9 Best Hog Hunting dogs

Hunters have used dogs for hunting wild hogs since ancient times. The most popular dogs used for hog hunting today are 

  1. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  2. Lacy
  3. Blackmouth Cur
  4. Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog
  5. Polish Hound
  6. Dogo Argentino
  7. American Pit Bull Terrier
  8. American Bulldog
  9. American Staffordshire Terrier

Types of Hog Hunting Dogs

We can loosely divide boar hunting dogs into two groups: bay dogs and catch dogs.

Bay dogs find, chase, and bay the hog from a distance, alerting the hunter of the presence of the hog. Bay dogs are generally not supposed to attack the hog but rather corner it so the hunter can come and grab it.

Catch dogs are used to hold the hog down. The catch dog is often dressed in chest armor during hog hunting to protect it from the hog’s sharp tusks.

Some hunters use bay dogs and catch dogs alongside each other. 

However, many hunters successfully use only one type of dog during hunting, either a bay dog or catch dog. All of the breeds are well able to perform their duties, aiding the hunter.

Bay dogs for hog hunting

  1. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  2. Lacy
  3. Blackmouth Cur
  4. Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog
  5. Polish Hound

Catch dogs for hog hunting

  1. Dogo Argentino
  2. American Pit Bull Terrier
  3. American Bulldog
  4. American Staffordshire Terrier

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Best Hog Hunting dogs

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally used for hunting baboons, hyenas, leopards, and lions. The latest prey brought to light the true ability of this breed as a bay dog.

The dogs would silently track the lion, baying only, when the animal was cornered, alerting the hunter of their position. 

Their agility and intelligence would keep the lion in the perfect position for the hunter to dispatch the animal. The same technique is now applied during wild hog hunting in North America. 

A pack of Rhodesian Ridgebacks can get a whiff of a hog from a great distance and quietly sneak up to it, and once the prey is located, giving the hunter notice with a loud bay. The Ridgebacks can corner the wild hog and keep it in place as long as needed for the hunter to join them and kill the hog.

With proper training, Rhodesian Ridgebacks can also work as catch dogs. Considering their size and strength and their lion hunting background, the Ridgebacks are well capable of pinning down the hog and forcing it to submission.

Despite their big size, they have lots of stamina and can maintain a fast pace for the whole day of hunting without losing a beat.

Thanks to their exceptional sense of smell, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also perfect for tracking both small and big game. They can also surprise many hunters with their ability to flush and retrieve upland and waterfowl.

To train a Ridgeback, you need patience and determination, starting early in puppyhood and continuing through to the dog’s adulthood. They can get bossy with an inexperienced trainer but don’t tolerate hard handling very well. Rhodesians are fiercely protective and loyal dogs to their humans, making them great for families with kids.

Lacy

Best Hog Hunting dogs

American-bred Lacy, or Lacy Hog Dog, is a true Texas breed developed as ranch dogs, with herding cattle and chasing hogs as their specialty. 

The Lacys are intelligent, active, and very bold dogs with amazing tracking abilities. As a mix of bloodhound, wolf, and greyhound, they are built for long runs and have an exceptionally strong prey drive. They know their job without training.

Lacys on the hunt are quiet and lightfooted, making it easy for them to sneak up on the hog. Their rather compact size and agility help them avoid sharp hog tusks while keeping the animal cornered. Lacys are very fast and easily keep up with running boars for miles.

Lacy dogs are very determined hunters. Once a Lacy is on the hog track, it will not give up until it finds the animal and corners it, holding the hog as long as it needs to for the hunter.

Lacys are very easy to train basic commands. They are very active and intense. They are not very suitable for small children, due to the amount of energy.

Blackmouth Cur

Best Hog Hunting dogs

The origin of Blackmouth Cur is not very clear. Some people say the ancestors came from Europe. But regardless of the ancestry, BMC is proving its worth in work.

The Blackmouth Cur is a popular dog breed in southern states of America, where it’s used to hunt a variety of game, from squirrels and coons to deer and hog.

The BMC is a medium to large breed, depending on the working lines, and its distinctive feature is a black mask around its muzzle. Blackmouth Cur has an amazing sense of smell and is able to pick up the cold and hot trail on a hog.

The pack of Blackmouth Curs can move fast and surprisingly quietly through the forest. They can scent the hog, follow and corner it, and subdue the animal, preventing the escape.

Thanks to their prey drive and impressive strength, BMCs are often used and are well able to hold to the wild boar as long as the hunter needs to catch up and dispatch it.

Due to their great stamina, the Blackmouth Curs can run the hunt the whole day. They are courageous, and if properly trained to hunt in packs, they won’t hesitate in front of the wild boar.

As hunters, BMCs are super active and energetic. Hence they require a lot of other exercises if not taken for a hunt. They are very protective of children and often step in between parents and kids.

Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog

Best Hog Hunting dogs

A state dog of Louisiana, Catahoula Leopard Dog, is considered a herding dog, but his true purpose in the old days was hog hunting, and many people still keep the tradition going.

These large dogs have the build and stamina to hunt wild boar as well as other big game animals, like deer and bears. Very often, they are also used for treeing coons. 

Thanks to their herding instincts, the pack of Catahoulas has a unique way of hunting. The first part of the hunt is very similar to any other baying breed used for hog hunting. Once they find the wild boar trail, they run it down, baying, and corner the hog, preventing its escape. 

The difference is the way they work around the animal. It is closely related to the way they work heard animals. The pack of Catahoula Leopard Dogs creates a wall around the animal, allowing the hunter with a catch dog to enter the circle, hold down the hog and dispatch it.

As working dogs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs need a lot of exercise. If not on the hunt for wild boar or other big game or the ranch herding farm animals, these dogs will quickly get bored and start misbehaving. 

As highly intelligent dogs, Catahoulas learn very fast, and after few years of training, they don’t need guidance anymore. They will know what to do and utilize their training when required.

Polish Hound

Best Hog Hunting dogs

The Polish Hound is an excellent hunter and one of the most popular breeds in their native Poland. In America, a few breeders use these dogs for hunting wild boar.

Polish Hounds can hunt alone or in the pack. When solo hunting, the dog is trained to always check with the handler about the next move. When on the hog trail, the Polish Hound bays, alerting the hunter on the position of the hog. The dog will stay with the animal until the hunter catches up, never approaching the hog but driving the animal towards the hunter.

During pack hunting, Polish Hounds are usually driving firmly ahead. They are able to find a cold track and follow it until they find a hot one. The pack can easily corner wild boar, but well-trained dogs should not approach the animal. 

Polish Hounds are used during deer hunting as well, and the dog’s baying varies between hog and deer trail. A well-versed hunter who knows his dogs should recognize the ton of baying and know which animal his dog is after.

Polish Hounds are great family dogs but usually get attached more to one of the family members. They are often very vocal at home. 

Polish Hounds have a strong prey drive and a lot of stamina. They can go after the prey quite far and are known to come back home a few days after the hunt is over when left without GPS tracking collars.

Dogo Argentino

Best Hog Hunting dogs

Outside of the hunting circle, not many people realize that Dogo Argentino is a hunting dog first. 

Bred in Argentina to hunt big game, the Dogo Argentino is a very popular catch dog for wild boar hunting.

Dogo Argentinos can work solo or in a pack. The solo work usually includes guarding, service, or rescue. Due to the high risk involved in hog hunting with dogs, Dogos don’t work alone. There are always other dogs involved, be it Dogos or other catch dogs, or a pack of bay dogs.

Well-trained Dogo Argentinos can go wild hog hunting without bay dogs. They have a good prey drive and an excellent sense of smell. They are able to track the animal and hold it down without effort.

The breed was created to accompany other hunting dogs during the hunt. Despite the breed’s foundation, which involves now extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog, the Dogo Argentino is a very friendly and cooperative dog when adequately socialized with other dogs.

Because of their ability to clearly distinguish between a friendly person and a stranger, Dogos are often used as guard dogs.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Best Hog Hunting dogs

American Pit Bull Terrier, or APBT for short, is a breed designed in the British Isles for hunting purposes. 

Unfortunately, back in the day, hunting with Pit Bulls looked a little bit different than now. The dog was used for bear- and bull-baiting, rather bloody sport, that was banned because of animal welfare.

From those times, Pit Bulls attained specific skills that are now used during feral hog hunting. 

APBT is very brave, not shying from hogs that are, in most cases, much bigger than the dog. Even though the dog is not a large one, it is strong and has enough stamina to take on hogs all day long. 

There is also no problem with a prey drive or sense of smell. In fact, with some training, APBT can be rather good tracking dogs, and some people train them for bird hunting.

Pit Bulls, contrary to what people believe, are not an aggressive breed towards people. They make a rather poor guard dog because they greet strangers happily.

American Bulldog

Best Hog Hunting dogs

Similar to APBT, the American Bulldog was bred for blood sport, like bull-baiting. 

Due to their original breeding purpose, the American Bulldogs are very brave and strong and won’t shy away from a big hog. Many AB hunting owners claim that when it happens that the hog is even a little bit bigger than their dog, the dog can easily carry the fighting hog to the hunter without any trouble.

The American Bulldog is a very determined dog with a protective streak. Many hunters praise this breed for never letting the feral animal go and attack the hunter until the hog is dispatched.

American Bulldog is a social and lively dog. It can be very territorial and wary of strangers. With appropriate training, AB can make an excellent guard dog.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Best Hog Hunting dogs

American Staffordshire Terrier, called AmStaff for short, is an amazing hog hunting dog. 

AmStaff has an excellent nose, and after good training in tracking game, many hunters use AmStaff without bay dogs. 

The AmStaff is a very hardy and determined dog. It is never surprised by the size of the prey, and it is known for never letting go of the live animal and letting the hunter get injured. 

They are very smart dogs and learn their trade rather fast. When socialized early, they are perfect pack-hunting dogs. They have a lot of stamina but not a lot of speed.

AmStaff is a very loyal dog, and it makes a good guard dog, protecting the family and his territory from strange people and other dogs.