'If the dog wasn't there, the bear may have caused more damage to her.'
Jack Russell terriers are dogs that were bred to hunt. They’re also extremely stubborn, prone to fits of uncontrollable barking and need a lot of exercise. They may seem like a lot of trouble but they are so loving that their intensity is easy to forgive.
Jack Russells have such an innate desire to hunt that Hill’s Pet Nutrition says that the “instinct cannot be trained out of the breed.” In fact, the Jack Russell terrier in the story we’re about to share was so fearless that it was able to chase off a black bear.
Now, that’s a stubborn and brave pooch.
The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reported that on August 20, Susan Lee, 61, was walking her Jack Russell terrier and labradoodle on a trail at her Strafford property when she noticed she was being watched by a black bear.
Imagine how frightening it must be to feel a bear staring at you.
Lee tripped on a stone and the bear charged, jumped on top of her and bit her leg. Her Jack Russell terrier could have run, but instead, it stayed right beside her and barked at the bear. The bear backed down and walked away into the woods. Lee was able to run away and was followed to safety by her two dogs.
The dog must have put on a pretty impressive display of yapping to drive the bear away. A black bear can weigh up to 660 pounds and a Jack Russell terrier won’t get much larger than 17.
Game Warden Sgt. Jeffrey Whipple, who responded to the incident, told USA Today that the dog performed “some ninja-like moves” to avoid the bear.
"If I were to predict what would have happened if the dog wasn't there, the bear may have caused more damage to her," he said. "But most likely, when she was knocked down and was out of the fight, the bear would have got off of her and retreated."
Sgt. Whipple and Bear Biologist Jaclyn Comeau inspected the area where the attack occurred and concluded that the bear was a female with cubs and was startled by Lee and the two dogs.
It’s estimated that there are between 4,600 and 5,700 black bears in the state of Vermont.
“Bear attacks are extremely rare in Vermont,” said Comeau, adding that the department only has records of three black bear attacks in the state. “However, at this time of year black bears are moving in family units and mothers will be protective of their cubs. If confronted by a bear it is essential to remain calm and back away slowly, and to fight back immediately if attacked.”
The Jack Russell terrier probably found it impossible to stay calm.
Lee was given a ride to the hospital where she was treated for the bite wound and a few cuts resulting from the attack. The dogs weren’t hurt in the incident. There’s no word on what happened to the bear.