The History of Our Kennels



At Theunis Botha Big Game Hounds we’ve been breeding our own strain of big game hound since 1983.

Our pack make-up includes all 5 breeds of hounds, hunting pack make-up is guided by factors depending on terrain and quarry. We currently have a pool of about 100 hounds in our kennels. We specialize in Leopard hunting in Africa.

Grande Bleu de Gascogne Hound Bloodlines

After corresponding for many years with Bob Matcheck, and studying his old Oo Grant Bloodlines, and talking to him, we met in Montana USA in 1996. It was through Bob that my interest and focus shifted towards the ancient origins of all scent hounds. (France)

Our first importation of French hounds was Guss 1, from Mrs. Scales in England. Her hounds originated from Mr. Jean Menasol in Paris.

Our second importation we imported 2 Petit blue, Gascognes from Mr. Rene Favre, in Veilly La Genete, France. From Mr. Favre we imported Aldo and Hautess in 1994.

We met Mr. Claude Le Cheire in the same year and very impressed by his dog, “Ceasar”. We decided to import some of this genetics. We did so later when we imported Uranus in 2002.

Dogo Argentino Bloodlines

After studying ancient historic manuscripts from authors like Guston Phoebus and King Maude about treaties of ancient European hunting, I was intrigued by the mention of the “Alaunt”, “Alant” or “Alano” which according to Alfonso XI was burlier than the greyhound but smooth coated and handsome, it had short erect ears which was trimmed to a point. The most favorite colour was white with black patches around the ears or tail.

It was used against large game such as Bear and Boar. This is how I came to be interested in the Dogo Argentino Breed and History.

Treeing Walkers and Foxhound Bloodlines

We imported 2 Walkers, Joe and Rocky from Mr. Worth Nixon in Liby Montana (USA), where they hunt primarily Mountain Lion and Bob Cat. These  lines are proven to be excellent cat hounds.

Al my Foxhound bloodlines comes from Mr. Eldrid Wicks (Kokstad) KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. We bought numerous dogs from which we selected the ones that had the desirable traits that we liked.

Bluetick Coon Hound Bloodlines

Our Blue-tick coonhound bloodlines were imported in 1983 as prominent hounds in our breeding pack from Warren J Haslauer of Smokey River Kennels in Antlers, Oklahoma. Our first import was Diamond Jim’s Son, called Reagan. We later imported a bitch out of Smokey River Pete and a dog out of Smokey River, River Combs Jack.

Our next importation 1989 was from Bill and Cathy Reynolds. We imported 4 hounds, Bumper 1, Sailor, Curley and Sadie. These hounds had their origins from Albert Vaughan’s famous dog, Vaughan’s Blue Buck.

In ’94  we imported “Bumper” from John J. Hennaman in New York State, he is from Minisink Valley Kennels. Bumpers dad was Minisink Valley Hank. On his Mother’s side he was out of the famous Hammer lines, from Dave Dean.

Warren J Haslauer (USA)

Bill and Cathy Reynolds

Bill Reynolds with Leopard

John J. Henneman

Dave and Theunis 1994

Bob Matcheck (USA)

Mrs. Scales (England)

Jean Menasoll (France)

Mr. Favre (France)

Claude Le Cheire and Theunis (France)

Claude Le Cheire

Worth Nixon and Joe

Three were introduced in 2007 from Denmark, from the kennels of Birgitte Nielsen and Peter van Gils. Their steady strain and best temperament makes these fighters obedient and trustworthy workers in the field.

The Dogo’s sole purpose is to deliver the heavy artillery when needed, as hard bay and pressure dogs.

Our first litter arrived in November 2008.  They have been used with great success in our working Leopard and Bushpig packs since 2009.

Brigitte Nielsen and Zodie


Theunis Botha Big Game Hound History

John and Theunis 1994

Peter Juhas and Eva

Theunis with Eva

Theunis with Isa

Slovakian Kopov

We imported our first Kopov hounds in 2011 from Peter Juhas in Slovakia.

We have been running an experimental programme, where we have tested the Kopov extensively during our 2012 season on lion and leopard as a small sized trailing hound.

They fill a niche in our packs where we needed a smaller sized, mobile, tenacious little hound that could get around in thick bush and caves where our bigger hounds had difficulty.

We traditionally used terriers to fulfill this role, but we had a hard time to game proof them and get them off smaller game such as dassies, porcupines and mongooses.

This is where the Kopov is a real bonus for us as they are excellent trailers, easy to train and game proof.

Historically the Kopov was developed in the Tatra mountains on the border of Slovakia and Poland to hunt wild boar and bear in small packs of two and three hounds.


Rasto Juhas with Eva and Isa