Terminology Of How A Catahoula Hunts
The best hunting dog is driven by:
- a natural game instinct which must be bred into the dog - it can not be taught or learned from other dogs.
- the desire to please his owner - this takes a sound temperament which also must be bred into the dog.
“Hot-nosed” Hunter - Catahoulas will track scents that have recently been laid, approximately within the last hour or so, sometimes as long as 2 hours before. If they are working an older track they will however leave it if they find a scent more recent and continue to track that, or if they air scent a critter that is near-by.
In other words, they will track the hottest scent they can find to the closest critter!!
(This is very different to many hounds, who are “cold-nosed” hunters, tracking scents that may be many, many hours old.)
“Closed” On Trail - Or silent. They do not have a continuous bark while tracking, but may give off an excited bark or two upon hitting a track and then are silent until the prey is bayed-up or treed, when they will start to bark.
(Some hunters do prefer a dog that is open on track, so that they can follow the sound and know which direction the dog has headed)
“Short Ranged” - Catahoulas will stay within a reasonably close proximity to their owners while they are hunting. My dogs are rarely gone for more then 10 minutes without checking back in with me.....one of the traits that I love about them.
“Ground Scenting or Air Scenting” - a Catahoula is quite adept at either following scents on the ground and following scents on air currents.
“Large or Small Game” - They will hunt any type of game - squirrel, coon, bobcat, bear, hog, cougar, deer....etc. With some training they can be “trash broke” to hunt mainly what the hunter wants to and not the nearest game in sight!
“Hog Dog” - they make an excellent hog baying dog in the woods. Baying a hog to a stand still and holding them there until their owner arrives. A dog that “bays loose” or gives the hog room is less likely to be injured then a dog that “bays tight”. The “tight baying” is looked for more in the bay pen at shows.
“Tree Dog” - Catahoulas are excellent treeing dogs. After treeing a squirrel or coon, they will “bay treed” until their owner arrives.