A young black bear attacked and killed a woman's unleashed pet dachshund dog on a popular North Vancouver wooded trail on Friday afternoon.

South Coast conservation officer Clayton Debruin says the pet owner was walking alone with her dog on the upper portion of the Lynn Loop trail in the Lynn Headwaters regional park when the bear suddenly appeared upon them within a metre or two.

“The dog owner managed to find another hiker with a whistle, and they used the whistle to scare the bear away from the dog, giving enough time for the people to recover the dog… to the parkade,” said Debruin on Saturday.

He adds the woman's action, taking her dog off its leash, was not recommended.

"If you come across a stray wild animal such as bear, a cougar or a coyote, it is important to make sure your dog is on leash. If you have a small dog, pick it up. Assert yourself, making yourself as big as possible. Shout at it. And always make sure that animal has a clear escape route," said Debruin.

Metro Vancouver spokeswoman Sarah Lusk says a fatal pet attack such as this is rare, but it's a reminder that hikers can still encounter bears in these urban parks, and should act accordingly.

“You can startle the bear. They are wild animals. Everyone needs to be aware they are sharing this regional park with wild animals," said Lusk on Saturday.