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281 – Karelian Bear Dogs Saving Lives in Washington | Pure Dog Talk

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Karelian Bear Dogs Saving Lives in Washington

Nick Jorg is an officer in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife who works with Karelian Bear Dogs to manage bears and large predators in a non-lethal way.

The Wildlife Service Dog (WSD) Program was established to provide an additional non-lethal option for resolving conflicts between humans and potentially dangerous wildlife.  WSDs and their handlers respond to such conflicts.  They also educate and assist citizens to reduce future conflicts.

Five working Karelian Bear Dogs are helping investigate poaching cases, providing a deterrent to bears growing a little too comfortable with civilization, and even assisting police in a homicide investigation.

The Karelian bear dog has been bred and used for centuries by hunters and farmers in Finland and Russia, but today they fill a unique role with the department. Among their many jobs:

  • Responding to complaints of problem bears and mountain lions throughout Washington.
  • Assisting in “hard releases,” a non-lethal process designed to restore a bear’s natural fear of humans.
  • Detecting and locating poached wildlife and other evidence.
  • Visiting schools and public events around the state to help share WDFW’s mission.

“The Karelian Bear Dog Program is 100 percent supported by private donations. Because this is a budget-neutral program, no funds are paid from the WDFW agency budget. By donating today, you can help support the mission of these hardworking dogs.”

To make a donation, send a check or money order to:
16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
Mill Creek, WA 98012

For more information:


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