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Hog hunting is an exciting, breathtaking, and dangerous sport. With danger every step of the way, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. One of the most important tools in the hog hunter’s kit is the right hunting dog for the job. Having the right dogs make tracking hogs much easier, and well trained dogs can hold the hog until you can catch up. There are dozens of breeds to choose from for hog hunting, so which one should you choose?
This article looks at the 10 best breeds for feral hog hunting. This list isn’t in a definite order, as you need to pick the best dog for you. Any one of these dog breeds will make hunting hogs much easier, so read on and find out which hunting dog is right for you. Soon you’ll be on the way to picking the best dog for your hog hunting needs
It’s important to develop some characteristics to look for when it comes to a hunting dog that is ideal for wild boars. This might differ from what you look for in a hunting dog, but I look for:
- Stable mental psyche
- Love for the hunt
- Fast and agile
- Can also be an excellent family dog and is good with kids
- Has moderate drive times
With these qualities in mind, the following breeds have appealed to me over the years:
The Redbone Coonhound
The Redbone Coonhound is one the best breeds for hog hunting. Males weighing up to 70lbs and standing up to 27in, these sleek and powerful dogs have their origins in foxhounds and bloodhounds. This makes them excellent trackers, great for finding the trail of wild hogs and following them to the end. In fact they are one of the few breeds able to trace old scents as well as fresh ones, known as “cold-nose scent hounds” and so are very versatile when out on a hunt.
Redbones are very mobile trackers and are comfortable on all sorts of difficult terrain and are very flexible, intelligent dogs. Redbones are very vocal, with a distinctive braying that is easy to follow on the trail. Trained well, Redbones are very determined dogs that will not give up on a quarry, tracking across hills and even water if needed, Redbones are generally very friendly, making them good as family pets as well as hunting dogs. These are one of the top hog hunting dogs due to their incredible sense of smell and tracking ability.
Often used for hunting smaller game, Mountain Curs are also excellent dogs for hunting feral hogs. Mountain Curs are alpha dogs and require proper training, but once trained these dogs are extremely competent and intelligent. These dogs can be seen as mix of terrier and hound characteristics, giving them great hunting instincts. Weighing up to 60lbs these dogs are powerful and determined, but can be stubborn if not controlled by a strong owner.
Like all Curs, Mountain Curs are working dogs who will excel hunting – too little exercise and they will become destructive in the home. They are also often not fond of other pets, so they aren’t the best choice for a house pet if you have ofter pets already. They also require a lot of attention at all times so can take up a lot of your time. Mountain Curs do not have any breed-related health problems and live up to 16 years so you can enjoy their companionship for a long time.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are huge dogs historically used to hunt lions in Africa, so there should be little surprise that they are excellent hunting dogs for hunting hogs! Weighing up to 110lbs and standing up to 31in, these are very large and very powerful dogs with a generally calm nature. They are very protective, and when trained are great hunters and guard dogs. They are very loyal and intelligent, something people often forget when they see their size and powerful movements.
This breed is good at tracking hogs with its strong sense of smell, capable of tracking over a great distance. Ridgebacks are very fast and have good stamina for their size, making them excellent at pursuing and slowing hogs they find. Unfortunately this breed is prone to dysplasia and thyroid issues which can cause health problems. These dogs are very powerful and make great protectors and hunters, perfect for hunting hogs. They do require proper and extensive training to perform their best as they are intelligent and can be very independent, and require stimulation – they should not be left alone for long periods or they will become restless. With good training they are obedient and loyal dogs.
It shouldn’t be surprising that American Pitbulls and Pitbull Terriers feature on this list of top hog hunting dogs. Known widely and unfairly for their aggression, American Pitbulls are intelligent, mid sized dogs have a powerful bite as well as great agility, making them a popular choice for law enforcement dogs. They are not suited for guard dogs as they are a naturally friendly breed unlikely to attack intruders.
Pitbulls make good trackers as they are dedicated to hunting the hog and can become very aggressive in the pursuit. They have great stamina so they are suited to long tracking as well as holding the hogs when they have been cornered. Some states do not allow the use of Pit Bulls in hunting, so be sure to check the local legislation before hunting with a Pit Bull. Pitbulls are good for hog hunting and are also excellent companions. Their determination and athleticism make Pit Bulls great for hunting hogs.
We have an extensive guide written on hunting with an American Pitbull – feel free to drop in!
Lacy dogs are among the very best hunting dogs for hogging. Lacy dogs were bred for the express purpose of hunting wild hogs in Texas in the 1850s and are the perfect breed for the job of hog hunting. Lacys are very agile and fast as well as having very high stamina. This lets them track hogs over long distances and hold the hog until the hunter arrives. Lacys will not actually grab hold of the hog but will be resolute and keep the hog in place. They are very determined dogs on the hunt and are very intelligent.
They do not have the very best sense of smell like a redbone or other hound but they are very good at picking up recent tracks. This ability is why they are being used to locate lost game animals. Lacys are a hardy breed that excels in all types of terrain, meaning they can track across whatever land they need to in order to find the hogs. Most Lacys are found in Texas, where they are the official state dog, due largely to their hunting excellence.
Walker Coonhounds are descended from English and American foxhounds and, as their name suggests, they have often be used to hunt racoons. They are also very good for hunting large game such as hogs and even bears. Walker Coonhounds are very intelligent and playful, making them good house pets and great hunters. On the trail, Walker Coonhounds will pursue a scent with all their energy, doing everything they can and exhausting themselves to find the hog or other hunted animal. They will not rest until they find their target.
Their sense of smell is very strong but not as strong as cold-nosed hounds, They make up for this with their tenacity and speed on the hunt. Walker Coonhounds are also great family pets, as they are difficult to provoke to aggression and are generally happy to coexist with other pets such as cats. Their strong prey drive can make walking on a leash difficult, but they are not aggressive dogs outside of their role on the hunt. They make great companions on and off the hunt and are keen to please their owners.
Florida Cracker Cur
Originally cattle dogs, Florida Cracker Curs have a history that extends before America was colonized when the Spanish brought them over. Florida Cracker Cur are docile dogs and have incredibly strong willpower, which makes them very valuable hunting hogs. Unlike other dogs, Florida Cracker Cur are happy to confront dangerous animals much larger than them, facing down wild hogs and even bull moose. This makes them exceptional at holding hogs when they’ve been located.
They do not possess a sense of smell as strong as other dog breeds but are capable of following a scent. These wilful dogs can be a real asset on a hunt but do require extremely strong discipline and training. Without this they can become overprotective and even dominate their owners if they do not assert themselves enough over the dog. Under a confident owner these dogs are excellent helpers hunting feral hogs.
Dogo Argentinos are one of the absolute top breeds for hog hunting. Weighing up to 100lbs and measuring up to 27inches tall, this breed was created in Argentina for the first time in 1928 for the express purpose of hunting big game, even as large as mountain lions. Bred from the now extinct Cordoba fighting dogs and mixed with breeds such as the Great Dane, Bulldog, Terrier, and Boxer, these dogs are protective and very brave.
As well as excellent hunting dogs they are also used widely as police dogs. Dogo Argentinos have great stamina and dedication to the hunt but can often have an unstable personality which makes can make them difficult to keep as house pets, though most are happy with children. These dogs need to be trained and socialized with great care and need a dedicated owner for them to be most useful. These large dogs can sprint and endure long distances, and powerful bite and their bravery make them great hunting dogs for hogs.
We have an extensive guide written on how to hunt hogs with Dogo Argentino – We recommend a good read!
The official state dog of North Carolina, the Plott Hound is an excellent hunting dog originally used for hunting bears. Nowadays they are mainly used as gundogs but are also good for hunting larger game like hogs. These dogs can weigh up to 60lbs and reaching 25inches tall, these dogs are fast, strong, and intelligent. Plott Hounds are classified as Coonhounds, but they are not linked to Foxhounds. Instead they can be traced to boar hunting dogs from Germany, brought over to North Carolina in the eighteenth century by the Plott family.
Plott Hounds are dominant dogs and will control a timid owner, especially if not trained properly. Well trained, however, they are happy to live with other dogs and pets. Their distinctive high pitch voice makes them easy to locate on the hunt but can also annoy neighbors. These dogs are happiest being active and especially on the hunt. Plott Hounds have a strong sense of smell though not as strong as others like the Redbone.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is one of the best breeds for hunting hogs. Bred from a wide variety of breeds such as the American Greyhound and Spanish Mastiff in Louisiana, these are powerful dogs bred to control feral hogs and cattle and a perfectly adapt for it. Other myths say these dogs were bred with wolves by Native Americans! These dogs are surprisingly non-aggressive in their role on the hunt and stay calm, but can be very protective of family members and wary of strangers.
Males grow up to 90lbs and 26inches tall, these dogs are energetic and can become destructive without proper exercise. Unfortunately these dogs can suffer from deafness and hip dysplasia so be on the look out for these issues. Theodore Roosevelt is well know for hunting with Catahoula Leopard Dogs which gives them a strong endorsement. These dogs need a strong confident owner for them to thrive so make sure you can fulfil this role before getting a Catahoula as they are more suited to live as work animals rather than house pets.
There we have it, the 10 best breeds of hunting dog for taking down hogs. Each of these breeds can be used successfully on the hunt, so take your time and find the breed that is best suited to you and your family. You also need to be sure to train your dogs properly and to give them the right equipment for hunting hogs, as hogs can do some serious damage with tusks. Look after your dogs are you will have many great times out on the hunt with them.
If you’re interested in how to scare away wild hogs I highly suggest reading this article on djursajten.
Dog breeds that are also magnificent hog hunting dogs are:
- Slovensky Kopov
- Karelian Bear Dog
- East Siberian Laika
We have written an article regarding how dangerous hogs are to dogs that we think you would like.
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36 years old, been hunting and fishing my entire life – love the outdoors, family, and all kinds of hunting and fishing! I have spent thousands of hours hunting hogs and training hunting dogs, but I’m always learning new stuff and really happy to be sharing them with you! hit me up with an email in the contact form if you have any questions.