Hog Hunting with Pit Bulls
Pit Bulls make awesome hog dogs. There are also other breeds of dogs that are used to catch wild boar. The most popular breeds of dogs that are used to hunt wild boar are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and the Black Mouth Cur.
Breeds of dogs that make good bay dogs are the Plott Hound, Catahoula, and Campbell Curs.
Wild hogs are considered nuisance animals because they breed year round, destroy people's land, and reduce the food supply that is needed for native wildlife. Wild boar also feed on the eggs of quail and turkey reducing their populations. Female wild hogs (called a sow) will breed at a rate faster than rabbits do. The average litter size of a female pig is 5-6 piglets per litter, however they have been known to have up to 14 piglets in a litter. Wild female hogs have about 2 litters per year. Young females do not typically have their first litter until they are over 13 months of age, though they can be sexually mature as early as 6 to 8 months of age and even earlier in some cases. The ground in a field may looked like it was churned up with a plow, but could be where wild hogs have rooted their noses into the ground looking for bugs and grubs. This destruction of land may cause erosion problems, loss of food crops and pasture land, as well as the destruction of food plots planted for other types of wildlife and animals. Because of these problems there is no closed season for hunting wild boar and few rules that regulate the hunting method.
Wild hogs are extremely intelligent, fast, and fearless. They are a good combination of tough and smart! A hog's eyesight is not very good but it's sense of smell is excellent. A wild hog can detect odors 5-7 miles away and they rely on it strongly to detect danger and search out food. Wild hogs are aggressive animals that can and will charge at you as it tries to gore you with its tusks (also known as cutters). A good catch dog can make the difference between having a successful hog hunt and leaving the woods empty handed. A catch dog has a higher risk of getting killed or seriously injured when it does not grab the hog properly or if the hunter does not get to his catch dog in time. It is a good idea not to let the pit bull loose from it's leash until you have reached your bay dogs or are very, very close. A good catch dog will grab the hog by the ear. If the catch dog grabs the hog in the wrong place such as the back leg or tail, this will increase the dog's chances of it getting gutted or gored by the hog.
It is very important to obtain a good catch dog with enough intelligence to match the hog's own high intelligence. A high prey drive, stamina, and the desire to keep going and never let go is also needed. A good hog dog also needs to have strength and athleticism, as well as a high level of loyalty and devotion to it's owner. Pit Bulls are a breed that aim to please and as a result are usually very obedient, though some pit bulls may be headstrong and CHOOSE not to listen when called off the hog. In those cases, a breakstick is needed to remove the pit bull from the hog. A pit bull's jaws do NOT lock, but they do have very strong jaws and if they don't really want to let go, a breakstick is necessary to aid in the dog's removal. The right amount of aggressiveness is also needed when hog hunting. Having a pit bull that does not get along with other hunting dogs can be a pain in the butt, but having a catch dog that does not get along with people is about as bad as it gets. Most of the time there are a group of hog hunters and whoever gets to the dogs first, may need to handle the dog so the hog can be tied up. So it is needless to say that a good catch dog MUST be well socialized with all the people who are going on the hunt.
For the safety of your dogs, you can protect them with vests and cut collars. A wide leather collar offers a good deal of protection from cuts to the neck. While a thick canvas vest protects the dog's vital areas. Dogs will still get cuts though and it's a great idea to keep a sewing kit with you or staples to repair nasty wounds. Most of our dogs have some scars on their faces from cuts... but they don't seem to care too much about it. They just love to hunt.
If you can't see the video above click here.
Marcel (the red dog with the camera on his back in the video above) is from our dog Bullseye and Legacy from Southern Inferno Kennels. He's catching wild hogs on Nat Geo Wild's TV Show "Swampmen" with his owner Cory.
Video of hunters tying up a wild boar.
Baydog.com has a classified ads section where you can buy small pigs to train your young pit bull puppy on.
You should introduce young pit bull puppies to small pigs that are roughly the same size that they are, in a controlled environment where they are comfortable and will not become afraid. You should arrange for the puppy to be near the hog for at least a week.
Puppies can start training after the age of 4 months old. Most pit bull puppies that have the drive necessary to hog hunt, will show that they are interested in the hog after a week or so. Once a pit bull puppy grabs a hog and hears that squeel, it becomes fun for the puppy and training becomes play.
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