As the name suggests, boar hunting refers to hunting wild boars, although it can also include hunting wild pigs. This is a sport that has been popular since the ancient times. From using spears, to using elephants, even dogs have been used in boar hunting. Boar hunting dogs are of three types, finders, bay dogs and catch dogs.
Types of Boar Hunting Dogs
Hog hunting with dogs has been quite an old practice. The type of boar hunting dogs depends on the role that these dogs play. Based on that, boar hunting dogs can be divided into three categories:
Bay dogs, that assist hunters in hunting boars, are trained to find, chase and corner the boar and hold him at ‘bay’. As they do this, they bark loudly and intensely. This is a signal for the hunter to release his catch dogs. They also guide him to come to the site and kill the boar. These dogs are very athletic and are fast runners. With this ability, these wild boar hunting dogs are great assets for a boar hunter.
Catch dogs are specially trained dogs that accompany hog hunters on their hunting expeditions. Their job is to hold the boar physically down, till the hunter comes and kills the boar. They do this usually, by holding the boar by the base of its ear. The chest and neck of these dogs is covered with a protective armor, that prevents the dogs from getting hurt by the boar’s tusks.
These are dogs that trace a boar with their keen sense of smell. They either sniff the air or pick a boar’s scent from the ground. As soon as they have located the prey, they bark for the hunters to come to the site themselves or to release his bay dogs that do the job of giving the location of the boar away to the hunter, better than the finders. Hunters usually prefer those finder dogs that pick up scents from the air, as the other type tends to get very far away from the hunter as they are able to follow the boar with the scent on the ground up to large distances. Although bay dogs can also locate a boar, not all bay dogs are good finders. Hence the need of having a finder among a pack of wild boar hunting dogs.
Boar Hunting Dog Breeds
Pointers, retrievers and hounds make good finders. But what decides which one a hunter wants for himself, is how does the hunter require his dog to work. While pointers and retrievers rely on air scent, hounds sniff the ground to pick up scent.
Curs and hounds typically make good bay dogs. The curs are known to growl continuously that if they find something amiss. Both these breeds are athletic dogs with a strong sense of smell. They are characterized by great loyalty for their owners. Some of the curs are bred specifically to assist their owners in hunting.
The catch dogs have a strong, muscular build and powerful jaws. These are athletic and energetic dogs, that may be large sized like the Perro de Presa Canario or medium sized dog like the American pitbull terrier. They are have a friendly disposition but have high prey drive. One such dog is the American pitbull terrier. Catch dogs characteristically have high intelligence, great courage and stamina, that makes them suitable for bringing down wild boars during hunting expeditions. Dog breeds that qualify as catch dogs are the American bulldog, Catahoula Bulldog, Cane Corso (the Italian boar hunting dog) and the dogo Argentino. The Catahoula dog is a cross between the American bulldog and the Catahoula Leopard Dog. This cross breeding was done intentionally to combine the aggression of the American bulldog with hunting capabilities of the Catahoula Leopard Dog. The Argentine dogo is the Argentinian boar hunting dog that was developed in Argentina, specially to hunt boars in packs.
Although the boar hunting dog breeds discussed above do make good boar hunting dogs, the best way to ensure that one gets the best ones is going for those belonging to a linage with proven record for being a finder, bay dog or holder. But before going out on a boar hunting trip, do check out the laws of the state, to be sure that boar hunting is legal in the state.