Monday, November 24, 2008

A Satisfied Customer

I just got a call today from Matthew Trahan in Vinton, Louisiana, who is one of my satisfied hog dog customers who has in the past been impressed with my breeding program and wanted some more dogs to try out the new addition of the Blair bloodline into my breeding. He came by with his hunting buddies about a month ago and picked out Spider and another 6 month old pup out of Angel and a new stud I'm trying out. Matt advised me that the first time out with Spider this last weekend resulted in Spider swimming the river, finding his own hog, bayed him up, and kept him there till the bulldog arrived. Spider is almost two years old, 1/4 Blair bred, out of Angel and Bob. That's my boy! Soon to arrive are some pups out of Jesse (Spider's brother) and Sweet Peas. From that in a year or so, we'll see if 1/8 Blair bred are as game as the previous generation. I suppose I should always keep a few of my Maurice bred dogs as pure as possible, but I must admit the Blair breeding has made a believer out me and my customers. If it sounds right for the way you hunt, and you want some de la Houssaye's catahoulas, I will have some pups out of Houla and Riley that will be ready to wean in a couple of weeks. Come get ya some!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Who I Am and What I Am Going to Do

I am Marcus de la Houssaye the owner of de la Houssaye's Catahoulas. When I first started hunting hogs 20 years ago, I learned to hunt with people who ran a large pack of dogs at one time and I thought that was the only way it was done. I have since been taught by some old time masters who hunt one dog at a time.

In the last year that I have been marketing my dogs on the internet, the majority of people who call me also run a large pack of dogs and consequently, I don't sell dogs to these people because my breeding program creates mostly one dog situations and I don't want to sell someone a dog that won't work in their large pack way of hunting.

The problem with hunting Blair-bred Catahoulas in a pack is that the strong pack instinct causes the dogs to be too gritty or catchy, which leads to way too much mortality and injuries. Another problem is that putting too many dogs on a hog at one time causes the hog to bust or run. Considering that the most dangerous part of hog hunting for the dog is stopping a running hog, if the hog is not going to stand at bay because of too much pressure and is constantly busting the bay, the dogs are at a much higher risk of getting killed or seriously injured and you are in for a long chase.

I was recently on a hunt with a pack of fine Plott hounds. One of the unexperienced "new" hunters questioned why my dogs weren't running with the pack. I advised him that my dogs were short range and didn't run with Plotts. My answer seemed to cause him even more confusion. His lack of understanding caused him to comment that my dogs must not be any good. I didn't argue with the damn fool.

I let him and about 10 other hunters leave on ATV's with the Plotts and run the hog on a 10 mile round trip chase. They never got close to the hog because the dogs were open mouthed. I am not critizing these fine dogs they were doing their job. But...When the hog circled back to where I and my fast, well rested dogs were waiting, we caught the hog.

The result of not understanding the pack instinct and running too many dogs at one time has created a large demand for finished catahoula hog dogs. So much so that many people are selling poor quality breeding to the buying public and the buyers based upon previous disappointments, are very suspicious of high priced, well bred started dogs.

Another problem I have with people wanting to buy a finished dog, is that the buyer only wants to invest money and no time in the dog. I have seen people buy a dog on a 30 day trail and bring him back the next day, claiming that they knew the dog was no good!

Well for hound dogs I can understand that, but for a cur dog with a strong pack instinct like a Catahoula, there is a warm up period that may be only a week or two for some dogs or as much as 6 months or more for others. Many people don't understand that a catahoula will not hunt for just anyone, and more specifically they will not hunt for someone they don't like. I have learned that Catahoulas can read people like a book. They may not like you from the moment they see you and that may never change.

And on that note, the best catahoula hog dog you will ever own is one you raised up from a pup, ideally a pup that played with children everyday after school.

I am creating this blog with the intent of finding people who hunt only one dog at a time or hopefully finding hog hunters who want to learn the proper way to hunt a Catahoula.

Marcus de la Houssaye