August 12, 2013

Catahoula Hog Dog

From an April 6, 1896 article in the New York Tribune:

Courtesy of Chronicling America
From The New-Orleans State.
A few weeks ago we had occasion to publish, on the authority of our friend, Colonel E. H. Lombard, a very interesting narrative regarding the celebrated hog dog of Catahoula, and so remarkable were the performances of this dog, as related to us, that many of the deacons of the church, as well as personal friends of Colonel Lombard, did him the injustice to class him as a romancer.  We are glad to be able to state, however, that Colonel Lombard's story has been corroborated in every particular by no less an authority than Wash Wiggins, one of the best-known citizens of Catahoula parish.  Mr. Wiggins says, and he has signified his willingness to be quoted, that the hog dogs of Catahoula are the most intelligent animals on the face of the earth, and as their ancestors before them were hog herders, they take to the work without any training whatever.
It is claimed that the wild hog of Catahoula is second only in the matter of pugnacity and ferocity to the roaring tiger of the Bengal jungle.  In order to get a drove of these hogs into a pen, the hog dog of Catahoula, as Mr. Wiggins informs us, operates as follows:  Keeping always in mind the direction of the pen or corral, the dog goes into the woods and flushes a drove of hogs.  Then, keeping himself invariably in front of the hogs, barks forth a challenge; the hogs accept the gauge of battle and make a dash for the enemy, and the dog, tucking his tail, if fortunate enough to have one, which is seldom the case, skedaddles toward the pen, regulating his speed so as to save at all times a distance of about thirty yards.
Should the hogs halt in their pursuit, the dog returns and renews his dare, and again he is charged, and again he slopes.  In this way he lures the hogs on until in their mad chase they follow him through the open gate into the pen, when he immediately proceeds to jump the fence on the opposite side, while his master, who has been seated on the fence during the pursuit, whistling and shooting tobacco juice at passing bumblebees, hurriedly climbs down and closes the gate on the entrapped porcines.  The faithful and intelligent dog, which is found nowhere else but in the languorous shades of the Catahoulan wilds, is rewarded with a pone of cornbread, and the next day there is a great hog-killing time, followed by feasting and revelry.

Catahoula Hog Dog aka Catahoula Leopard Dog aka Catahoula Cur

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