Boar hunting primarily refers to hunting wild boars, along with other species of wild pigs. This is a sport that has been popular since the ancient times. From using spears to mechanized weapons, the sport of hunting has come a long way. But despite the overhaul in weaponry, hunting dogs have remained a constant feature here.
Types of Dogs
Hog hunting with dogs has been quite an old practice, using different breeds determined by the role that they play. On the basis of that, dogs can be divided into three categories:
These dogs 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 correctly find his way to the site and kill the boar. They are very athletic and are fast runners. With this ability, these dogs are great assets for a boar hunter.
They are specially trained to accompany hog hunters on their expeditions. Their job is to hold the boar physically down, until 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, which protects them from getting hurt by the boar's tusks.
They 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 perform the job of signaling the location of the boar to the hunter, better than the finders. Hunters usually prefer finder canines who manage to pick up scents from the air, as opposed to others who pick the scent off the ground and tend to wander far away. Although they can also locate a boar, not all bay dogs are good finders.
Pointers, retrievers, and hounds make good finders. 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 canines 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 are ones that have a strong, muscular build and powerful jaws. These are athletic and energetic animals, that may be large sized like the Perro de Presa Canario or medium-sized dog like the American Pit Bull Terrier. They have a friendly disposition, but a high prey drive. Catch breeds characteristically have high intelligence, great courage, and stamina, making them suitable for bringing down wild boars during hunting expeditions. Dog breeds that qualify as catch dogs are the American Bulldog, Catahoula Leopard dog, Cane Corso (the Italian dog), and the dogo Argentino.
Although the breeds discussed here are worthy hunting dogs, a good way to ensure that one gets the best one 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 hunting trip, do check out the laws of the state and ensure that boar hunting is legal.