Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"

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9 years 8 months ago #7721 by Richard
Richard created the topic: Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"
Fiddle asked: Just for my information. - What do you mean by writing "the old standard"?

Sorry I should have been more specific. By the "old standard" I meant the original standard of 1892. You can find it in the chapter on the Deerhound by E.G.Salter in Harding Cox (1908). This standard, as I mentioned in my other post on the standard, was changed to increase heights and delete the "Scale of Points to 100" some time around 1914 (the records are lost). In 1948 the British Kennel Club requested a series of format changes to the Standard. Norah Hartley's book on the Deerhound provides that Standard. If you wish to see an earlier version of this Standard, adopted by the Scottish Deerhound Club of America(SDCA) in 1935, you can find it at www.deerhound.org/ . Fortunately the SDCA strongly resisted the pressure from the AKC to simplify this standard.So,this standard and that of the Canadian Kennel Club remain the closest to the historical Deerhound standard.
The most significant changes (and potentially the most detrimental to the breed) came around 1986-8 when the UK Kennel Club demanded that the Deerhound Club generify the Standard.

One of the best historic descriptions of the breed comes from Weston Bell,in his book The Scottish Deerhound, 1892. It is striking that Bell called the breed at that time "the modern Deerhound". Bell is making a clear distinction betweeen the hunting Deerhound and the show Deerhound. You have to look at the depictions of such artists as Landseer who experienced the hunting Deerhound. Here is an artist known for his anatomical accuracy showing exactly how the coursing Deerhound looked. We are now in the era of the "Post-modern Deerhound". I appreciate the fact that much of this would appear to be irrelevant to the current breed enthusiast, however to truly understand the breed and where it's going we need to know where it came from. Best wishes, Richard

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9 years 8 months ago #7725 by houndy
houndy replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"
Well - I am just a newbie to deerhounds but I am really enjoying this thread - it is fasinating to learn anout the history and standards ect. Thank you :)

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9 years 8 months ago #7754 by Keijke
Keijke replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"
I agreed thanks!

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9 years 8 months ago #7817 by florent
florent replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"
This is a link to William Drury book; British Dogs - Their Points, Selection, And Show Preparation(1903). http://books.google.fr/books?id=WcRXaFxuhqIC&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=Macdonalds'+great+deerhound&source=bl&ots=DpEQ66fl_8&sig=sR-UMoi884l3wGHRvk7NybVyRdc&hl=fr&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA127,M1
Page 127/128 there is "an old sandard", probably the first one.
First difference with present standard is that there are LIMITS.
Second:
Limits well-defined about weight; From 85lb to 105lb in dogs; from 65lb to 80 in bitches.
Limits well explained about size;
-Height of bitches:-From 26in. upwards. There can be no objection a bitch being large, unless too coarse, as even at her greatest height she does not approach that of the dog, therefre, could not have been too big for work,as over-big dogs are. Besides, a big bitch is good for breeding and keeping up the size.
-Height of dogs:-From 28in. to 30in., or even more if there be symmetry without coarseness, but which is rare.

So never over 28in.(minimum in dogs) for the bitches.
And i admit it is difficult for a dog to stay balanced with 105lb and more than 30inches.:)
It is very funny also to see a hund over 105lb running fast and trying to turn or stop, especially when this hound go down.
Very funny also are sighthounds over 105lb when they need to sprint ascent, and i know that deer run over 50km/h, very rare are gazehounds over 105lb which can reach this speed.
But to trot in a small area, 130lb and 35inches are not a problem...

In France, some breeds become over-big during twenty century, briards and beaucerons were often over 28 inches, and become totally incapables of working. Now they reduce and return to the minimum and we can see again these two breeds working in countryside.

It's comic also to see that what is writing in the standard is not necessarily respected.
AKC http://www.deerhound.org/ is on 1935's standard, more restrictive about size( dog 30 to 32inches....), do you think american deerhounds are smaller than british deerhounds ? :laugh:

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9 years 8 months ago #7838 by Richard
Richard replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Modern"
No, Scottish Deerhounds in North America are not smaller than Scottish Deerhounds in Europe :)

See for example www.sciencedirect.com/science , if possible, for the Elsevier journal Genomics online, for the source article Genomics Volume 90, Issue 3, September 2007, Pages 354-363 "Heritability and segregation analysis of osteosarcoma in the Scottish deerhound" which is very interesting in this context - apart from the alarming figures on the incidence of osteasarcoma in the breed - in that it actually includes measurements, height & weight, on a group of 274 (post-modern:))Deerhounds in NAmerica. We should presume that those are accurate scientific measurements:)

With reference to an imortant (size!) early description (not a standard) of the breed see the first version of British Dogs, Editor Dalziel, circa 1881, by "Senex", and further have a look at Dalziel's discussion on judging to a scale of points, page 184-189. www.archive.org/details/b...their00dalzrich
I have the very strong impression that "cynologists" such as Stonehenge, Vero Shaw, Dalziel etc, the doggy-historians, -authorities, -experts, and the show judges, propagated judging to a scale of points because it was considered more "objective". It remained (highly?)controversial, and disliked by many breed specialists and breeders. It appears that as far as the Deerhound was concerned and its British club, that scale of judging points was officially dispensed with, around 1914, and "replaced with the "Points of a Deerhound" in order of importance. As well as hiking the height up :) Richard

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9 years 6 months ago #10430 by Nat
Nat replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Moder
The "hiking up" of the height in Breed Standards fascinates me. Why is it done?

Looking at the lovely footage of the Deerhound National Championships in Scotland, it seemed that the dogs were all very tall. What is the average height of winning show dogs in the UK, and the US? (I can't open the link to the osteosarcoma study that you gave, Richard.)

My own dog is 32 inches and is one of the smallest in the ring. My speyed bitch is 28 inches, and would be laughed at if she were shown. She looks like a midget, but is within the"Standard".

Glascu Deerhounds

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9 years 6 months ago #10588 by Richard
Richard replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and
Why *was* it done?
2 main reasons.
1: Around the late 1800's, when the real Highland deer-coursing/hunting dogs were dispensed with for being to tall, i.e. above 30 inches, they were often given to people in the South (England) as companion dogs, or more importantly as show dogs (the new exciting middle class hobby). Size impresses in the ring. So, overlarge Deerhounds became the norm in *show circles*.
2: An added historic impetus was given by people such as Scrope and Graham who were of the opinion that the Deerhound of their day was "degenerate", and subsequently in their opinion too small. Graham was looking in the Deerhound for a huge (Irish) wolf killing dog, a myth, which had never existed in the size/format he imagined, and Scrope (1830's) had trouble in finding pure Deerhounds to stalk with, and was getting ready to breed a new type of Deerhound - see the Landseer portrait of Buskar/Buscar (the original & correct type), with the Bloodhound, Foxhound, Greyhound that Scrope proposed to use for his new Deerhound. www.tate.org.uk/servlet/V...&searchid=11058
Since then the Deerhound community has been in collective denial of the fact that anything above 30inches is ineffectual in hunting/coursing, and too coarse even for the show ring.
All of this has now become irrelevant to show judging - but should not be forgotten.
Send me an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will retun you a copy of the osteosarcoma paper.
Best wishes ~Richard

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9 years 6 months ago #10868 by Nat
Nat replied the topic: Re:Deerhound Standard - the Modern and "Post-Moder
Thank you, Richard. I find Breed Standard history very interesting.

I will email you shortly with lots of questions!!

Glascu Deerhounds

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