Hog Hunting Dog Training
If you are an avid hunter and also a dog owner, you might as well combine these two for getting better chances out there in the hunting field while hunting hogs. There are many dogs that can be trained into becoming wild boar dogs, especially bulldogs and blue heelers. If you happen to live in an area where there are wild boars or pigs, you can use your dog in order to track and run them down. Be prepared to have patience as there are quite a few steps that you need to follow in order to properly train your dog for this type of activity. With time and effort, you can get great results.
First of all, if you already have a dog, find out if he is old enough to start its training. According to Michelle Kennel, who works for High on the Hog Kennel, you can start training a hog dog when it is 3 to 4 months old.
It is recommended to buy a regular pig that you will be using to train your dog. High on the Hog Kennel recommends picking out a pig that is a little bit smaller than your dog (or of similar size) as this will increase your dog's confidence - it won't be afraid of the pig. This is very important in the training process which is rather extensive and complicated, make sure you use this into your advantage.
Experts in training hog hounds recommend picking out a place where the dog feels protected and can see the pig.
Now, work the dog up as you let it see the pig, while encouraging him to jump and bark. Continue to do so for several days (up to two weeks or so). After 2-3 weeks, your soon-to-be wild boar hound dog should get a little bit more aggressive and start struggling to get the pig. When you see him do this, shower your dog with praise in order to reinforce its aggression towards the pig so that he will know what to do in the future once he sees a pig/hog. It is highly advisable to stop each training session before the dog's interest wanders, as young dogs (just like children) often have a very limited attention span and after that limit, you can't teach them anything, even if it is a very simple task.
In addition, the dog will have to learn to associate finding/hunting pigs with your car/truck or whatever means of transportation you use when going wild boar hunting. Taking into consideration that you will be heading out to the hunting field with your car, the dog must know that riding in your vehicle means that pretty soon it will have to start searching for prey and you'll need him to be up and running as soon as you've reached the hunting area.
You need to tie the pig out somewhere then load up your dog and drive to the pig.
The dog must be able see it, but keep them separated and get the dog excited and anxious. If it will show signs of aggression, you will need to praise it again and as previously mentioned, go home once the attention span of the dog goes away. Repeat this process for a couple of days.
Last but certainly not least, as it is very important in the process, try teaching your dog to track the pig. In order to do so, lead the pig around in a wooded area for making a fresh track for the dog to locate. It is recommended to wear rubber boots while doing this in order to avoid spreading your own scent. You will also have to hobble the pig at the end of the track so that the dog can find it. Encourage him to find the scent without your help. If this does not happen, give it some guidance for a couple of times in the beginning to find and follow the trail. After you see him following the scent and locating the pig, you will have to shower it with praise of its good work.
As you can see training a hog dog for hunting and tracking wild boars is not a piece of cake, but with proper care and patience, you will be able to have a reliable companion in your hunting trips which luckily will bring more and more rewards, both for you and your dog.