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Deerhound

Deerhound Books

Group: Utility - Breed Standard

History

The Scottish Deerhound is believed to have existed to a time before recorded History. In appearance it was similar to the Greyhound and used for very similar purposes. The environment in which it was worked would have been quite different to that of the Greyhound and likely to have contributed to the size and appearance of the breed. The Deerhound was developed to hunt deer by coursing and deer-stalking. In coursing deer, a single Deerhound or more likely a couple of Deerhounds, would be brought as close as possible to red deer, then slipped to run one of them down by speed, which if successful would happen within a few minutes - four minutes at the most. In deer-stalking, the Deerhound would be slipped at close range, after a red deer had been singled out and shot, in the case the deer did not fall, the intention being that the Deerhound would pull the wounded deer down as soon as possible. The Scottish Deerhound is closely related to the Irish Wolfhound, and was hunted in a similar manner to the Borzoi, and other large sighthounds. The Deerhound would have been a common hound among the Picts and Scots clan members and used to provide part of the dietry requirements. With the eventual demise of the clan systems in Scotland, these big hunting dogs became sporting animals for landowners and the nobility but continued to be bred and hunted by common folk. These large, fast, silent hunters made quick work of any game from a hare up and were highly regarded by the nobility and poachers alike.

Description

Height: dogs: minimum desirable height at withers 76 cms (30 ins); bitches: 71 cms (28 ins). Weight: dogs: about 45.5 kg (100 lbs); bitches: about 36.5 kgs (80 lbs).

Breed Health

Barring major medical emergencies, a considerable number of Deerhounds can be expected to live to approximately 11 years of age. The more common serious health problems in the breed include cardiomyopathy, osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and bloat.

Exercise

The Scottish Deerhound is a large breed with an extremely friendly nature that needs considerable exercise to develop properly and to maintain its health. That does not mean it needs a large house to live in. They should have regular access to free running, in a fenced area, and should not be raised with access only to leash walking or a small yard.

Young Deerhounds can be quite destructive if not given sufficient exercise, however, the average adult Deerhound (two to three years old) may spend much of the day stretched out on the floor or a couch, sleeping. They do require a stimulus and a large area, to exercise properly and frequently. They are gentle and docile indoors and are generally good around company and children.

Outdoors, with room to run, they can be extremely active. They have a long powerful gait and can be extremely fast over a given piece of ground. Care must be taken to give them freedom to run in places where they are safely fenced away from traffic and other dangers. They can be tireless runners and enthusiastic hunters, and can quickly run far from safety.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 23 Nov, 2006