The Boar Hunt (painting by Jan Weenix)
Hunting hogs with dogs has a 96% higher success rate than any other hunting method. Some boar hunt with a rifle, others with a bow… But have you ever considered hunting with dogs? Today we will be exploring “Hog Doggin”, how to train a hog dog, how it works, and what the best breeds are to hunt wild boar. (If you like this article, please hit the Facebook “like” button… I’d really appreciate the support : )
History - Hunting with dogs is a tradition in our history since the birth of our great country. Dogs were considered a working animal first, that helped provide food to the settlers, protect their livestock, as well as protecting their families. While hunting, dogs were used and trained to track wildlife, as well as protection from bears and cougars in the wilderness. They are truly mans best friend, and to most wild hog hunters, are essential to a successful hunt.
Training – Most breeders train hog dogs from an early age, getting them acquainted with a live feral hog to learn its scent, and to learn to control the pig. The trainer will take the training pig on a walk in the wilderness to test the dogs scent, hold the pig there, and release the dogs to gauge their tracking abilities, rewarding them for positive behavior. This is where you see if the dog will have the heart to hunt wild boar or not.
How It Works - Generally, you have 2 sets of dogs that work as a team. They are the Bay Dog, and the Catch Dog. A bay dog can almost be any breed, so long as their tracking ability, and scent detection are superb enough to track a wild boar. These dogs are released to pick up the scent, follow, and locate the pig. As soon as they have located the wild boar, they will let out a distinctive howl or “bay” that alerts the hunter that they have a boar cornered and to release the “Catch” dog. The Catch dog is the biggest, burliest dog you can find that has massive jaws capable of holding down a full size boar. Their job is to meet up with the bay dogs, and take hold of the pig by the face or ear, and to hold it until the hunter can come and dispatch the pig, or tie it up. All dogs need to be trained on how to handle a wild boar, and need to all wear a cut vest to protect their vitals and neck. It is very dangerous work for the dogs, and the hunter needs to be trained in advanced first aide for dogs, including the use of needle and thread to sew up a dog that got to close.
Below is a list of the 13 best hog dogs, and what role they play in the hunt:
1. Lacy Dog – The Lacy, or Blue Lacy was a breed that originated in Texas, specifically for hunting wild hogs. They are a working dog that is easily trainable, and very strong. Although they are very loyal dogs, they do not make as good of a family pet because of their high energy. Most breeders will not even consider selling a dog unless they know it will be used for hunting, ranching, or other work. Lacy’s are good at blood trailing wild hogs, ranching, and herding livestock. The Lacy is considered a Bay dog.
Pit Bull Terrier
2. Pit Bull – The Pit Bull’s build is perfect for taking down a hog. It has a very strong bite, that some say is a locking bite. They bite, hold, and shake their prey as natural instinct. They make good hunting dogs, but some would say that they are a definite risk around children. The pitbull with its immense jaws, and superb strength is considered a catch dog. The pitbull with its immense jaws, and superb strength is considered a Catch dog.
3. Catahoula Cur – The Catahoula is one of the best hog hunting bay dogs. It has very distinctive glassy eyes and patchy markings. They are very good family dogs, but need constant attention. The Catahoula is considered a Bay dog.
Blackmouth Cur (by Greg Hume)
4. Black Mouth Cur – The Blackmouth Cur is a great multi-use dog as it can be a great hog hunting dog, and a loving family dog that is protective of its land and “People”. They typically have a black snout that blends into a golden coat. They are very smart, and strong, and can be used for many purposes besides hog hunting. The Black Mouth Cur is a Bay dog.
5. Mountain Cur – The Mountain Cur has been a hunting dog trusted by the early settlers of Virginia. The have a good temperament around people, and are excellent hog hunting dogs capable of tracking wild boar with ease. The have a brindle coat which means a multi-color coat that has varied patches of different color. It acts as the Mountain Cur’s natural camouflage. The Mountain Cur is a Bay dog.
Florida Cracker Cur
6. Florida Cracker Cur – The Florida Cur is a dog bred in Florida, that has many different colors and characteristics. They are bred specifically for traits, not looks and are considered one of the best Catch dogs for hog hunting in the South.
7. American Bulldog – The American Bulldog is considered a classic Catch dog, and is used primarily as a working dog. They are highly protective of their people, and are good around children within limits. The American Bulldog has a long dependable history of dealing with and hunting wild pigs in the south.
Jagd Terrier (By Wefstaed)
8. Jagdterrier – The all around hunting dog, the Jagdterrier is used to drive wild boar out of thickets and bedding areas. They are good loyal pets, but are primarily a working dog that needs to be out hunting to be happy. The Jagdterrier is considered a bay dog.
Redbone Hound (by Amy Lawson)
9. Redbone – The Redbone hound is a classic hunting dog used for years to track and tree wild game. Famous in the book “Where The Red Fern Grows”, the Redbone was used to hunt raccoons. Redbones are very athletic dogs that are intelligent, with great noses to track down scents. Redbones are considered Bay Dogs
Walker Hound Dog
10. Walker Hound – The “Treeing Walker Hound” has been used for centuries to hunt foxes and other small game. They are often used in the US to hunt wild hogs as they are focused and dedicated to finding the hogs scent. Walkers tend to be great family pets, and love the plush comforts of home. When they are working, they perform tirelessly to accomplish the hunt. Walkers are considered Bay Dogs.
11. Plott Hound – Although the North Carolina state dog since 1989, the Plott hound is a little known breed by only the deep south, and big game hunters. Plott’s have been raised for generations to hunt wild boar, bear, and raccoons. They are extremely loyal to their master, and one of the best hunting companions. Plott hounds are considered one of the very best Bay Dogs.
Dogo Argentino (by Christian Pinatel)
12. Dogo Argentino – One of the most feared Catch dogs to wild pigs is this not so famous “bully breed”…. The Dogo Argentino. With its massive jaws and muscular body, this breed is highly capable of taking down a full size wild boar. The Dogo Argentino makes an excellent guard dog, and will protect his master to the death. This dog was bred to hunt big game in Argentina, specifically cougars and wild boar.
13. Rhodesian Ridgeback – Bred and originated out if South Africa, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was used to hunt lions, and distract them while the hunter took their shot. The Ridgeback has a long strip of fur that runs the other way on its back creating its ridge. They are very good at tracking wild pigs, as they are highly intelligent. While training ridgebacks, keep in mind that they can not be roughly treated for correction. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is considered a Bay dog.
You may also like to read:
Best Hog Dog Supplies
Follow The Water To Find Wild Boar
How To Start Hunting Wild Boar
Wild Boar Hunting Resources
Wild Boar Hunting Equipment