Hello Pooch Lovers,
Good healthy debate it seems - my apologies for posting and running!
I guess this is one of those topics that will attract differing opinions always. And no dramas Chop you should keep your points going here .. I like reading your words and learn a lot.
I guess the only points I would like to make are:
1. I would never chose to train a dog to help me kill pigs – nor any other animal. It’s just not my thing. My enjoyment from my pooches is based around my home, the beach, my friends – very basic enjoyment, almost a simplistic life for a dog (and me as their mate).
2. I know and interact often with dogs that are considered ‘pigging dogs’. I have no problems with them or them with me. I play with them as I do my own dogs and have never felt threatened or uncomfortable in knowing what they do with their master. I point out that I am not saying I agree with the practice, but I see them as dogs – nothing else – and treat them accordingly. (Meaning: approach and interact with every caution as you do any other dog).
3. There is a very distinct difference between a well disciplined, trained and loved dog – we all know that. There is nothing different in my opinion just because they are a dog that accompanies their master on a pig kill. Far too often ‘pigging dogs’ are considered wild, brutal, out of control, dangerous and killers – more often than not those terms are brought upon them by the owner. Just the same as we sometimes declare ‘family’ dogs to be – dangerous to the extreme – but caused by irresponsible dog ownership. Unfortunately some of the pig hunting fraternity hasn’t done themselves any favours by publicising and displaying very poor ethical behaviours when it comes to their pooches.
In the situation which made me post this forum – the dog I encountered was not receptive at all. Really ordinary body language – he seemed fearful yet aggressive. I got out of the car which caused him to react pretty negatively. I guess to explain, I was on a highway in the middle of nowhere but cars were still coming past at 100kms per hour – I considered it not safe to not try and approach. I was in a work car so I had no real way of securing him or putting him in the car without obvious danger. This was a bit of a kick to my confidence because I normally can calm or approach any dog without any dramas – it just didn’t seem likely here.
So to cut a long story short, I contacted the Police and asked if they could contact the local council or wildlife officer and provided them with the details of where I was. They were most obliging and said they would. I flashed down cars to warn them and continued to try and keep the pooch in my sights for as long as I could. He obviously had had enough and headed back into the bush. I still don’t know what happened and it made me, and still makes me feel pretty ordinary to tell you the truth. I kinda feel like I failed to help him but I don’t know what else I could have done?
That’s the story, not a great ending … sorry.
Zac, Lola n Zep