Hiking with Your Dog: Encountering Predators

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

Hiking with your dog is one of the most therapeutic activities to experience together. Though rare it is possible you will come across various predators.


When You Come Across a Mountain Lion - Signs that they may attack you, their tail will down and the tip will wag, ears will go back, teeth may chatter or click, they may hiss or meow, and they will pounce towards you.

  1. Stay calm and maintain eye contact with the lion;

  2. Back away slowly;

  3. Stand upright - make yourself look large (raise your arms or hold jacket/backpack above your head);

  4. Talk in a loud and firm voice;

  5. Keep your dog near you;

  6. If the lion acts aggressive, throw stones at it;

  7. Do NOT run;

  8. If the mountain lion attacks, fight back with keys or whatever is near you;

  9. Protect your head and neck, using your backpack as a shield.

When You Come Across a Coyote - Signs that they may attack, ears will go back, they will stalk you, they may make noises, or even charge you.

  1. Often times Coyotes are seen hunting in small backs;

  2. Calmly back away while maintaining eye contact (Do NOT turn your back or run);

  3. Keep your dog near you;

  4. Make yourself big;

  5. Make some noise (yell, throw rocks, clap hands, etc.);

  6. If it gets close enough, throw something in its eyes.

When You Come Across a Moose - Signs that they may attack, ears go back, hackles form on their back, grunting, and stomping of feet before they charge.

  1. Keep your dog near you;

  2. Talk calmly while you back away from the Moose;

  3. Moose charge as a bluff;

  4. If you have the opportunity - run;

  5. If it's close to you throw a rock.

When You Come Across a Bear - Signs that they may attack, the bear may yawn or clack their teeth, pound their front paws on the ground while huffing, ears will go back and they will put their head down when they're ready to charge.

  1. If the bear doesn't see you, quietly go another way, do NOT run (they can run faster then 30 MPH);

  2. Keep your dog near you;

  3. If the bear sees you avoid sudden movements;

  4. Talk to the bear in a calm and normal voice;

  5. The bear may stand on its hind legs to get a better view (not always aggression);

  6. If the bear is still but watching you, move sideways to prevent yourself from tripping (if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground);

  7. If the bear approaches you, throw something on the ground;

  8. NEVER feed the bear;

  9. Bears charge as a bluff, they will run towards you and stop abruptly;

  10. After the bluff, slowly back away;

  11. Do not climb a tree (Black Bears and Grizzlies will be provoked to come after you);

Brown or Grizzly Bear Attacks:

  1. Use bear spray in the face;

  2. Play dead! Lay face down on the ground with your hands around the back of your neck and your legs spread apart (you can use your bag as protection for your back);

  3. DO NOT MOVE;

  4. Be silent;

  5. If you have to fight, hit the bear in the face;

  6. When a bear back off, remain silent and still (Bears often watch from a distance and come back when there is movement).

Black Bear Attacks:

  1. Use bear spray in the face;

  2. Fight back, you'll need to be as aggressive as possible (concentrate on hitting the bear's face and muzzle).

If you come across an aggressive animal ou should report the incident.

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