Tiny Dachshund Hero Sacrifices Life Defending Men From Bear Attack

Bravery sometimes comes in the smallest, most unexpected of packages. In the Michigan woods recently, bravery came wrapped in 4 lbs. of dachshund chutzpah.

Two men probably owe their lives to a courageous little black and tan miniature dachshund named Bradley after they inadvertently surprised a mother bear in the forest.

Bradley, a member of the John Force family, accompanied two of Force’s friends on a golf cart outing into the woods on September 14th. Without warning, the men suddenly realized they were mere feet away from a 400 lb. black bear. Even worse, she had two cubs with her.

The bear reacted as any startled, protective mother would. She stared at the men, ready to defend her young ones. The situation was dire and extremely dangerous. There were no good options; the bear was going to come for them. Bradley, however, didn’t even hesitate. He flew off the golf cart and took on the mama bear.

“I think when Brad saw [the bear], he did what he would normally do, jumped right off it and went at it,” Force told 9and10News. “I wouldn’t have ran after that bear with a knife as big as I am, and little Brad — 4, 5 pounds — he don’t have a filter for fear.”

The bear and the dog scuffled. The bear grabbed Bradley and threw him, but Bradley came tearing back for more. According to Force’s friend, Mike Hodges, the bear then “grabbed him up and took off running through the woods with two other bears following ‘em.”

Somehow little Bradley got away and made it back to the two men and the golf cart. He was badly hurt, however. His human friends rushed him to an animal hospital, but Brad was too grievously injured. He died an hour later.

Force is convinced his little dog saved his friends’ lives.

“I believe honestly the outcome would’ve been different if Brad had not been with [them],” said Force. “If the bear had attacked Brad, it certainly would’ve attacked the men who were bigger than Brad.”

Mike Hodges agrees. Hodges, who had suffered a stroke only three weeks earlier, didn’t even notice the bear and her cubs at first. Even if he had, he was in no shape to react quickly enough.

“Mike being in the medical condition he’s in, I don’t think he would have been alert enough to get away from the bear,” Force told 9and10News. ”I think Brad did save them from getting mauled at least.”

See an interview with John Force about his brave little dog here:

The Force family also has two Rottweilers, but according to John’s wife, Lisa, ”I would expect [Bradley] to protect me before the Rottweilers, probably.”

“[I]n his mind, I think he thought he was 100 lbs.,” she added.

“I think he went out the way he wanted to go out,” said Force. “You know, he was a little fighter, a little scrapper, and he didn’t think twice about attacking a bear. I guarantee you, he would have did it again.”

John Force may have captured it best: “It ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog that counts, and that sums it up for Bradley.” Indeed.

Rest in peace, little warrior. You did well.

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Photo credit: Thinkstock


Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

RIP Bradley, thanks for sharing

Carmen C.
Carmen C5 years ago

RIP Bradley. You're no doubt running around in heaven with every other animal, whole again and very happy. You saved the life of your friends. Thank you for that. God sent you on a special mission and you accomplished it with distinction.

Michael A.
Michael A5 years ago

Awesome dog!!!!!

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe5 years ago

Awww.. poor little Bradley! Rest in Peace little one!

Rebecca G.
Rebecca G5 years ago

What a hero. RIP sweet Bradley. I am sure my babies on Rainbow Bridge welcomed you with open paws. Run free and safe now, baby.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright5 years ago

I'm so very sorry that Bradley did not survive this. He is a hero in my book and an amazing and brave doggie. RIP Bradley.........

Yes, this truly was a heartbreaking story.

jan macek
jan macek5 years ago

I had a Dachshund once and they are fearless. This death could have been avoided if they had the dog leashed. My little doxie would go after cats, turtles, snakes etc. and this was in my back yard. I always went with her when we let her out in our fenced back yard because I feared for the wildlife. Good chance bear would have left them alone.

Steve S.
Steve S5 years ago

So, the Dog pays for the stupidity of man AGAIN.. In the woods with a golf cart and an unleashed Dog.. RIP little Bradley.. I hope in your next life you will NOT get such stupid owners..