A New American Pastime: Hog Dog Fighting

Adrianne Doll

There is a new game in town joining the ranks of cock and dog fighting: hog-dog fighting.  Many southern states report high frequency of such fights, and even justify the cruelty as a solution to their “hog problem.”  The fighting is even being advertised as a new American pastime for the whole family to enjoy, through events, such as hog-dog rodeos, and television, like American Hoggers.  There are numerous website posts looking for places to hunt hogs and hog dogs for sale.

Dogs, often pit bulls, are taught to attack hogs on command.  The hogs usually had their tusks removed with bolt cutters and are unable to defend themselves from highly trained attack dogs.  The defenseless hogs are ripped apart and left to painfully bleed to death.  Often the owners enter their dogs in contests that reward the fastest attacking dog with trophies and cash prizes.     

Though some states have addressed the inherent cruelty in hog dog fighting and made it illegal, law enforcement in many states, where hog-dog fighting goes on, have yet to go after those that participate in this cruel sport, because feral hogs are said to cost farmers millions of dollars in agricultural damage.

All states should make hog dog fighting illegal like dog on dog fighting.  Owners of hog dogs and participants of hog dog fighting can be federally prosecuted if they are found to be transporting their dogs or hogs for hunting over state lines, according to the Animal Welfare Act, but it is up to state legislatures to create laws that punish people for a cruel and unacceptable practice in state.

The over population of feral hogs was caused by humans, and the poor creatures should not be murdered and brutalized because people were negligent in understanding hogs’ behavior and quick reproduction rates when original “wild” populations were introduced for hunting purposes.  Though these “wild” hogs cause widespread and costly damage, there can be far more humane methods to addressing the over population and damage concerns.  They can be humanely captured and reintroduced into domestic farms.  And even if they must be killed on sight, it does not have to be done in such a barbaric manner.  Instead hogs can be euthanized with out the fear and pain that comes with the hog dog hunting and fighting process.

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24 Responses

  1. Using hounds to hunt for hogs in order to get meat home to one’s family seems like a legitimate pursuit. I’ve never lived in an area with hogs, so I’ve never hunted them myself.

    But, I have visited with hog hunters, and understand there are several methods — including the use of hounds. Past that, my knowledge and understanding are limited.

    Making a spectator/prize sport out of hogs and dogs fighting seems to me to be another matter, and over the top.

  2. How much low can the American family pastime get?!

  3. Any stupidity by these obese and illiterate americans does not surprise me anymore. What else do you expect of a nation which trades animals like commodities on its stock market. Shame on you americans, you barbarian, you sham democrats.

  4. Unutterably vile, but not surprising. You can pass all the laws you like; they will have only a paper existence. Torturing nonhumans is normative in our sick society, so don’t expect very strenuous efforts to be made to enforce prohibitions against one form of barbarity. Enforement will always sink into the old quandary: Qui custodiet istos custodes?

  5. Joe,

    I don’t share your bleak outlook in this matter. Disapproval of this is likely to be practically ubiquitous.

    Regardless of where people might fall along the spectrum of animal welfare/animal rights, hardly anybody relishes torturing animals, or making them fight for thrills.

    Heck, I probably disagree with you on several fundamental principles. I’m a religious theist, humanist, omnivore, hunter, dog owner, animal welfare advocate and animal rights detractor. And as I alluded to in my first post — I find the concept of putting the animals in an arena setting and pitted in a contest to the death for kicks and prizes to be odious.

    Honestly, I don’t think you’re going to find much disagreement on this one.

  6. HAL,

    What is routinely done to slaughterhouse animals isn’t very different. Those who single out hog fighting for condemnation could be accused by its enthusiasts of hypocrisy. (see http://www.meatvideo.com). I just don’t see a major differnece between hurting animals for carnal pleasure (ie eating them) and hurting them for entertainment. In both cases, the harm to the animal is great, and it is perpertrated for revoltingly frivolous reasons.

    As a simple sociological matter, I don’t think hog fighting is the object of widespread revulsion in the South. I had a friend who went down there to help some Katrina dogs a few years ago; she saw enough of the local culture to conclude that the hog fighting and dog fighting were not only tolerated but widely enjoyed by police and judges. .

  7. Joe,

    I understand your sentiments are that forced animal fighting, hunting for food, killing a cow and a slaughterhouse and any number of other activities hold basically the same moral low ground.

    I disagree, but no need to debate those things right now.

    Although I’m not too familiar with the culture of the South, I have no reason to doubt your assessment here. No, I would not be surprised if this activity does not raise many eyebrows in that particular region.

    But outside that region, I think my observation still stands. This would garner widespread condemnation, even between various individuals or groups who might sharply disagree on other matters.

  8. HAL,

    Yes, but what matters is how the locals view it. Pious condemnations from other regions are useless. For those other regions to interfere directly would require a far, far greater commitment to the well-being of animals than can be expected from a society mired in speciesism.

  9. Joe, again, I don’t share your bleak outlook.

    Especially not in this day and age. Put up some hog-dog fighting videos on YouTube, and watch the fireworks.

  10. Well done Hal; for this ‘new sport’ is despicable.

    As to ‘Joe’ and friends: I suggest you take the animals’ place for a change. For humans ARE animals too, after all. The most horrendous species of all. As to “pious comments” and other bullshit you try muzzling people with: call it what you like; but please forget about forcing you own views down people’s throats.

  11. Oh please, people, do a search on youtube for “hog dog”. There are a bunch of vids of this cruel “sport”. Not many condemnations that I can see.

  12. The animal rights movement cannot resist spreading lies about hunting hogs with dogs, catch dogs hold a hog they do not fight with it, as a matter of fact ANY dog that “fights” with a hog is unsuitable for hunting.
    The day the ridiculous animal rights extremists try debating with actual facts is the day they lose any validity in the minds of rational people.

  13. [...] Citing environmental damage, Florida officials declared that the wild hog population is “out of control,” and the South Florida Water Management District has been trapping hogs over the last year. Trapping, apparently, is not working well enough or fast enough, and Sarasota county has decided that the better way to handle the problem is to send hunting dogs to take out the pigs. You can check out the news report, along with some clips of what this kind of hunt will look like, here. This is distinguishable from the hunts that lure hogs to the hunters to be shot, which is already common practice. This is further distinguishable from the hogs who are given to dogs purely for sport. [...]

  14. people should get your fact’s straight . the hog and dog fighting with bulldogs was outlawed years ago , and should not be confused with hog baying competitions . in the hog baying any dog that catches or trys to fight the hog is disqualified and barred from competition . the hog bays are no differant than , sheep dog trials or the working cow dog competitions . it’s all about working livestock [ wich hogs are ] and seeing whom has the best dogs . inhumane i think not unless you have observed a hog baying competition how could you possibley judge one ,and by they way , i am not an obese redneck nor illiterate . but i am a veteran and fought for your freedom and safety please refrain from encrotching on mine good day to you all .

  15. I guess we should hate the entire food chain then. Cause if it weren’t for my beloved,well cared for group of hog dogs then there would be more hogs for the coyotes,wolves etc to feast on. Not withstanding the occasional outcast renegade,your typical hunter cares more for nature than any of you Nancy pelosi loving retards. If you want to see some cruel stuff just watch the Nat Geo channel. They show it how it is. As far as baying competitions and hog dog trials there are rules in place and the man that owns the hogs doesn’t want them torn up nor does the dog owner want his dog to be disqualified. No I am not a greasy redneck I am well educated and a business owner.

  16. Where are you getting your info? The object is for the dogs to find the hogs and catch them by the ear. No hog hunter i know wants their dog to fight with a hog. We want them to Catch them so we can go in and grab their back legs and either take them alive, Pen ,feed,and worm them before butchering My prefered way or dispatch the animal fast and humanly. It is people like you who are ignorant to call this fighting. Feral hogs are not a native animal to our country and are reproducing out of control. Do you want them running thru your city or town? I think not, they will chase you down, kill your beloved cats and dogs and attack your kids. If hunting them would stop, this would happen with time. do the math and research how fats they are spreading smart guy. They are throwing our entire eco system off. They are smarter than most animals and can adapt to any enviroment with very very few predators. Man and Man with dogs are their only threat and that is not keeping up yet, helping the best. They will kill new born cows, deer, goats ect and eat everything from crops to bugs. A population of hogs can destroy a farmers entire crop and leave them with nothing. Most hog hunters i know take better care of their dogs via worming, feeding ect than most of your so called city animal lovers who go out and get too many animals for a small space and do not know how to care for them. Can’t excercise them properly for the breed and think it is cool that they have a Lab that weights 100lbs or a beagle at 50lbs and think that is love. That is a OBEASE animal that is going to have joint, hip, back and heart issues being abused in another way. I call that loving your dog to death. No one makes these dogs hunt, They are naturally good at it and when done responcibly they live very very long and happy lives. Notice the protective equiptment on the dogs in these shows ? The tracking collars around their necks so they can find their dogs. Have you ever seen anyone make these dogs go after a hog? NO you have not. Without hunters animals will repopulate beyond contol and with that brings diesese and sickness. Thank god their are people smarter than you in control. You are entitled to your opinion but i think you need to get your facts straight and get real. remember what this country was based on and thank god for hunters, farmers, ranchers ect so you can go to your local store or restaraunt and eat. Go to your local dog park and be safe. Keep giving your money to peta who kills more dogs and cats every year than any other organization in the country( Over 90% Kill rate) and really only want your money to stop guns and hunting, not help dogs and cats. You are one of the really ignorant misinformed people with blinders that take too much for granted. Wake up. Lee

  17. There are no competitions where hogs and dogs are put in a pit and forced to fight to the death. It DOES NOT happen. Like it or not hunting hogs with dogs is legal in, I believe, almost every state that holds a wild hog population. The breed of dog used to hunt hogs varies. The Walker Hound, Blue Tick Hound, Red Bone Hound, Black Mouth Cur, and Catahoula are just a few. It’s an individual preference. The dogs enjoy what they do. If they did not, they would not do it. Can you force a dog to hunt hogs on 1000 acres? You just can’t compare this to putting two dogs in a pit that is 10 foot squared. People who write about things should educate themselves first. Here is a little free education. There are competitions held “Bay Competitions”. These take place in a pen/arena usually no smaller than 60ft diameter and up to the size of a rodeo arena. There are judges posted on the outside or inside of the arena as well as 1 to 2 hog handlers. A hog is released into the pen and a dog and his owner will enter the pen. On the release of the dog the judges will start a stop watch (2 minutes). During this two minutes the dog will bay (bark at the hog) and try to make him stay in one spot. The dog is scored on his abilities. If the dog catches (bites and holds) the hog for a 3 second count the dog is disqualified from competition. I have NEVER, let me repeat NEVER seen a dog or hog killed or even seriously injured in a Bay Competition. If you have any questions or would like to learn more you can contact me @ ksnevil@yahoo.com

  18. I regretfully must point out the error of your posts. At first, i thought this was a blog from say, 10-12 years ago. But i saw the date of thie post and as stated ,, there are no hog catching competitions, even when there were, dogs only caught the hogs in a pen setting. That was outlawed. There have never been competitions that i know of where hogs and dogs were ” PITTED TO THE DEATH”.
    However, now, there are baying competitions which were explained in depth in a previous post.
    Could you explain ” specieism” ? Does that describe a belief that one species sees itself superior to others? For example, obviously, humans are superior to all other species.
    If you have a belief that all species are equal, do you not eat vegan? Are you not believing yourself superior to plant life? Hypocrytical, if thats the case, for if you truly believe no species is supierior , then, no species is superior.
    Last, it is economicly unfeasable to allow your hog dogs to be injured. The amount of time, money, and emotion invested in each dog is immeasurable. A good hog dog is nearly irreplaceable. Also, in Texas, the state where i believe more hogs are caught than other state, no one wants the hogs injured because Texans can sell their caught hogs to buyers for slaughter. You cannot sell injured, distressed hogs.
    I hope this has opened a few eyes and perhaps educated some of your readers to some of the facts surrounding catching hogs with dogs.
    And lastly, as far as some of the disparaging remarks aimed at the southern portion of the United States, I dare say there is more mayhem, inhumanity and carnage nightly, in any large city in any portion of the country. Comparatively, feral hogs lead a pretty good life

  19. There absolutely nothing wrong with hog hunting hogs can protect themselves just fine!!

  20. The hog in your picture has tusk Dumas and the dog in the picture is not biteing the hog he is bayin it and if the dog bites the hog he is disqualified because it is aginst the rules y don’t you tree hugging Yakies learn what you are talking about before you open your mouth

  21. That is not a bulldog or pit bull in the picture with the hog that has his tusk cut off or so you say cut off. Did you even do any research or even look at this picture be for you posted it. How do some of these idiots even get into a position to even write a article such as this and have no clue about what they are saying. Who ever his fact checker is and his editior should be fired for doing such poor job. How do you not even know what a pit bull looks like ? Wow to many veggies are messing up there common sence.

  22. I have been thinking on how to approach you on this post for most of the day before replying and can honestly say that I am still having a bit of a hard time on how I am going to explain this to you but here goes.

    First off, shame on you. You publicly and derogatorily criticized a sport and lifestyle that you know nothing about using untrue and biased opinions. My cousin and I have very different opinions on Hog Dogging, however, thanks to you we did come to an agreement on one thing. There is a huge difference between ignorance, and stupidity. A person who is ignorant is someone who does not have knowledge about a certain subject, but is willing to learn. A person who is stupid is someone who does not have knowledge about a certain subject, and is unwilling to learn. I’ll let you draw your own conclusion as to which group you belong to.

    Now, we can get down to the nitty gritty. I have used my dogs to hunt pigs with for most of my life. I cannot begin to tell you how much money I have invested not only in the best food that money can buy for them, but also in making sure they are vaccinated, wormed, and have the proper shelter and room to keep them happy and comfortable. I have also spent hundreds of dollars in equipment to keep my dogs safe while we are in the woods. Collars, Vests, and tracking devices so that I know where each of my dogs are at any given time, and that they are wearing more, and better armor than most police officers do. Do I compete in Hog Baying competitions? Yes, a few a year, and here is why. First, because I am proud to own a few dogs that people admire, and enjoy watching them do what they were bred to do. Second, because it gives me a controlled setting to correct mistakes my dogs make that could get them hurt while in the woods. Now, you made several remarks on the treatment of the pigs that were so off base that it thoroughly shocked me. First off, I have never, ever seen bolt cutters to remove a hogs teeth. What I have seen is their teeth dubbed, or ground down with a file, much in the same way that the dentist prepares your teeth for a crown filling. Second, as previous people have said, we do not willingly allow a dog to ever harm a hog. You are not only disqualified from the competition, but you are also frowned upon and not invited back in many instances. The hogs that are selected to be used in the competition are treated like royalty. They are given the best food, a wallowing hole, fresh water, and shade to enjoy. If you watch them lounging around, they are pretty happy individuals. You very highly incorrectly said that we allow the pigs to be torn up and left to bleed to death. Well, as I mentioned previously, our dogs are not allowed to bite or attack a hog in a competition situation, so therefore why would a pig be bleeding, much less be left in that state to slowly die? I can say with 100% conviction and belief that not one hog hunter, or any other hunter, is willing to, nor will allow any animal to suffer in such a manner. It is wrong.

    You mentioned “attack” dogs several times. I would love to know what you mean by this. If you are saying that the dogs and hogs ignore each other until the dog’s owner commands him to attack, unprovoked, then you are very wrong. None of my dogs will even attack a piece of bread on command much less an animal bigger than they are. They catch the hog because they want to, because it poses a threat not only to their own safety, but also to me. They also do not “attack” the hog, they simply hold the pig still until I am able to get my hands on the pig and immobilize it. At that point they should release and allow me to handle the situation.

    My last point. You mentioned reintroducing feral hogs into domestic farms. This was the greatest source of laughter for me through the entire article. You see, I know many farmers that raise pigs, and they will all tell you, and any other poor soul, they won’t take them. They carry diseases and parasites that domestic pigs are not able to handle. Feral hogs are also no where near the same quality as a domestic pigs, nor will they adapt to a domestic situation.

    I beg you to do your research, get your facts correct, talk to people that you are so passionately ridiculing before you write another article so bogus, and untrue as this one.

    If you have any questions, and would like to calmly discuss anything I have written here, feel free to contact me at rivard_meagan@yahoo.com.

  23. As a participant in the sport of hog hunting with dogs, you are completely mistaken on everything you just said.

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