Predator vs. Prey

By: Lana Hollenback

Spring has sprung and it’s time to enjoy life at its best, but we are
faced with a problem that darkens our days, at least it does for me.
There are more and more breeders breeding pigs and selling them to
people who buy into their lies. The lies don’t stop at size or even what
to feed the pigs, but at least you can counter that with facts. The
worst of the lies told are that these poor pigs can be raised together
with dogs, and that they can be kept together. This is false at best and
disastrous/deadly at its worst.

I’m over 70 years old and it never ceases to amaze me the lies that
people will buy into and then pass on. I see photo after photo of dogs
being kept in crates with their owner’s pig. I want so bad to respond
but know people would tell me their dog would never do such a thing and
that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

For years and years it has been common knowledge that pigs are prey
animals. Merriam-Webster defines prey as an animal that is hunted or
killed by another animal for food. Their simple definition of predator
is an animal that lives by killing and eating other animals; an animal
that preys on other animals.

Pigs are prey animals. They can’t turn their heads and neck like a dog.
Common sense tells you they can’t win a battle with a dog who is a
predator by nature. If many of you saw what we’ve been seeing for years,
you’d never crate them together; nor would you leave your pig and dog
together unattended for hours at a time. Many breeders are saying this
is acceptable. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen,
and you are asking for heartache. Think how you will feel if you come
home one day and find your pig dead or dying at the jaws of your dog.
Whose fault will it be? It’s not the fault of the dog. He’s acting
naturally. It will be your fault, and that of the lying breeder. Do your
homework. Google is there for you to use. Talk to people who have been
there and done this. Many of us have cried with owners at the senseless
deaths of their pet pigs.

There is one more thing to do before getting a pig if you think you can
mix pigs and dogs. Talk with a few vets who have had to put pigs back
together again, or had to amputate their ears because they are so
mangled; or sadder yet had to euthanize because someone didn’t watch
their pig and dog together. Yes, I understand accidents happen—like
when a neighbor’s dog jumps the fence and attacks your pig or kills it.
That’s not your fault. But if you are raising dogs and pigs together
without your undivided attention, it will be your fault when something

Just this week a man who owned a pig and rescued dogs called me. One dog
was being aggressive with his pig. He wanted to put them in his backyard
and just let them fight it out. I almost bit my tongue off. His
reasoning was that if you put new pigs together and they fight for top
position and establish dominance that way, why not put the dog and pig
together and let the best one win. At this point I knew for sure FAREC
was not adopting a pig to him. Sadly, many have the same opinion, but
don’t verbalize it that way.

Sadly, this spring we’re seeing more baby pigs being sold by breeders
and consequently more dog attacks on the pigs. I have to wonder where we
go from here. Our beloved pigs will lose this one if kept with dogs.