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Yes, feral hogs / wild hogs can be really dangerous for our dogs and in this article we will explain why and how.
A hog is a hoofed animal that belongs to the family Suidae. The family contains different species of animals that include domesticated pigs and other wild species of pigs that include warthogs. In comparison to a hog, a normal pig has shorter legs, protruding snout and cloven hooves. In simpler terms, a hog is just a swine that weighs more than 50 kgs, equivalent to 120 pounds. They are relatively mature and older than normal pigs.
Hogs can be dangerous to dogs physically, due to their aggressiveness, and biologically, due to their infectious diseases. Do you want to know if a hog can kill a dog? The answer is yes due to various reasons. However, this does not necessarily mean that dogs cannot be in a position to go hog hunting.
How Aggressive Are the Feral Hogs?
When a formerly captive hog runs out of control and reverts, it is then referred to as a feral hog. This process takes just a few months for the hog to adapt to their wild surroundings to survive. Feral hogs can weigh up to 300 pounds. Despite that weight, they are relatively fast. They can charge at a speed of 11 kilometers per hour and attack any potential threat. Due to their agility, they do not hesitate to attack once they feel threatened in their habitat. Some grow teeth of up to five inches long.
This makes them extremely vicious in slicing if any creature considers hog hunting. As they charge towards the hunting dog or any other predators which are very few in the wilderness, they tend to swing their heads sideways to attack with their tasks. With the tusks, they can kill or maim their attacker which in this case is presumed to be a hunting dog.
Their aggressive nature is brought about by their need to survive in their wild habitat. They are mostly active during morning hours and evening hours. Due to their wild nature, they operate just like wild animals. They have an incredible sense of hearing and smelling that will enable them to sense the hunting dog from a distance and avoid them.
The feral hogs can easily detect the human scent for them to avoid an encounter with humans. Experienced hog hunters claim that it can be even more dangerous to encounter than a bear. This is because they are equipped with razor-sharp tasks, razor-sharp minds, and highly unpredictable behavior. They are fourth in ranking among the most intelligent animals in the world.
Here is a video that even if its french illustrates how intense situations can become when hunting hogs.
How Dangerous Are Hogs to Dogs?
Due to their heightened sense of smell, hogs can detect a hunting dog from a long distance and ruin the element of surprise. Hogs are known to contain many disease pathogens that are transmittable to domesticated animals. One of the diseases that a dog can get from getting in contact with a hog is mad itch. Dogs can get infected with this disease through the nose to nose contact or ingestion of infected tissues from a hog. The disease is rapid to kill the dog within days after infection. There is no vaccine or treatment of the disease as of now. This means the dog will probably succumb to this disease (popularly known as pseudorabies) if infected since recovery cases are always rare.
External parasites such as flies and ticks can also be obtained from the hogs by hunting dogs. They result in skin irritation, itch and discomfort. Internal parasites include roundworms that cause diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. Brucellosis causes swelling of lymph nodes and testicles, infertility, and abortion. Leptospirosis is known to cause jaundice, fever, lethargy, kidney and liver failure, which might result in death if not treated.
Due to the presence of the razor-sharp tasks, the hogs can quickly subdue a hunting dog, especially if it has no protective gear. The animals naturally do not prefer to be in contact with anything, making them run first before reacting. However, when a female hog delivers, it tends to be more vicious towards any approaching predator.
Due to their agility and massive body, the hogs can knock down a hunting dog since it is not easy to find dogs that are as heavy as hogs. While fighting a hog, the most dangerous position the opponent should avoid is being on the ground. This is because the hogs mostly knock down their attackers and slice them from the ground. Within a minute, the damage that will have been done by the hog will be overwhelming. A single hunting dog may not be strong enough to subdue a hog for a long time.
Importance of Having a Well-Trained Hunting Dog
Hunting hogs using dogs can be an extreme task, especially if the dogs are not well trained. Training hunting dogs should be done carefully to make sure that the dog is adequately skilled in the field. Failure to follow the handler’s instructions or inadequate training can lead to the hunting dog getting infected of injured in the process. To avoid the infections that come from the hogs, the dogs will have to be careful enough to only chase after the hogs until they are tired.
From there, the hunter can carefully retrieve the prey. Due to the aggressiveness of the hogs, a hog killing dog will have to be well trained in order to accurately pounce on and subdue it before it can be in a position to defend itself. This helps the hunting dog from sustaining injuries during the procedure. A properly trained dog will also save the hunter from expenses from nursing the dog’s wounds.
Some terrains can be pretty ragged for a hunter to navigate when the prey gets too deep into it. This is where a trained hunting dog will be useful in accessing the bush and thickets to remove the hogs from their comfort zone. With proper guidance on how to sniff out animals, the hunting dogs will easily track the hogs, which is easier than following the tracks left by the hogs. A well-trained hog-killing dog will save the hunter from a great deal of danger that is posed by the hog. At a speed of 11 kmph, a hog can easily catch up with the hunter and situations turn to worse and probably harm the person. With a hunting dog, the chances of this happening are minimal. Trained hunting dogs are also loyal to their master and will properly follow the required instructions.
Correct Protection Equipment for a Dog
In order to avoid injuries and potential attacks from the hogs, the hunting dogs must be protected from the prey. Every dog needs a dog jacket or dog vest during hunting. The vest protects the rib cage, chest and the belly area of a hog hunting dog from the hog’s tusks. The hunting dog is at risk of getting slices in those critical areas in case of a face-off. The vests have different capacities of withstanding different magnitudes of attacks from aggressive animals such as hogs. The dog can also get bruised by the surrounding in the course of hunting.
The dog vests often contain reflectors that are necessary for distinguishing between the dog and the prey. Heavy-duty soles made out of recycled tires known as dog boots are also recommended for a dog during hog hunting. They are useful in protecting the dog’s feet from any potential harm that it can encounter when chasing down the hog. They are also good at maintaining their stability.
Dog collars are also a part of its protective gear. During hog hunting, it is advisable to keep the dog at your side until you spot the prey. One will need a proper collar to prevent its neck area from getting bruised by the chain. This is also necessary when the dog is just at rest but in bondage. There are also electric collars meant to guide the dog in case it is not behaving accordingly. This can help to keep the dog at a leash and protect it from its self-inflicted harm as a result of not following instructions.
In case of injuries in the field, one will need a dog first aid kit to control the situation before the hunting dog is later given proper medical care. The thigh and shoulder protection kits are as well useful in protecting the respective areas from attack by the hogs or the injuries from the surrounding. Dog raincoats are as well useful in case it rains during hunting.
In general, hog hunting can be tricky, especially with hunting dogs that are not adequately trained. This lack of skills in a hunting dog can quickly get it killed or injured while facing the aggressive hogs. Their sharp and long tusks can be fatal in case they come in contact with the hunting dogs.
Therefore, it is vital to have a properly trained hunting dog to deliver the hog and keep the dog as well as the human hunter safe. Having a hog killing dog in hog hunting makes the work easier. Proper hunting protection equipment should be used in making sure the hunting dog is safe all the time.
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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.