is to some extent predictable.

The Machine Bear “Penu” has visited various events in Finland. I have now visited it with my Shibas twice. The first time was as Inari was one year old and today we had also Harumi and Seita with us. 

The test starts when the dog tracks the bloodline of the bear and then approaches the bear. (As we attended the test two years ago this was done more carefully). A bag containing bears blood is used to make the track and finally it’s placed under the belly of the machine so as some reminding of a bear’s winter nest. Initially, the bear is standing still, but as the dog has detected the bear, the bear starts to move. At this point, about a third of the dogs gets scared and simply escapes while others start to bark. Dog behaviour is valuated and the  scores are given using different evaluation angels like its ability to find the trace, attitude towards the bear, courage and the barking work, willingness to  bite, agility and  moving as well as toughness and tenacity. However, only a third of dogs tested reach with their performance enough points to get a diploma. Dogs receiving a diploma get scores from 60-65 points. Top dogs who are very fierce get 70-75 points but Erik Blomqvist does not remember that there has ever been tested a dog who got over 80-points. The toughest breed in the experiment the dogs are often gray Norwegian moose dogs, some of which even the bravest of snappy bear fur or hind paw.

"Seita" - Dragon House Invictus  in action ©Jari Puranen

Working-and Review score based on the Russian Bear chain tests. The chain test is made with a running wire connected to a living bear. It is allowed in Russia, but the Finnish Kennel Club and members of the hunting dog organizations are not allowed to participate in those tests. I-Master (90 points) will be given if the dog bites furiously, II-Master (80 points) to a very brave dog that snaps at the bear and III-Master to the dog that has clear intentions of biting. Only a handful of dog meets these points. Much more common is that the dog gets a so called nest diploma, which is given from herding the bear.  Nest-name is used, therefore, that the Russians have always hunted the bear from its winter nest and then it will take dogs that will bark at nest, keep a wounded bear still or prevent the bear attacking the hunters. If the dog does not try to bite the machine bear, it is not afraid to live than a bear bite.

A good bear dog is one that is circulating, and shepherds by barking at the bear and has the courage to even a bit it. Antti Paloheimo points out, however, that snapping to bite the bear or even only herding dogs are just as good. It's just different types of dogs. Totally fearless, aggressive dogs that would attack the bear are not desirable, because in a real situation the dog’s behaviour would only be a great risk.  At test session with us was also a small German hunting terrier, which was immediately attached to the bear's throat and hung like hammer and tongs. The type of work does not give any points, because if the dog actually tries to bite the bear in front of the blades, it is the real situation very soon dead dog!

Our Shiba´s results

Inari had (as tested 2010) 52 points, but I was very pleased with her activities. She followed nicely the track just after considering some seconds started to bark at the bear. Inari score was decreased by the fact that she did not continue to bark relentlessly and incessantly. When the bear was moving Inari barked, and when the bear was standing, Inari was quiet. I've noticed in everyday life that Inari to goes directly towards the danger, but I value my dog ​​feature that she will stop if the threat to calms down. Seita and Harumi bark more intensely in other situations as well, so it was not a surprise that they did that also as tested with the bear. As said, some results reflect very much to the every day manners of the dog.

If desired, the owner can also test how two dogs cooperate. This will not be given points or diploma but it gives very useful information.  Seita and Harumi barked more intensely but they also kept more distance from the bear.  It was really interesting to watch how Seita and Harumi worked together keeping the bear in between them almost throughout the test. We visit very often forest areas where there have been spotted bears so I’m very happy about their behavior with the Shiba as they met the mechanical bear and feel good that we have tested them. 

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