Bark off! Moment dogs scare away hungry bear as it climbs steps to raid house for food

  • The ravenous bear tries to enter a home in South Lake Tahoe, California
  • Two dogs earn their moniker of ‘man’s best friend’ by fearlessly scaring it off
  • Tahoe bears have increasingly turned to raiding human homes due to forest fires 

This is the moment a hungry bear is chased away by a pair of dogs as it goes in search of food at a home in South Lake Tahoe, California.

The scene, filmed by a holidaymaker, shows the bear lumbering up up a flight of wooden stairs to the homes front gate on 4 October.

As it reaches the top of the stairs two dogs rush to the gate and bark a loud warning. 

Spooked by the hostile reception, the bear turns tail and hurtles back down the stairs.

The woman who recorded the scene said: ‘I was on South Lake Tahoe for vacation. We were just leaving back to San Francisco when we saw a bear running between homes, apparently searching for food.

‘My husband saw it first and when we made a turn it was right next to my car window, just a meter away. 

‘I started filming and the bear tried to enter a home, but the dogs made him go away.’

She said bears have become such a problem in Lake Tahoe that ‘bear cans’ have been deployed – special bear-proof contraptions that prevent household food waste being raided by the hungry animals.  

The area around South Lake Tahoe, in the Sierra Nevada mountains, has been badly affected in recent years by wildfires which have destroyed the habitat for much of the area’s wildlife.

The fires have also forced human inhabitants to evacuate, giving the bears free range in some communities – at least temporarily.

The intrepid bear heads up the final flight of wooden stairs toward a house in South Lake Tahoe, California, ignorant of the canine surprise that awaits 

As the bear reaches the final step, one of the two dogs appears through the grated gate and the two mammals momentarily face off, nose to nose

One of the two dogs is seen (top left) barking at the retreating bear, earning itself the moniker of ‘man’s best friend’


Startled by the guard dogs’ gruff reception, the bear runs away with its tail between its legs 

Last month residents in Lake Tahoe told MailOnline that bear activity was at an historic high since residents fled the resort town and surrounding areas in the face of wildfire Caldor. 

Pictures and footage captured black bears boldly walking along streets, rifling through trashcans for food and even climbing up trees to raid them for apples. 

Bears in the Lake Tahoe area are commonly between 100-200lbs for females and 250-350lbs for males.

A bear roaming in South Lake Tahoe last month. The animals have been exploring areas that would otherwise be off limits thanks to the lack of human activity due to wildfires

However according to Keep Tahoe Bears Wild, if they have regular access to human food, bears are able to dramatically increase their weight, with males in excess of 600lbs recorded around the lake.

The bears are omnivores and some 85 per cent of their diet is plant based, though they have an incredibly powerful sense of smell and can detect food from several miles away.

From mid-August, bears prepare for hibernation eating as much as possible while females give birth in February before re-emerging in April.

However, bears that have been eating human food wait until January to enter hibernation.

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