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TOPIC: Deerhound Feet

Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15585

Hi All, Iv'e just been looking at the photos from a couple of recent shows in the UK and while admiring many of the dogs I am somewhat puzzled by shape of the feet of many of them. The front ones in particular seem to be very long and flat. I thought the standard called for tight well knuckled feet as surely these long hare feet would be a hazard when running over rough rocky ground.

Love to know what anyone else thinks about this.

Pam
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15588

I can't answer this on general terms, only about my own dog. He often looks to have long flat feet, however after he's been in water they look very elegant and compact. I can only think that they may have thick fur on their feet which tends to make them look bulkier than they really are.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15596

This is an observation I have made , too ; some breeders call those ( unsightly feet )aptly " pancake feet " . I own 1 who has somewhat flat front feet , not as bad as some of the dogs shown I realised ...- and I can tell you , that the feet are her weakest point , not only when it comes to running over hrash/hard terrain . They are thinner , softer and more tender and thus make her somewhat more vulnerable than those of my other girls who have the correct , well knuckled up feet ( a breeder said to me initially that deerhound feet should look as if they stood on little balls basically ).It doesn't make any difference wether the feet are wet or dry or have a lot of fur on them - once you touch them you can easily feel the difference , even when they are lying flat on their sides . I also worry about arthritis later in her life , she is only 5 now.
Having flat feet myself I do know that they are an impediment to strenous exercise......
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15601

Hi Jacobite, this is very interesting.
Since ten years i go to Crufts and UK deerhounds Breedshow to visit or/and compete in. I also go to German Breedshows, Dutch, Swiss, French and big sighthounds shows, World shows...
It is important for me to see a lot of deerhounds.
I am not diplomate, anyway diplomacy is necessary between unethical and corrupt people, and we are not like that, we just breed hounds.
Two particularities concern UK deerhounds. First there are a lot deerhounds with flat feet, more than that, there are not many deerhounds with perfect knuckled feet. Nothing comparable with continental deerhounds.
Perhaps UK deerhounds owners are bold enough to compete with flat feet's dogs and on mainland, this dogs stay at home...
Second, in England, is that flat feet seems not prevent victories and champion title. And perhaps this is one reason to explain the frequency of this fault, other reasons are: the unemployement of the breed, and also the relative apathy of some hounds, the weight and over-weight, the activity during growthand after, the feeding,...
One of my bitch had flat feet, when she was young (6 months), she had perfect feet until she eat a salamander. She was close to death, loose a lot of weight and the four feet become flat as duck feet are. Finally she get better, but front feet stay flat.
Please excuse my poor english.

I remember five/six years ago at Crufts, an woman (English breeder) say to me that she would like to walk on the feet of my bitch R'ihafia of Muma, of course it was a joke. So i said "Now i understand why there are so many deerhounds with flat feet in England..." and the woman said "Yes, i am very busy!"
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15605

I agree that UK Deerhound feet aren't what they were and could well do with improvement. When we still had proper coursing, feet were important in a running hound, but now that our hounds aren't worked, they've become less of a priority. I do think this is a shame - a good tight well-knuckled foot looks better and lasts longer.

Good feet need to be bred for and then kept properly once you've got them - letting nails grow too long can easily spoil a foot when your pup is growing rapidly. I cut puppies' nails each time they're wormed, so they've been trimmed six times when they leave home.

Having said that, environmental and developmental factors may play a part in poor feet. I had a bitch whose feet were perfect until her second teeth came in, when they went down and never came right back up again. She had decent enough feet, but they weren't as good as they had been before teething.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15607

Bon jour Florent
Long time no hear!

Flat feet in a galloping hound is like owning a Porsche that has flat tyres
its no good.

I have noticed over the last 3 years just how bad this is getting within the breed in the UK, I think there is a need for another seminar as we have so many new people breeding but very little education being offered.

I have seen so many greyhounds totally " knocked up" when running on flat ground with flat feet its a bad fault.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15610

I totally agree with you Florent...my motto is No feet, no Deerhound!. My girls all course and without good feet they would soon break down and get injured. I think a pup with flat feet is always going to have them to some extent, I know of no way to get them well knuckled if they aren't born that way. You need to keep nails trimmed weekly, that really helps to cut down on foot injuries. I wonder too how many good feet are ruined by inactivity at a young age, when they run and play at will they use those feet as brakes and a way of turning and twisting.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15619

COULD NOT AGREE MORE
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15620

Yes Deerhoundlady, I grew up with horses and the saying there was always "no oof no orse". I agree with what someone on here (I think it was Sid) said people who breed Deerhounds should go to Scotland and see the terain over which the dogs used to hunt, then it becomes obvious why good feet and sound front construction is so necessary.

I do think that it's important now that our breed can no longer hunt, either here or in the UK :angry: :angry: that we keep it's orignal purpose firmly in mind.

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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15621

As I have noticed with one of mine,how come one day their feet are as flat as duck's,but the next nicely knuckled?Is it down to the ground they are exercised on,feeding,or what?
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15629

I think , to have a good look at the feet/their structure the dogs have to be on an even and hard surface , walking and standing - I really do not think it varies so much day by day , we might just be looking from a different angle , or the ground is uneven and changes the shape of the foot . And , I also do think , no matter where and how you exercise them and whatever you feet , a really bad foot will always be that - I am also sure it can influence it a bit , at least their surefootedness . The only time they might be a bit flatter ( on an adult dog ) is around the heat , when all the connective tissue is a bit softer .
I personally really " hate " flat feet and always feel a pity for the poor deerhounds who have to walk /run on them ....
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15663

Sometimes looks can be deceptive. I was checking out my guys feet. Bree and Lockie, for lack of better words, have chunky feet. They are deep and well knuckled. When looking at Xena;s they look flattish but when you feel them they are also well knuckled and tight. I'm thinking because she has smallish feet, being a smallish dog, and the way the hair covers them they look flat but in reality are very tight and well knuckled.
One of our previous DH's had a very flat foot due to a tendon injury. Would look odd having one compact foot and one duck foot.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15720

We have two girls with rather long "flat" feet but it has never stopped them from running fast, in fact I'm inclined to say it's helpful when climbing a hill or slope. The boy's got feet as described in the standard i.e. much smaller or less long, but he is less apt to run uphill. I don't think it's wrong for foot sizes to vary, as long as it's nothing out of the ordinary.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 2 months ago #15721

Bonnie wrote:
We have two girls with rather long "flat" feet but it has never stopped them from running fast, in fact I'm inclined to say it's helpful when climbing a hill or slope. The boy's got feet as described in the standard i.e. much smaller or less long, but he is less apt to run uphill. I don't think it's wrong for foot sizes to vary, as long as it's nothing out of the ordinary.

why have we got smaller toes, than fingers on our hands, also our toes are not as long as our fingers and are more compact.

A galloping hound with flat splayed feet would be like us running on our hands,
Talk to any true sighthound person who has worked , shown coursed, and run hounds on all types of land hills ,and they will agree that good compact well knucked feet as per the Breed Standard are one of the most, if not the most important thing to have in a sighthound.
I along with others have seen too may, injuries sustained by hounds with flat feet.
Deerhound Breed standard


Broadest at ears, tapering slightly to eyes, muzzle tapering more decidedly to nose, lips level. Head long, skull flat rather than round, with very slight rise over eyes, with no stop. Skull coated with moderately long hair, softer than rest of coat. Nose slightly aquiline and black. In lighter coloured dogs black muzzle preferred. Good moustache of rather silky hair and some beard.

Eyes
Dark. Generally dark brown or hazel. Light eyes undesirable. Moderately full with a soft look in repose, but keen, far away look when dog is roused. Rims black.

Ears
Set on high and in repose folded back. In excitement raised above head without losing the fold and in some cases semi-erect. A big thick ear hanging flat to the head or a prick ear most undesirable. Ear soft, glossy and like a mouse’s coat to the touch; the smaller the better, no long coat or fringe. Ears black or dark coloured.

Mouth
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck
Very strong with good reach sometimes disguised by mane. Nape of neck very prominent where head is set on, no throatiness.

Forequarters
Shoulders well laid, not too far apart. Loaded and straight shoulders undesirable. Forelegs straight, broad and flat, a good broad forearm and elbow being desirable.

Body
Body and general formation that of a greyhound of larger size and bone. Chest deep rather than broad, not too narrow and flat-sided. Loin well arched and drooping to tail. Flat topline undesirable.

Hindquarters
Drooping, broad and powerful, hips set wide apart. Hindlegs well bent at stifle with great length from hip to hock. Bone broad and flat.

Feet
Compact and well knuckled. Nails strong.

Tail
Long, thick at root, tapering and reaching almost to ground. When standing dropped perfectly straight down or curved. Curved when moving, never lifted above line of back. Well covered with hair; on upper side thick and wiry, on under side longer, and towards end a slight fringe is not objectionable. A curl or ring tail undesirable.

Gait/Movement
Easy, active and true, with a long stride.

Coat
Shaggy, but not overcoated. Woolly coat unacceptable. The correct coat is thick, close-lying, ragged; harsh or crisp to the touch. Hair on body, neck and quarters harsh and wiry about 8 cms (3 ins) to 10 cms (4 ins) long; that on head, breast and belly much softer. A slight hairy fringe on inside of fore- and hindlegs.

Colour
Dark blue-grey, darker and lighter greys or brindles and yellows, sandy-red or red fawns with black points. A white chest, white toes and a slight white tip to stern are permissible but the less white the better, since it is a self-coloured dog. A white blaze on head or white collar unacceptable.

Size
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).

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15905

Had some spare time today and looked at some of the photos of winning show dogs and just can not believe what I am seeing at times - those poor hounds look to me as if walking even 1 step would be painful for them ; indeed something to be very aware of , those flat , flat feet .
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15906

It makes you wonder if the judges who put these dogs up really knew what they are doing. To reward such an obvious and serious fault seems to suggest a lack of knowledge of the breed.

Pam
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15907

Jacobite wrote:
It makes you wonder if the judges who put these dogs up really knew what they are doing. To reward such an obvious and serious fault seems to suggest a lack of knowledge of the breed.

Pam

Well, you know, you can only judge what's put in front of you. If those were the winners, what were the rest like? I have to admit I set great store by feet and pasterns when I'm judging. If they haven't got the proper shock absorbers, they wouldn't last the season on the hill.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15908

I am so pleased that people are concerned with conformation, in particular feet - I am not an expert- have only owned two DHs- have worked a lot with horses(working thougherbreds)and taught skiing to people in Vail, USA and C Peak NZ, for 10 years- in all cases if what ever connects one to the ground is not correct, nothing works!!! I have heard that here, challenges have been refused because the standard is not good enough. It does sound as if things are getting better now. I can only hope that people do not breed from any DHs unless they are exceptionally good. After all where are the homes to be found where owners have the space, time and money that is necessary to give these wonderful animals the ability to reach their full potential both physically and mentally? I do know of other sight hound breeders that are not breeding any more because of the lack of good homes in NZ.
Best wishes,
Annette.
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15910

Just a question , do the judges in England have to award a CC to the BOB deerhound ? That always would be an option - , to place in front but withhold the CC if there is such a serious fault in the best dog/bitch . And , do you have something like the
" judges education " ? - something they hold regularly in the states , esp. at their big specialties . As far as I know they ask for a certain umber of deerhounds to come to that event , where judges are taught hands on, by longtime deerhound breeders/experts on what to look for in a deerhound .
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Re:Deerhound Feet 8 years 1 month ago #15911

Yes a judge can withhold a CC, they can also withhold a first prize at a Champ show,
I have never known it happen in Deerhounds, but have known it happen in Otterhounds, a very experienced all rounder judge withheld the Dog CC in Otters a number of years ago.

It was brave of them, there was a hell of a stink about it, but she was quite right too,
also now when judging the KC place within the judges book, notification that you must not place a dog that has an obvious health fault.
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