Thursday, July 20, 2017

How To Properly 'Train' A Hog Dog For Pen Or Woods

An old timer named Charles Tucker recently told me his advise for training a hog dog in the woods or pen.

He said first you need the right genetics because if he wasn't born a hog dog, you ain't gonna make him into one!

And then he said; "Take him to the woods, don't put your hands on him and keep your mouth shut!"

I had a big laugh, because it reminded me of so many people calling me up through the years and advising me that they were just getting into hog hunting and wanted to get a puppy and then 'train 'em'  to be a hog dog.

And I would ask them 2 questions: Have you ever had a Catahoula, and have you ever hunted hogs?

A lot of times, they had neither hunted hogs nor owned a Catahoula, but had been watching Youtube videos and wanted to get into it.

"Okay, if you have never hunted hogs, what makes you think you are qualified to train one to hunt?"

And then I would ask them; "How about you get one that is bred to 'be' a hog dog, and let him train you?"

Because if he is bred right you don't need to train 'em to hunt, you need to train 'em to survive!

I have had some great dog men and 1 amazing woman teach me about competition in the bay pen,

Jimmy Young and Reggie Little in the golf cart at Uncle Earl's 2011

 but the real credit goes to the dogs when it comes to 'who' taught me to hunt hogs in the woods, swamp and marsh.

It was the dogs who taught me, and to this day, I must confess; "The dogs are still smarter than me when it comes to hunting hogs!"

I will be editing some more in here later, so you might want to check back, but I got to get out on the lake for now...

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and my phone is presently down and being upgraded to a smart phone, and UPS should deliver it in a few days. Until then if you want to communicate with me, email or facebook is our only connection. My email is:

When my new phone comes in I have decided to keep it private for now as I am writing a book.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How To Have A 'Handle' On A Hog Dog

In a hog dog field trial every dog enters the pen with a perfect score and is judged on mistakes. Judging usually deducts 1/10th of a point for most mistakes, Really big mistakes could cost a dog 1/2 or a whole point, and catching and not releasing in 5 seconds results in your dog being disqualified and scoring a zero!

In the good old days, 20 years ago, genetics, competition and scoring was very different than it is today, and almost every dog would not call out and thus would lose 1/2 a point, if it was not on the leash, within 30 seconds after the whistle blew.

Above is Hoyt Fergusen and Hondo

There was a time at the Uncle Earl's where you had 30 seconds to call your dog out when the whistle blew or you lost a 1/2 point. That's right, most of you going there now, have no idea what it was like 20 or 25 years ago before hog dog bayings was an industry like it is today. Below is the memorial for Blair's Diamond Cutter by Amos Mann when Cutter passed away.

Photo below is Amos Mann with his Uncle Earl's High Point Trophy and the legendary Cutter, who scored a lifetime achievement of 98% 1st place in all four catagories of NALC competitons and is today, the leading sire of 1st place winners at the Uncle Earl'sHog Dog Field Trails in Winnfield, Louisiana.

Most people do not realize that virtually every dog which dominated the hog baying competition over the last 20 years was and still is today, a descendant of the Two Diamond's Ranch, and out of Blair's Diamond Cutter.

Above is Will Segar's Legend who has been given the honor of being on the cover of the flyer for the 2017 finals at East Texas Hog Baying Championships. And yes, he is a descendant of Cutter!

Here is Jake's word on Will Segar's Legend:
Here it is the much anticipated Alamo Outdoor World championship final leg of the 2017 competition. On the cover is the defending World Champion Bay Dog "Legend". We will honor the world champ every year on the cover of the September flyer and none is more deserving than Legend after having maybe the best year a competition bay dog has ever had. He was the biggest winner at Uncle Earls in 2016 and he was at the top of every class he entered at East Texas, making it no doubt the best year in recent history and maybe ever, for a dog in this sport. In my mission statement when I started this bay pen, I stated that I wanted it to be about getting the dogs some recognition and making their value go up. Well here is to a fine year and may you have many more champ, you deserve it... See y'all in September!

Cutter was retired from competiton by the time he was only six years old.

When Amos was asked why retire him so young? His reply: "I guess it is time to let someone else win."

Cutter was then retired to stud and his sperm was frozen in a sperm bank and sent all around the world.

Above is a descendant of Diamond Cutter in Ragusa, Italy,

and below are his descendants. Above and below photos compliment of Nane' Tortellino

I don't know who started this myth that a hunting dog can't be a pet, because the great dog men who taught me back in the day all spoiled their dogs rotten, like they were pets. I imagine, like Will Segers Legend of today, Cutter slept inside, often ate left overs, and had a belly full most of the time. But when it is time to compete and motivate 'em, what gets 'em going, most likely has more to do with the diet than anything. And what that means is that a pet is never hungry. One of Amos's secrets to winning in competition was running his dogs on an empty stomach, and then feeding them well when done.

And as a rule in nature, a hungry dog hunts. Soooo, what make you think it is any different in a domestic situation?

But this article is not about diet, genetics or competition bayings. It is about having a 'handle' on your hunting dog.

And one thing for certain, a hungry dog will not take for granted, the hand that feeds him, and you as a hunter will most likely not have to be looking for your dog at the end of the day or night of hunting because the dog knows where the next meal comes from. When hunting, I suggest keeping a small stash of dry food in your truck, boat, ATV, and feed 'em when the hunt ends, or I like keeping dog snacks in my hunting bag and rewarding the dog for checking back in, and then send them right out again.

Having a handle on your dog means controling the diet, for sure, but also rewarding them for a job well done, and always feed the dog when they come in at the end of a hunt if they are hungry because it reinforces the hunting instinct and builds a good 'relationship'.

Think about it... don't you like to have a candy bar in the middle of a long hard day for a boost of energy to keep you going and then really get a good evening meal before turning the lights out?

Below is Kim's dog and her quote below it..

"I always tell people it is so important to have a relationship with your dog, and when you have that, they will work harder for you. This one sleeps on my pillow at night, but would die for me if she had too."


Below is a quote from Kyrstal Dollery that I copied from facebook.

Whew... Blaze is ok! I just panic so much over my dogs. The vet gave me a compliment that just melted my heart 💗 she said she has never, in her entire career of treating working dogs, seen hog dogs like mine that can be so rough on a hog yet so well mannered, friendly, & cuddly. That makes me so happy because I want my dogs to have a wonderful, full life. I grew up hunting around those old hound men who said you should never touch your dog unless you're whoopin em or feedin em; playing with them was a no and letting them sleep inside was a HELL NO. I've done both of those things since running my own dogs and yeah, I get extremely emotional when I lose one, but even my husband will tell you that the dogs always have hunted better for me than for him and I firmly believe that's why. I've also had one come back looking for me and help pull me from quick sand. So it makes me so happy that someone appreciates that. Anyone who met Thug when I got him will tell you that dog was an asshole, but now he's a big teddy bear, unless you mess with me. I just like my dogs to be warriors in the woods & pets in the pen.

Then Chris posted this on facebook...

then this later the same day,

and then this:

I have been complimented by some great dog men as having the best handle in the business, and will close with this: I don't like to hunt a dog that I can't call out, because if you can't catch or kill the hog, or call out your dog, most likely you will lose that dog real soon. But ohhhh, the ridicule, disrespect and rejection I have suffered for trying to teach men 'how to properly' handle a well bred, well raised, AND PROPERLY SOCIALIZED AND TRAINED Catahoula hog dog!

Thank you ladies(Kim and Krystal), for raising a very much ignored issue in hog dogs: a good relationship, which requires building and creating a eager to please, obedient, well mannered, easy to handle, and in the end, a very much better hog hunting dog!

NALC reg. C Arrow Patch RIP

Sorry to say, but 'they' just don't make Catahoulas like this anymore... 

 You made me a better man my friend! The more you got beat up, the more determined you were to win...

His head was full of scars and before he was 5 years old, I retired him from the woods to preserve the gene pool, because they just don't come along very often like this anymore and his children were all getting it done in the woods and the bay pen. I could not afford to risk his life and get him killed.

Below is his son Arnold the governator.

His children, grand children, and great grandchildren, were all magnificent, as there were no culls down the line after Patch.

Above and below is Jesse a grandson out of Angel and Bobalou who is teaching a great grandson of Patch...

I don't care what I bred him to, the pups were all magnificent in terms of performance, grit, intelligence, 

and with perfect markings, just like their daddy. Above is Little Bob, a great grandson under Jesse. 

Below is Cocodrille a son, out of Bobby Girl and Patch

In the end Patch was not only the top stud dog in my yard, he was a great dog for training pups on hog and tracking blood trail deer.

I have 4 daughters of Patch in my yard and one son, if anyone is interested in genetics for breeding or working, I am taking deposits now for the fall pups and I can be reached by email @

BTW: my new cell phone number is 337 704 6330

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and at the request of our dear departed friend Sherry Bando, I am writing the book on Catahoulas, soon to be published online. 

 OK, I am not too proud to admit that I shed a tear or two, but seriously, I am celebrating having been 'chosen' and picked by him. He was two yrs old when I got him at the Uncle Earl's and it took him 3 days to know that he would be with me his whole life. Then he started jumping up and french kissing me in the mouth! And I hate it when a dog licks my hand! But, I recognized and had to accept that it was his display of love and gratitutde. And then gently dissuade his out pouring of love. What a magnificent bastard!

With a head full of scars, a neck like a bull, and loyalty, devotion, and intelligence beyond measure, Patch was the first dog to teach me what a NALC reg. real Catahoula hog dog is all about. I cannot grieve, because a life fully lived should be celebrated.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Uncle Earl's Hog Dog Trials (2004)

A Genius Dog House

OML! Looks like a genius designed and built dat! Da dogs gonna love it! 

It keeps da barrel cool in summer, and dog can get up on it for a look around!

dogs love to dig, it's off da ground for floods and you fill it wit hay in da winter... I am impressed!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Village Mills Memories and the East Texas Hog Baying Championships 5/2017

I remember being the last camper to 'leave' Winnfield on Monday morning on more than one occasion and everytime, as I pulled out, reflecting on the memories and friendships and how special it was to be a part of the Uncle Earl family. I am so glad to see that we have kept it going, and 'overcome' those humaniacs who tried to shut it all down about 10 years ago. Hog dog baying is not only bigger and better, it is becoming a very commercially financially lucrative nationwide industry. Keep up the good work my friends and it will 'just keep getting bigger and better'....

Above is Amos Mann and Diamond Cutter

20 years ago, I went to Village Mills, Tx. every month for the Saturday night baying, year round, and Bruce Hall was the judge. Ohhhh, the memories...

Now Village Mills Bay Pen is renamed The East Texas Hog Baying Championships


The 2017 East Texas Hog Baying Championships Hoyt Ferguson Memorial Friday May 26, 2017

ONE DOG OPEN CHAMPION: CLYDE... And his Owner and; Handler Ms. June Cantrel

                        Photo compilation compliments of Missi Ferguson

 If you don't think these dogs are athletes and are bred and born to work, then think again.

 I love the top picture Ms. June.. ole Clyde is saying "I told you to get back in that corner"!! 
I LOVE watching this dog work! CONGRATULATIONS!! ~ Missi Ferguson

And the winners in the 1 dog are:
1st Place ~ Clyde ~ June Cantrel
2nd Place ~ Gator ~ Steve Lester 
3rd Place ~   ~ sorrry IDK be edited in later

Below are the winners in the 2 Dog Open

Will Seger with Black and June Cantrell with Clyde 

The former Village Mills bay pen in Kountse, Texas, 

now known as the East Texas Hog Baying Championships,

where dreams live and legends and memories are made.

Sorry, I don't now who the dog or little girl is but we can thank Missi Ferguson for the photo


Below is my daughter Christina and her 'Bobalou' 1996 at the boat landing in Henderson, La.

She is not posing, she is working her dog and securing Bobalou while daddy launched the boat to make sure her Bobalou doesn't get run over by the boat trailer or the truck tires.


We came up with a new shirt the other night. "We got crabs at the east Texas hog bay"

Editors note: I will give the last photo and word to Missi Ferguson below: