What is a Dog Hook?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 November 2019
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Dog hooks are devices that are often used in the lumber industry. Sometimes referred to as a peavey or cant dog, a typical dog hook is distinguished by the presence of a hook at the end of a stout lever. A log dog hook makes it easier to move logs from one position to another during the process of cutting and transporting the sections to a sawmill.

The dog hook is considered to be one form of the peavey. Along with the hook design, a peavey sometimes will make use of a spike. In both cases, the devices make it easy to handle logs of just about any size, by providing the ability to hook into the body of the log and use leverage in order to move it into position. Both types of hooks have been used since the latter part of the 18th century, with some evidence that the actual origin of the dog hook can be traced back to ancient Rome.

Because of the nature of the work accomplished with the dog hook, the body of the device is usually made of some type of durable metal. Today, the use of cast iron is very common, along with a few designs that are constructed with steel. Generally, a cast iron dog hook is preferred in logging situations, while the steel designs are often helpful for use in the mill, or in a lumberyard.


It is possible to secure dog hooks in a number of different sizes. Some are designed for operation as part of some type of heavy machinery, while others are the ideal size for use as a hand tool. Because of the sharp tip of the hook, it is important to be extremely careful when attempting to hook logs with the device. If handled improperly, the rebound from the attempt could make it hard to control the direction of the hook, possibly leading to an injury.

While much of the equipment used today in logging has reduced reliance on the traditional dog hook, it is very unusual for any type of logging operation to not make use of the hooks at some point in the process. The hooks are helpful for moving logs into position for loading onto trucks, as well as helping to reposition the logs once they are loaded onto a truck bed. When used properly, a dog hook can make tasks of this type much easier to manage, and require less time than other means of positioning logs.


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