Thursday, December 26, 2019

Canada Is Losing A War Against Feral Pigs

Sunday, July 28, 2019

I Don't Care What Anyone Thinks Of Me!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Almost 500 Years Ago...

July 18, 1543

Today in 1543, the survivors of Hernando De Soto’s expedition finally reached the mouth of the Mississippi River, where they would construct crude ships to sail for Mexico. DeSoto had died on May 21, 1542, near the present site of Ferriday, Louisiana and Luis de Moscoso Alvarado would be tasked with guiding the remnants of the expedition to the Gulf. The first part of the journey had been a nightmare of Indian harassment and foundering boats and rafts. 

One fortuitous legacy of DeSoto’s adventure would be that the fierce Spanish hunting dogs left behind by the expedition would become the ancestors of Louisiana’s beloved State Dog, the Catahoula Cur.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Bred To Hunt, and Trained To Survive

Today, I got a big reminder of why I got out of the hog dog business years ago, and why most of the top breeders do not breed and sell to the public.

Two of the puppies I sold to a rancher in south Texas did not survive to be one year old. Why?

Because I told him: "Do not put them into harm's way until they are two years old."

And if you put them in a bay pen, you put them in there to teach them to survive, not to hunt!

You don't use something that will kill them, and you bay them alone. If they have too much help, they will catch. If they get stupid and make a mistake, the hog will punish them, but he will only teach them to back up and respect a boar hog and not kill them.

Ironically I did not sell the puppies to be hogdogs, I sold them during deer season to be blood tracking dogs for hunting guides. Turns out these deer hunting guides have a full-time job as cowboys AND have a lot of hogs too. So they get a wild hair to bring the puppies hog hunting with their Plott hounds. Well, they took the puppies hog hunting and ran into a herd of bad ass south Texas Brahma cattle and the puppies got off on baying the cows after the mature Plott Hound hogdogs got going on hogs and ran off without the pups. The pups were all alone and bored and went to baying a large heard of cattle without any experience on cattle or back up to protect them, and the cattle ran them down and stomped the puppies to death!

I don't train my puppies to hunt, I train them to survive!

Why don't I train them to hunt? Simple, I don't have to. I BREED them to hunt.
And, because they are well bred and have such a strong 'prey drive', if you don't keep them out of harm's way for two years they have a 90% chance of getting killed.

Below is a video of three young pups who had never seen a pig in their life. I had three in there to get them started. After that I put them in the pen alone with the hog. Other wise they start getting catchy.
And you do not want a puppy to start catching in the pen, because when they get to the woods on a rank hog, they don't have enough sense to back up and bay, and they catch and get killed.

If you DO keep them out of harm's way for two years, they have a 90% chance of survival.
And in the wild, a wolf does not leave the pack to go out and hunt on their own until two years old! Why? Because a wolf inherently knows better than to go out on their own without back up when they are too young.

 What makes you think it is any different in a domestic situation?

Unlike most people, I have used a wolf for hog hunting ...

And I used the same dog for tracking wounded and dead deer.

When it came to a blood tracking dog, he was the best running catch dog I had because of speed, a nose, and his sheer size.

I am not finished wrapping up my story, but I just got called out, so maybe I can come back here later and wrap it up...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

My Dogs Are Smarter Than Me

It took me a long tome to realize that my dogs were smarter than me.

Here is an instance that helped bring me closer to that realization.

I was hunting in a boat about 10 years ago, cruising a levee with a nice breeze coming off the land toward the boat, with me were Maurice and Frank my two best dogs at the time, and I could tell the dogs were winding something. Then I saw some movement up in front heading south and turned the boat into the bank to let the dogs out. When they bailed out, one went north and the other south. I immediately got angry at the northbound dog, He was going the wrong way! A least that is what I thought.

I moved up to the front, grabbed the bow line, jumped out of the boat and looked north. Maurice was stretched out like a greyhound, smoking hot, and running in overdrive on the tail of the north-bound hog! There were two hogs moving in opposite directions, with a dog right behind each one. Right before Maurice could sink his teeth into some nuts, the hog made a hard right hand turn and Maurice was moving so fast, he passed him up, put on the brakes and did a 180' turn. Meanwhile the hog leaped into the air and landed in the water about 10 feet from land. He did make but a few strokes before Maurice leaped into the water he was caught on the ear. If he couldn't out run Maurice, I assure you he wasn't going to out swim him either.

Now let's analyse this in retrospect. Based on my limited view there was one hog, From the dogs point of view, based on winding the hogs, there was more than one and they each went and found their own hog. It wasn't my plan, but they were one dog situations, doing it their way. And at that time, I didn;t believe in hunting one dog at a time. I liked to double team a hog. Problem with that is they usually have enough help and catch before I get there. And that is dangerous.

Here is another scenario which is similar.

I sold a two year old, Catahoula/Plott, dog named Amos, to a guy named Kendall from Meridian, Mississippi. He drove about 5 hours to get to me and claimed he needed a dog to produce caught hogs now, or he would lose his hunting priviledges with the farmer who owned the land and was suffering serious crop damage.

He was impressed with the 9 month old dogs he saw in my pen, but decided on the two year old named Amos. He asked how much I wanted for the dog and I told him the dog was worth a thousand if he was worth a dime. But I would help him out and sell the dog for $500. He asked if I would take $400. (Little did I know, I was dealing with a dog trader at the time)

Anyway, he took Amos and caught 4 out of 5 hogs he got on in less than a week. Looked good to me. Mission accomplished.But I was about to be played like a woman who is told what she wants to hear by a man who has selfish covert motives and is trying to get into her pants.

So next weekend, calls me up and advised me he didn't like the way the dog hunted, cuz it was hanging around his feet after he walked around this big briar patch and knew there was a hog in there because the tracks were all going in and none coming out.

I asked him what was his next move, and he said he was going in with the dog and see what happened. Later that day we talked and he advised me that after he walked into the briars, Amos went on ahead and found a sow, bayed till he got there, and caught on command, when he got close enough. In fact he caught two sows about 200# each in the same briar patch that same day about half hour apart. As he was tying the first hog, Amos went and found the other one and kept it there until he was in sight and once again Amos caught when help arrived.

I said congratulations, and he said he couldn't believe the dog was laying down at his feet when there were hogs less than a 1/4 mile away. I said the dog has been with you less than two weeks and doesn't know you yet. Until you walked in and he knew he could count on you to back him up, why hunt? He is an excellent short range dog and you have caught 6 out of 7 hogs you got on in two weeks. What is the problem? The dog is only two years old! Give him time to get to know that he can trust you to back him up!

Well he says he will bring him back and trage him out for an other dog, I said no problem, I got people standing in line for Amos.

Bring him back, I got you money right here. He says no, I don't want the money back, I want to trade him for another dog. I said OK, no problem.

Meanwhile Charlie Fontenot is planning to meet him at Fort Bayou in a few weeks and they start talking on the phone and Charlie says you are crazy if you get rid of that dog. Do you realize you may never find another dog so valuable again, and for only $400?

Charlie went on to tell Kendall that he has always caught more hogs with short range dogs because you don't spend as much time on the chase. A good short range dog that is gritty enough to stop a hog and back up and wait for help doesn't have to chase because the hog doesn't run unless there is too much pressure.

So after talking to Charlie, Kendall calls again and advised me that he decided to keep Amos, because Charlie convinced him of how valuable the dog was.

And about a week later, the next call I get from Kendall he advises me that he sold Amos and wants to come get another one. I said no! NO! NO!

I had already lined up another customer who was waiting for Amos.

Now my new customer and myself are left hanging out to dry.

I don't mind him changing his mind and keeping the dog, but it looks like maybe he sold the dog to another man in Meridian who I gave Kendall,s number to as a reference, so he could call Kendall and verify my claims about the dogs I sell.

I have never heard from either of them since.

I believe Kendal thought he could play me and do it again and again.

Meaning: Come and buy a dog for cheap from someone who is trying to help you after you pretend to be their friend and don't have a lot of money to spend and resell it for big money, and make money off of my hard work again and again.

Come on! A two year old Catahoula/Plott cross who is finding and catching hogs all by hisself is worth a lot of money.

Then there is John Meyers in the Sour Lake, Texas area.

John took Chester, a son of Scarlet and Elijah, who was already finding hogs all by hisself before he was a year old.

John took Chester and claimed he got killed, and offered to pay me the $500 he owed me for the dog the day he claimed Chester got killed. I told him don't worry about the money now, we can settle up later.

Well later I called because I needed the money and never got a return call. Then someone else who had got screwed over by John, filled me in on John's dog trading business and how there were many people harrassing John for the money he owed them on dog deals gone sour.

He advised me that John was actually evicted by his landlord because of the constant harrassment from disgruntled dog buyers coming to his house and starting arguments in the yard and that John regularly changes his phone number to avoid people who are chasing him down.

The real icing on the cake here is that Chester was seen in John's truck after John told me that Chester had been killed and the word is from a close relative of John that John sold Chester to someone near Houston for big money.

When I called John's number to talk to him, the phone had a message that the number was no longer in service.

Now why would I mention the man's name?

He screwed me over and a number of other people. And everything I was told by these other people fit my own experiences with John. Like he had three phone numbers changed in six months of my doing business with him.

BOTTOM LINE: My advise is do not do business with John Meyers!

Now should he call me and pay me, I will post that news here, but I doubt that I will ever hear from him again.

I am sharing these two incidents with my readers not to smear someone name, but to hopefully protect you from the dog traders out there.

Often when people call me I can tell that they don't know why I am so careful about screening my customers.

The Blair-bred Catahoula

About 8 or 10 years ago, I was advised by an old master trainer to bring the Blair bred bloodline into my kennel and cross them with my Maurice line. I have not regretted following that advice , but I must admit it was a challenge to make the adjustment. Because thee Blair bloodline is so well bred and has determination and grit like I never saw in any other bloodline.

Above is de la Houssaye's Valyrie, a great-granddaughter of Diamond Cutter

The Blair bred Catahoula has affected my breeding and training program so much it is like a whole new breed for me.

Above is Amos Mann and Blair's Diamond Cutter

The first thing I noticed was that almost every dog was capable of finding, stopping and holding a hog all by themself and at a very young age. It was like it was a natural instinct instead of something learned in experience. Hence the importance of breeding over training.

The next big revelation, was that I realized these dogs are smarter than me. I also learned that I could not be as harsh in my disciplinary actions as I had been with my old bloodlines. Because of a high level of wolf in the genes of the Blair bred dog, they are very sensitive to neglect, abuse and disrespect. On the other hand if you raise them up as a pup, and spoil them and make them a part of the family, they will live to please you, and die defending you if you are down.

Above is Hoyt Ferguson from Missouri and a descendent of Diamond Cutter

To properly handle these dogs one must understand the pack instinct and how that affects their behavior. In the wild, a wolf's natural instinct is to chase, catch, and kill. In the event that the prey cannot be caught, the lone wolf bays to weaken the prey and to alert the rest of the pack regarding the whereabouts of the hog. Because barking on the track would alert the game to the location of the hog and predator dog, wolves are almost always silent on the track. In essence, baying is something that must be learned from watching older dogs.

Above is a descendent of Cutter in Italy. Amas and Susan sent a Cutter pup to Italy many years ago.

Another thing I learned by observing pack behavior was that the "leader" of the pack was not in the front in a hunt. The leader of the pack allows the younger, more energetic members of the hunt to go out in front and find, and chase the game down. After the younger dogs stop the running hog, the older dog will observe the bay from a distance for two reasons.

Number 1, he stays back to wait for the hog to tire out, and not put too much pressure on the hog causing it to bust out and try to run again. Number 2, the older, leader of the pack is not as much a finder and chaser as the younger dogs, he is a killer. He waits for the hog to tire out at the bay and then makes his move.

Above is NALC reg. C Arrow Patch

By saving his energy for the kill he is much more effective in accomplishing a swift kill and avoiding injury to himself or other members of the pack.

Above is Scudder, a great-grandson of Cutter

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and I can be reached by email at

The Pack Instinct

Because a Catahoula often has a high degree of wolf in the genetics, it is very important to understand what is motivating a dog instinctually, if you are going to train or hunt one.

The first and most important thing you need to train a well-bred Catahoula is to come to you on command because if they are bred right, they will get away from you and hunt.

As a rule, a Catahoula will always check back and sometimes too often in some people's opinion, but that is the nature of the breed. If they won't come to you, when you call them off of a wild boar with cutters, and you can't catch or kill the hog, you may lose your dog because they may get killed or you will never be able to catch up to them.

A lot of people make the big mistake of chasing a dog that won't come. I have learned this the hard way myself. Better to bribe them with food than to get mad and chase or throw things at them and cause them to not trust you.

A Catahoula lives to please it's master if he is well treated and thus trusts those whom he loves he will come and be rewarded with praise and a rub on his ribs.

ALWAYS reward a dog that comes to you when you are trying to win their trust. If he is skittish or shy, tie him up or kennel and spend time with him and talk to him and massage his ribs (which is very pleasurable)and cause the dog to learn that you are a nice person.

Dogs already know most people are liars and are not nice and so live with a great distrust of humans to start with. You must wearn their love, trust and devotion. Many people have claimed that hunting dogs should not be treated as pets, and I understand the logic as it might apply to other breeds, but that doesn't apply to a Catahoula. The more I spoil my dogs rotten, the harder they hunt for me!

The pack instinct causes them to want to go everywhere you go especially if you are the leader of the pack. And if you are not the leader of the pack, they will challenge you to become the leader of the pack (male or female) and if you are not the leader of the pack, now the dog is making the rules.

I am Marcus de la Houssaye and I can be reached by email at Sorry, but my cell phone is currently private and I am no longer taking calls.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Hannah RIP by Justin Cobb

Two things come to mind here: genetic predisposition to hunt, and it passes from generation to generation to generation. And #2 A hunting dog is only as good as the man who hunts him! Rejoice in a life well spent, and do not grieve my friend. ~ Marcus

The post below was shamelessly stolen from Facebook and posted here for all of us and especially newbies who are just getting into it, to consider the importance of genetics.

I don’t even know where to start with this post except my bad luck with my hog dogs continues for another weekend.

 “RIP Hannah”. 

You were not only one of the best dogs I’ve raised and hunted behind for the past 11 years but you were also by far the best producer I will ever own. When I bred Ringo to Yella that day to get you I had no idea that it would forever change my definition of what a great dog is nor that you would give birth to a bunch of dogs over the years that woul d allow me to raise, own, and hunt behind some of the best dogs to ever be called a hog dog. 

You were not only one of the best hunting dogs but you also passed that heart you had down to every puppy you raised. Things will defiantly never be the same with you gone but I know for a fact that the hogs in heaven don’t stand a chance anymore now with you, wheelpack, and Ringo up there together. 

Y’all keep them bayed until I get there one day to catch them just like you did for over the last decade for me here. Thank you for giving me everything you had for not only the last 11 years but especially for giving me all you had this weekend to help our team win these nice buckles. 

You went out doing what you lived, loved, and were bred to do. This buckle will always be a memory of you. 
P.S. we caught the hog that got you so “Sooie go find another one”

Justin Cobb


Editorial conclusion: If you are  just getting into hog hunting or not satisfied with the results you are getting presently you should consider breeding up genetically. If you are hunting hogs and not breeding, you need to get the 'right stuff' and breed 'em, raise 'em, and let them train you.Because if you have the right stuff they were born to hunt, and never TRAINED!


Below is de la Houssaye's Whiteboy

This is Marcus de la Houssaye, and if you want some of the bloodline I developed over the last 30 years, call Chris Garza in Tildon,Texas @ 830 570 2065. He is in south Texas and has all my dogs on a ranch with children, hogs, horses Whitetail, and wild cattle.Best to call in the evening, Chris is a working cowboy, and is busy in the saddle this time of the year during daylight. 

if you are just window shopping, please don't waste the man's time.

He has puppies right now, and he will be breeding more soon, but you should really consider putting money down for the future, because they are going fast, last I checked with him.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The One Dog Wonder

A descendant of Diamond Cutter in Italy

In the beginning, I believed hog hunting required two dogs minimun in case a dog got into a bind like the two below in the bay pen.

Photo above courtesy of Mr. Charlie Tucker, of Toshimingo, Mississippi

Photo above courtesy of Mr. Charlie Tucker, of Toshimingo, Mississippi

But after I started breeding Blair bred dogs, I had to agree with the old timers, who told me, "If you got the right dog, you only need one dog!'

Jesse and Gus(at six months old) during a 'training' session at my bay pen in Carencro, Louisiana

       Well the right dog is often hard to find these days because a lot of people are breeding for show, and not performance.

Mr. Amos Mann of the Two Diamonds Ranch and Blair's Diamond Cutter

Blair bred dogs are not only capable of winning the dog show, they can also be the one getting it done in the pen, woods, swamp, marsh and on the prairie rounding up cattle.

              de la Houssaye's Arnold, a great grandson of Blair's Diamond Cutter

Delight Catahoulas working cows in Hungary, Europe

I have spent litterally hundreds of hours talking to old timers like Sherry Bando, Charlie Fontenot, and Amos Mann. And lately I have been talking a lot with Mr. Charlie Tucker of Toshimingo, Mississippi.
Sherry Bando is honored every year in January @ the East Texas Hog Baying Championships 

A few years ago, I was talking with Sherry Bando and I advised her that I don't put my dogs in harms way until they are 2 years old, and she asked: "Where did you get that from?" I said, I had learned the hard way and watched too many dogs die before they were a year old. And that led to us discussing a lot of things most people do not know, because they won't listen to the old timers like I did.

Diamond W Scudder of Sherry Bando's Campawhile bloodline

One thing that I did not believe is if you got the right stuff there is no culls. 100% performance is not common in working dogs, because most people don't have Blair bred dogs when it comes to Catahoulas.

Two Diamonds Cayenne Rose @ my bay pen in Carencro, Louisiana

 But that is not the biggest problems with Blair bred dogs. Most who DO have Blair bred dogs don't know how to handle them!

de la Houssaye's Jesse and Gus in training...

The 'one dog wonder' is what Charlie Fontenot called 'em!

Sherry recommended that we run one dog at a time because if you got the right dog, you only need one!

de la Houssaye's Ruby showing the youngsters how it is done

 and.... here is the kicker: they have a higher survival rate because one dog by his self will not get killed and die by being too close and or catching before you get there.

I am Marcus de la Houssaye, and I breed Blair bred Louisiana Catahoula dogs. My cell phone is temporarily down so I can be reached by email:

Here is a couple of my hog hunting friends at the Sherry Bando Memorial baying at the East Texas Hog Baying Championships a few years ago, with some good advise!

"RUN YOUR DOGS, NOT YOUR MOUTH!" Thanks for that one Jake Loiacanao!