Video: family dog scares away bear in Golden Gate Estates

Posted at 7:51 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 06:31:14-04

Sergey Makhotkin's dog Burj is no mere squirrel-chaser.

The year-old dogue-de-Bordeaux - the same breed as the dog featured in the Tom Hanks movie "Turner & Hooch" - has been chasing bears off of his property.

Last week, Makhotkin shot video of Burj chasing a bear around their yard at the corner of 12th Avenue SE and DeSoto Boulevard. At first, the bear sought to escape by starting to climb up three different trees.

"I guess (that') its instinct to be safe from the dog," Makhotkin said.

The video posted to YouTube is just over 30 seconds long. Burj does not attack the bear, but barks and stays close to the animal, which finally realizes that its only real escape is to run back into the woods where it came from.

Dog vs. bear encounters in Golden Gate Estates don't always favor the canine. In October of 2014, Estates resident Lionel Cattirolo said his Sharpei was attacked by a bear while they were out for a walk.

"The bear jumped on him, and grabbed him, and started to bite him really, really hard," Cattirolo said in 2014. His dog suffered serious injuries, and died of a heart attack during emergency surgery.

As far as bears that come onto your property, Florida Fish & Wildlife officials advise keeping your trash secure, since that's what the bears are usually after.

"We called the state, and they just said 'move your trash inside the garage,'" Makhotkin said. "But you know, (the bears) always come on the trash days."