At that age he is not going to all of a sudden became a busy hunter, good dogs are going well by 12mths and beginning to peak by 18mths, he is lugging so that mental button in his head has been pressed, if he walks beside you its probably because youve done a lot of walking with him from a pup and he has grown up staying by youre side now its a habit, he gets a chew he doesnt need to go find it and he doesnt have the drive to over ride that mindset. I wouldnt hunt him on foot at all only of the truck when youre not beside him he might start focusing on whats out in the paddock, but I also think he doesnt have the drive that makes top hounds.
Bonding can be over done where the dog is infatuated with you, I get it in young pups generally until they are started then they realize thats it more fun than me, as soon as I see a pup getting to stuck to me I ignore him totally leave him more on his own with different dogs so gets dog social more than people social, some are worse than others you just got be aware of it when the pup is young, you want him to trust you fully but not become starstruck, intelligent dogs seem to fall into this easier than those bull headed types.
Hairy dogs starting slow is accepted by hunters and so there are lots of them, there also hairy dogs that light up early because they came from drivey dogs that light up, the regular pig hunter wants an easy dog to handle and will breed relatively soft animals that catch pigs these types are closer to house pets than hard core pig dogs, most of those types are good for western mob pigs, they lack that grunt the drivey breeds and crosses have, but they catch a lot of pigs and so suit a lot of people.
Good luck with him.