Where I live black bears are common. They are where you find them and they are known to wander into the city from time to time. We have a bylaw that we cannot put out garbage before 6 am. The idea is to stop people leaving their garbage out all night and attracting Yogi. I like to walk my dog. If I were worried about bears I would never take him out of the house. Actually I am more concerned about coyotes than bears. Hiking in the Provincial Parks I have rarely come across a bear, and when I did it wasnít an issue. Rebel was with me and off leash when we came within 100 yards or so of a mother bear and cubs. Rebel was curious but I told him to stay and he did. He didnít even bark at them.
This year a lady in BC was killed by a bear. It happens. Bears can be dangerous as well as unpredictable. I would not expect Rebel to protect me from a bear. He is not an aggressive dog to begin with. Last year we were walking near the river when I saw what I thought were two dogs. They were actually two bears which disappeared before we got close. This has been my experience so far. It is wise to keep a dog on a leash as others have said.