EP 26: A Sonoran Desert Javelina & Dog Thriller in Oracle, AZ

Javelina Angry Boar Pig Peccary Fangs

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • Dangers posed by wild javelina
  • Keeping yourself and your dog safe
  • How Javelina communicate with their group
  • The story of a particularly dangerous encounter out in the field between a group of javelina and a dog and his owner
  • How having a well-trained dog that comes immediately when recalled will keep both of you safe

Welcome to another episode of Free Range Dogs

In this episode, Web speaks with a long-time friend and dog lover, Mike Merry, who shares a story about a terrifying encounter he and his dog, Gizmo, had with a herd of javelinas when they were out bird hunting near Oracle, Arizona.

Gizmo, a Brittany spaniel, was named after the character in Gremlins and as Mike’s story will demonstrate, shows some of the same spirit and spunk. When this story takes place, Gizmo is not an adult dog.  She has had some formal training, but she is still young and not fully mature.

One day, Mike and Gizmo went out for a day of quail hunting near Oracle, AZ.  Gizmo was on the end of a check cord so that Mike could still reach her if she wandered off. However, they got separated on a hill in the middle of thick brush and she got out of reach. Mike was able to look down the hill and spot her and he called her to return.

As she began to return to him, he realized that something was behind her, and eventually spotted the herd of javelinas hot on her tail.  She eventually found her way back to him and then stayed at his side as the javelinas approached.

The next 15 minutes stretched out an eternity as the group of pigs repeatedly came in for attack, backed off, re-grouped, and returned.  Finally, Mike and Gizmo are able to get away to safety and they realize the pigs can’t see them (they have very poor eyesight). When they get back home, Mike realizes that Gizmo needs a bit more training so that he can have better control of her in these types of situations.  


Mike Merry and Gizmo, the Brittany Spaniel