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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dog body language and bears

Our internet was down all day yesterday... So, this is just a quick update.

The Labraduo and I hiked a wildlife corridor yesterday, and their body language radiated tension over nearby animal scents. I never saw any animals but, based on my dogs' tension, I had no doubt that some were in close proximity.

First, R stared into the forest with his nose quivering.
Then, he growled and bared his teeth at something unseen.
As we tromped along the snow-laden trail, both dogs stopped in their tracks, immovable as they investigated scents, on multiple occasions.
Given the tautness in their body language, I kept them on leash until we returned to more civilized trails. It's amazing how much I can learn about what's hiding in the forest if I watch their body language. Yesterday, I was pretty sure that some bears had started moving through the forest, out of hibernation. K's body language was her specific "there's a bear over there" posture!

I'm hard at work making a video montage of my bear den photos from my remote wildlife cameras. But, just to give you a taste of what's to come, here are a couple of examples.

Somehow, one yearling cub ended up with a paw straight up in the air as the pair rumbled and tumbled in play.
And, shortly later, after they'd rousted mom from the den, she tenderly examined one cub's paw.
The gentleness of a mother bear with her cubs astonishes me.


  1. I was wondering where you were yesterday! I just came to your blog now because I thought perhaps your posts weren't coming up in my feed.

    I think it's great that K and R can alert you to wildlife. That picture of R turning his head around and snarling is really something, probably a hard picture to capture.

    It is so cool to see the inner workings of the little bear family, too!

  2. I was almost worried about you, KB, and happy to hear its just the 'net down.

    Its so interesting to watch your dogs respond to those smells that only they pickup. Looking forward too, to the bear family at play.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella

  3. Your world is glorious and R and K are beautiful. I am so excited to have found your blog, can't wait to explore all of it!

  4. The photo of the cub with the foot by the others nose reminds me how as kids we'd do something similar and yell "Smell my feet!" and then go into fits of hysterics. Gosh, I hope I'm not admitting to something totally weird again.

  5. I always take note of Kona when she stops to sniff the air. I think I would be pretty scared if she started baring her teeth like R did. Glad you have your pups to show you those invisible animals.

    Got a good chuckle from the cub with his leg straight in the air!

  6. YIKES!

    A victim of The Internet failing to cooperate!

    Thanks for sharing these great pics and observations!

  7. I'm glad it was just bad internet! I hate when that happens.

    R is quite the protector there! Those bears really are fascinating!

  8. The photo of the bears paw couldn't be bettered. Wondered what had happened to you but now I know you must be using France Telecom.

  9. Hi KB, I see Wanda has visited you! As I suspected, You're having warm weather, too. Mama and the cubs will be strolling about soon - if not already. Glad you have your duo to alert you to other creatures nearby!

  10. The cubs are so cute, I'm wondering how you keep the dogs away from the bears and still manage to get a pic?
    You have a good Easter.

    God bless and have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

  11. Terrific bear action shots! I get a mean body language going on when I sense a predator. Then I bark like a spaz BOL

  12. Nezzy,

    I have remote and motion sensitive wildlife cameras posted on trees outside the den. So, I don't have to be there to take the photos. The bears wouldn't cavort in such a care-free way if I were there - I can guarantee that!

    Thanks for visiting!

  13. We have fallen way behind in our blog reading - so we didn't know you had a MIA day. Those bears are starting to come to life - be careful out there.

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  14. MMMOOOOOOM! He broke my nail and gave me an OWIE!

    There, there sweetie, it's just a little scrape. How are you going to survive if you can't get by with a wee scrape?


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