Don't Poke the Dog: Video Shows Pup Chasing Off Trespassing Bear

The New Jersey dog charged the black bear and sent it running.

Riley just wasn't having it.

The black Lab mix is the self-appointed guardian of his New Jersey home — and the next-door neighbor's house. He is now famous after security video showed him barreling into the backyard of Mark Stinziano and hurling himself at a black bear chomping down on birdseed. 

"My neighbor's dog is getting a steak dinner next time I see him," Stinziano posted on his Facebook page, where he also linked video from his backyard security cam. In it, the bear helps itself to Stinziano's bird feeder after knocking it to the ground.

The bear is eating away when Riley bursts on the scene, plowing through the bushes separating his owner's home from Stinziano's and hurling himself into the four-legged trespasser.

Stinziano said he had no idea Riley had taken on a bear in his backyard. His daughter heard a noise, he said. So he went out to investigate, saw the bird feeder had been knocked over and decided he better look at the footage from his outside camera to see what happened.

"Oh my God," he told Friday. "He got the bear."

Riley is a frequent visitor, he said. "My kids are skittish around dogs. He's one of the few dogs they like."

The video has gotten lots of attention online, with reporters across the country, and the world, asking to use the footage. "I heard from someone in India today," he said. Instead of doom and gloom, he said, this "is just a fun little story."

Not to everyone, however. 

Stinziano has also gotten a fair share of criticism for his post from people schooling him on bear etiquette.

"You're just asking for bear trouble with the bird feeders!" one woman posted on his page. 

"You are an irresponsible neighbor, luring bears into the neighborhood. I think this might have some serious repercussions," wrote another.

Stinziano, a Merchant Marine, says the criticism doesn't faze him.

"Hey, freedom of speech," he said, laughing. "You can say whatever you want."  Bears are common in his area, he said. "We live up in the woods."

At least once a week, his family sees one in the neighborhood. "The black bears here are very docile," he said.

But Riley still doesn't like them.

"He's chased a bear up a tree before," Stinziano said.