(Also known as “hog-dog trials” or “hog-dog rodeos”)
In a “hog-catching” event, dogs are put in a pen and timed for how quickly they can attack and pin a feral hog whose tusks have been cut off. Handlers may use a breaking stick to pry apart the jaws of the biting dogs. The attack on the hog may be fatal. In a “hog-baying” event, dogs are timed for how quickly they can corner a hog. Injuries can result from dogs biting hogs or defensive hogs throwing dogs in the air. Attendees consider the events to be family entertainment.
If you're like most parents planning a weekend outing for your family, you might take your children camping, to an amusement park, or a baseball game.
Not so for many parents in rural Louisiana. Or Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, and a handful of other states where feral pigs roam.
A weekend highlight for some families in these areas is the so-called "hog dog rodeo." If you miss the homemade tin signs—"Hog Dog Rodeo Tonight! Turn here"—posted on trees along dirt roads, you can still find one of these events. Just listen for the squeals of terror and pain from the pigs and cheers from the audience of parents and children.
Hog dogging, hawg dawgin', hog baiting, hog dog "rodeos": They're all terms for a bloodsport known as hog dog fighting. An owner leads his trained pit bull into an enclosed pen. She lunges and pulls so hard on the leash that she soon stands erect on her hind legs, her face fixed in a snarl. Her guttural growl erases any doubt that she is unsure of her purpose.
At the other end of the ring, the "handler" shoves a feral pig, or hog, through a chute into the pen. He will use a cattle prod if the hog, who has faced these dogs before, hesitates. And just in case the hog had any notion of trying to defend himself, the handler has already taken the precaution of removing his tusks with bolt cutters.
The pit bull’s owner removes her leash. Before you can count to three-one-thousand, the dog tackles the hog in a cloud of dust. Her jaws tear into the hog’s flesh, maybe ripping his snout, tail, or an ear. The hog expresses his pain and fear through loud squeals that echo off the pen's tin walls. The crowd is pleased; the dog pins the hog to the ground in a mere seven seconds. As with a wrestling pin, the mandatory three seconds elapse, and the operator declares the dog victorious. Adults and children cheer for the fast, powerful dog.
However, the dog’s jaws remain attached to the hog’s flesh. After what must seem like an eternity to the hog, people casually make their way over to end the match. If the hog struggles, the handler may give him a sharp boot to the head, then dig his heel into the hog’s chest to still him. He then uses a long, wooden blade called a breakstick to pry the dog's jaws from the hog. It can take up to a minute to release the dog’s grip while the hog continues to writhe in agony and terror. Read more..
Video: Mauled to pieces by a pack of dogs in gambling death pits: Animal rights groups condemn Indonesia's boar fighting tradition where owners' canines kill wild animals for prize money
Wild boars and dogs are trained to fight each other in a traditional Indonesian games watched by spectators