|Group:||Hounds (Group 4)|
|Club:||Deerhound Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Deborah Guthrie|
Background The Deerhound, the Royal Dog of Scotland, has been bred in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland since time immemorial. Bred to run down, catch and kill the red deer, it is built for speed and stamina. Revered for its courage and tenacity as a stag hunter, it was not until the introduction of improved firearms that its skills were no longer in great demand. Deerhounds have been in Australia since early colonial times and were a much-needed aid in supplying meat, by keeping down the kangaroo population. Later they were used for killing the Dingo and fox that preyed upon the sheep flocks.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Deerhounds live from between 7 to 10 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The Deerhound is loyal and dignified and adores children. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together. Mr George Cupples, in a book titled "Scotch Deerhounds and their Masters" writes, "How perfectly docile is the thorough-bred deerhound of our own Scottish forests and stalking-ranges. His inveterate keenness, no less than his strength renders him about as bad a foe as mortal creature need wish to face. Yet how gentle and familiar a house-mate is he; of all dumb favourites the most decorous by the hearth and table; a marvel of patience with little dogs; and among the children a plaything that can be handled as they will."
Compatibility with other pets A Deerhound should live happily with other household pets. However, since they were bred to chase and catch game, the sight of a small animal running may trigger a response. Your Deerhound may share companionship with your indoor cat but may change its attitude outdoors when a cat runs past. Most owners report their Deerhound and other pets get along fine, but it is best to use caution to prevent any "chasing mishaps".
Care Requirements The adult Deerhound enjoys as much exercise as you can give it. A young puppy will exercise sufficiently by just playing with the family, itself or other dogs each day. Some Deerhounds can be extremely sensitive and need almost no disciplining, where others try your patience to the limit. It is big and busy as a puppy and prone to long naps as an adult. Deerhounds are sweet, tractable, lazy dogs not excelling in obedience work. The Deerhound requires only moderate grooming, having an easily managed coat of a rough wiry texture that does not readily harbour dirt. If a Deerhound is an outdoor dog it needs to be provided with a draught free kennel not too far from the house; Deerhounds like to be close to the family and will feel rejected if banished outside. Deerhounds like to jump and can easily clear the average garden fence or even higher. A secure yard must be provided as Deerhounds have almost no road sense and can travel at over 60 kilometres an hour. Deerhounds are probably not going to bring back that stick you throw, most likely will not bark and growl when someone approaches your front door, and the roast you put on the kitchen counter to defrost is an open invitation for a Deerhound to snack.
Please Take Note If a Deerhound is not given infinite companionship and direction as a youngster, it can develop into a headstrong, boisterous and unruly adult.
Ideal Owner/s People who do not spend long hours away from home on a regular basis and are prepared to accommodate the Deerhounds need for exercise, quality food and good health care. This includes having a large safely fenced area in which the dog can exercise.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Deerhound and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.