Wild Hogs

While hogs are next to impossible to drive, dogs can effectively get the hogs to chase and follow. Feral hogs are mean and ferocious and will not only go after them, and fight them, but will rip a dog into shreds at the slightest opportunity. A rider on horseback is not safe as a hog will charge them as easily as it does a dog. There are different types of wild hogs including those that were once domestic and turned wild. They can easily weigh four to five hundred pounds and have five to six inch tusks. Any man who has ever worked them can tell you of the real dangers involved in handling wild hogs.

Catch and mark contests where the handler and dogs catch and mark a wild hog were born out of the practical work and reflected the various conditions and available types of stock. The trials offered their own brand of excitement. At one such trial, wild hogs were gathered sometime before the competition. The wild ‘hog dog’ contest offered ‘Penning’ and ‘Catch’ and ‘Mark’ events. It was held in a rodeo arena where four posts had been set up at equal distances apart. There was a small pen with ten foot long wings extending out at one side of the arena. In the catch and mark events, the wild boars were numbered and each contestant drew a number. Time began when the boar or wild sow was released. One dog was used to catch and hold the hog or distract it until the handler could catch the hog by his hind legs and drag him to the nearest post where he could be securely tied and ear marked. It was then up to the contestant to untie the hog and get himself and his dog safely out of the arena before time stopped.

Two boars, one sow and six pigs, all wild were used in the penning events and had to be driven to the far side of the arena and penned. Each contestant used a team of dogs. During the trial several dogs were badly cut.  One dog’s front leg was almost torn from the shoulder in a matter of seconds. Another had his side ripped open.  It was decided that it would be best to allow two dogs in the catching events, as it would make a better show without so much danger and injury. The curs are tough, aggressive, rugged workers, and while they aren’t well suited for sheep, they excel in their own arena.

See Curs and Catahoula Leopards, the Cow-Hog Dogs:


To learn more about working Curs, the Cow-Hog Dogs and other herding breeds from around the world, their temperament, working style and how to train them please refer to the book, Stockdog Savvy (Alpine Publications) by Jeanne Joy Hartnagle-Taylor and Ty Taylor:


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