Working ability in Deerhounds

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9 years 7 months ago #19997 by Bonnie
Bonnie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Yes, she's wheaten/mustard - chocolate brindle. Very unusual. Will see if I can upload some pics of her.
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9 years 7 months ago #19999 by Richard
Richard replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
On aptitude - yes, all hunting dogs need to be trained for their work, physical training and mental training.
That usually meant for any sighthound that tackled large game, physical conditioning and being “entered” to game with an experienced companion. Over–eager dogs often got killed, timid dogs were no use. It’s a hard and dangerous thing to do.
There is a “sweet spot” for the dimensions of all sighthound breeds in their original terrain, on their original game. There is an optimum for physical hunting ability, and in working dogs it defined the distinct and authentic breeds. Different horses for different courses, different hounds for different grounds. It’s not simply a question of geometry – which is two dimensional – dogs are three dimensional, which means the higher they get, the heavier they get. That means a handicap in speed and agility, especially in running on rough inclined terrain.

What did our original breed standard co-author have to say about this, likely having been persuaded to include the phrase,(my emphasis) “... Height of Dogs. - 28-30inches, or even more if there be symmetry without coarseness, but which is rare.”
Doubtless Lord Saltoun and Lord H. Bentinck had dogs they considered thirty-one inches, but no one knows better than Mr. Graham how unreliable are the statements as to the height of dogs, and it is probable that, if good for work, they were of a less height. Anyway, I have shown, from the opinions of Lochiel, Colonel Inge, and others who use the Deerhound, that big dogs are useless; and I mentioned - and am ready to verify - three instances of show dogs that were parted with because they were too large for the Highlands, though in other respects two of them were good at deer. I therefore maintain that I have proved my point - that many of our largest show dogs are too big for work, and there is consequently no reason to suppose they are degenerate from those of former times, when work was the sole object they were kept for.
Hickman Livestock Journal 1881
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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #20015 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I posted a link to the most amazing amount of information written by Captain Graham, and I urge people to take the time and savour the incredible amount of information within it, scroll down look at the amazing photos, see the crossbred deerhounds that stick out like a sore thumb ( BTW I do love lurchers) www.irishwolfhoundarchive...rhounds1879.htm

(Credit must go to the founder of what is a fascinating website, ) throughout his text its mentioned many times to the amount of crossbreeding that was taking place at that time, and he mentions how few pure strains were in existence

The notes need to be cross referenced to the photographs and pedigrees that are available within the information along with the purity of the strain. And I for one would love a seminar on it. But the poor committee have so much to do.

Its incredible to me that you say that Lord Saltoun and Lord H. Bentinck were less than truthful and maybe exaggerated because they had working hounds of 31 inches looking at the photograph they look much more purebred, it does not seem to suit your theory, . And yet Lochiel, Colonel Inge was totally truthful, you have taken little account of the purity of the bloodlines and not factored that into the equation.

To me you have proven nothing, and if all of the evidence on this thread were put in front of a judge I think he would come to the same conclusion there is not enough evidence. (I for one will take Captain Graham accounts and information that over 100 years later still fills me with awe when I read his writings it’s as if he is in the room with you and add into it that hounds today are better fed, have more veterinary care etc etc which may have added more substance it proven in humans ..) and is still shown huge respect by the IW club who recently had a memorial service at his grave.

I am repeating myself again, I am not height prejudice far from it, but I will not accept that some deerhounds of today are not fit to do the job, because they are over 28 inches in height and at the end of the day whether it be a hound of 28 inches or 32 inches if its not there between the ears it matter not one fig, how tall the hound is. But I am referring to purebred deerhounds. And a lot of the hound’s purity you have mentioned is questionable.

I am unsure if you are referring to the USA and Canadian deerhounds or deerhounds here in the UK?? Or Europe etc etc I don’t want to see hounds of 33 inches and above but if they have the substance spring of rib, span of girth etc but I agree that would be rare but not impossible, I can also add that in Australia the respected deerhound owner breeder of longstanding hunting kangaroo looks to a 32 inch high deerhound weighing 100lbs and they have hunted Kangaroo for a great deal of time.

I have said that when judging I would put a 28 inch well constructed hound over a 32 inch hound of poor construction, I am not blinded by my own hounds far from it, I know everyone of their faults. I also know they are capable of a job. as I know of many others in the UK that are. I cannot speak for hounds outside of the Uk.

I think its time for me to bow out, as I am boring myself and do not want to appear antagonistic, purity of stains we really have to put into any equation and if some are not familiar or good at spotting the crossbreeding that would have to go to a seminar,, as I have said all I have to say and I hope people will study and enjoy Captain Grahams notes as much as I do. And draw there own valuable conclusions

I think I have to just agree to disagree with you and thats the end of it
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9 years 7 months ago #20017 by farnorth
farnorth replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Hi can someone explain why dogs of under 30" and bitches of under 28"are disregarded and
dismissed in the show ring when mostly everyone agree's that they can be fit for purpose
I know that ardneish has said that he would put a smaller dog first if it was deserved but how many others would do this or do people with smaller dogs have to pick the shows that ardneish judges at to have any chance in the show ring
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9 years 7 months ago #20041 by Brodie
Brodie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Well I’ll stick my neck out Ian, my reply would be that you should be judging the animal (what ever breed) to the “ONE & ONLY STANDARD” formulated & agreed as the “benchmark” to be achieved in that respective breed. (Supposedly the standard is intended to ensure that the animal is fit for life & also fit for purpose)
As someone who assesses people to National Occupational Standards for a living I would not have it any other way :)

Wigster n San x
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9 years 7 months ago #20042 by farnorth
farnorth replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Yes John i agree that there is a standard but you know as well as i do that a deerhound doesnt have to be a specific size to be fit for life and purpose so why judge them in the show ring as such.
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9 years 7 months ago #20044 by Brodie
Brodie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
As Betina stated "I have said that when judging I would put a 28 inch well constructed hound over a 32 inch hound of poor construction" - They should not be ignored but rather judged against the standard - the nearest wins - simple as that

Wigster n San x
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9 years 7 months ago #20047 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Ardneish wrote:


I think as long as height is proportionate to width, spring of rib strength on the rear bone and substance then its ok
However when height produces poor angulations both in the front assembly.... If a deerhound is small e.g. 28 inches ( perfectly acceptable within the standard) and has substance good angulations etc then great if there made better than a tall hound they should be placed in front of it.
But please do not think for one moment that present day Scottish Deerhounds cannot do the job they were bred to do because I know for a fact they can ,not just my hounds but I know of plenty of others that are up to the job. And of course others that are not as I have said so many times before “handsome is as handsome does"


Dear farnorth I think the answer to your last post lies in the above text. Tht question that I ask is do all judges truly appreciate "working ability " in terms of fitness for purpose in the dogs that they are judging? And if not then why not? :S
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9 years 7 months ago #20049 by CiCoch
CiCoch replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
hairybeasty wrote:

Ardneish wrote:


I think as long as height is proportionate to width, spring of rib strength on the rear bone and substance then its ok
However when height produces poor angulations both in the front assembly.... If a deerhound is small e.g. 28 inches ( perfectly acceptable within the standard) and has substance good angulations etc then great if there made better than a tall hound they should be placed in front of it.
But please do not think for one moment that present day Scottish Deerhounds cannot do the job they were bred to do because I know for a fact they can ,not just my hounds but I know of plenty of others that are up to the job. And of course others that are not as I have said so many times before “handsome is as handsome does"


Dear farnorth I think the answer to your last post lies in the above text. Tht question that I ask is do all judges truly appreciate "working ability " in terms of fitness for purpose in the dogs that they are judging? And if not then why not? :S


Why not ? It's impossible to judge a dogs mental and physical abilities by just by looking and feeling and watching them trot up and down. You are comparing the aesthetic against a pre-agreed standard which on the face of it may represent the potential, but your not going to be able to tell in the show ring.
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9 years 7 months ago #20113 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
CiCoch wrote:


Why not ? It's impossible to judge a dogs mental and physical abilities by just by looking and feeling and watching them trot up and down. You are comparing the aesthetic against a pre-agreed standard which on the face of it may represent the potential, but your not going to be able to tell in the show ring.


How true.
That could be said of all dog breeds though. Terriers used to be issued with "working certificates" in order to qualify for certain shows under KC rules.
These were proof of the dog's physical and mental aptitude in the hardest test of any dog.
What about a test for Deerhounds? As I said earlier in this thread if we could prove that certain dogs were not being bred with health problems then when legislation comes to ban the breeding of pedigree dogs [as it surely will] maybe Deerhounds will escape the ban...
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9 years 7 months ago #20114 by Bonnie
Bonnie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Anyone familiar with the recent developments into the canine genome might wonder whether this topic is actually about the phenotype-genotype distinction.
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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #20115 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I am not going down that road :)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gen...ype_distinction

All dogs originate back to the Grey wolf, its the purity of the strains as I have repeatedly said that needs to be taken into the equation when looking back at old books and tales.

You can have any height you like, but if the hound has not got it between the ears it will not matter one jot and most were not purebred.

Any photos yet of your chocolate wheaten girl?

I think Captain Graham notes along with photographs say it all really. and they need to be fully read
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9 years 7 months ago #20117 by mysdeerie
mysdeerie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
“Do people think that when a dog's reason for existing eg catching Deer or hares etc becomes illegal and therefore working ability becomes obsolete as a requirement in bloodstock that a breed suffers in its abilities? If so how long would it take? Would foreign blood be used? Does it matter anyway as it's temperament and looks that count in a dog?” Hairy Beastie’s original question
“On aptitude - yes, all hunting dogs need to be trained for their work, physical training and mental training.
That usually meant for any sighthound that tackled large game, physical conditioning and being “entered” to game with an experienced companion. Over–eager dogs often got killed, timid dogs were no use. It’s a hard and dangerous thing to do.
There is a “sweet spot” for the dimensions of all sighthound breeds in their original terrain, on their original game. There is an optimum for physical hunting ability, and in working dogs it defined the distinct and authentic breeds. Different horses for different courses, different hounds for different grounds. It’s not simply a question of geometry – which is two dimensional – dogs are three dimensional, which means the higher they get, the heavier they get. That means a handicap in speed and agility, especially in running on rough inclined terrain.“ …Richard

Why not ? It's impossible to judge a dogs mental and physical abilities by just by looking and feeling and watching them trot up and down. You are comparing the aesthetic against a pre-agreed standard which on the face of it may represent the potential, but your not going to be able to tell in the show ring. …. CiCoch

I agree with many things said but CiCoch and Richard really nailed it for me.

I think that the answer to the question will the breed suffer in its abilities is yes undoubtedly but given the dispersal of deerhounds around the globe and the modern sophistication of the approach to breeding were changes subtle and otherwise not inevitable?
There is only one standard; that is true, but there are characteristics that make certain breeders deerhounds distinctive in some way. The rationale behind a “Kennel’s breeding program is always subjective. The factors influencing a breeders choice are many. The weight given to each of their priorities is determined by the individual bias of each breeder.
Is there a formula for choosing a sire and dam? based on:
• Conformation to standard
• Genetic diversity- line breeding or out-cross
• Longevity
• Good temperament
• Good genetic Health
• Coursing ability
• Agility ability
• Hunting ability
• Obedience/ training ability
• Aesthetically pleasing
• Like to like
• Compensatory
I am no mathematician but I can tell you that variance in the outcome based on applying different weight or value to the criteria is going to equal a unique result each time.
“Kennel Blindness” can and does happen; there is an identifiable “type” from some Kennels. Breeders have different tolerances of flaws minor and major and different priorities.
The real slippery slope and the crux of the matter I think is this.
If the majority decides to accept a 30” to 32” or even 34” height in deerhounds as the norm how long will it be before form dictates function? It seems as though there could be a schism develop between the “purists” and those who feel that size isn’t as critical.
If change is inevitable it is also true that change can occur by design. Should breeders and judges decide to choose selectively over time the smaller lighter hounds an impact will be felt.
Education of deerhound buyers, owners, breeders, judges and the media is critical to the survival of the breed, I know we all would hate to see the breed’s quality degenerate and as Hairy Beasty said some sort of “Working Certificate” is a very interesting idea.
Here is what one judge had to say about function.

“What I realized was that there is a sort of “sighthound matrix,” or template, that can be adjusted for each breed. The important factor remains the same: the hounds’ running gear. They need flexible toplines and good angulation, smooth muscle and well-knuckled feet. But once you have an eye for one, you have a matrix to learn another. The matrix is not set in stone; it is a framework for a system of interlocking characteristics, which serve as the formation of a sighthound. All sighthounds need to run as fast as possible and snatch their game. The differences relate to exactly what the game is and the surface over which they hunt it. Whippets are small because they were brought down in size by poverty-stricken miners who weren’t allowed to own Greyhounds. Whippets poached game from the estates of rich men. On Sunday afternoons, they provided sport as a distraction from the harsh coal miner’s life as “the poor man’s racehorses.” Greyhounds were the big dogs of royalty. They needed longer legs and bigger bodies to hunt hare over the expansive land grants of nobility. Irish Wolfhounds needed to be heavier boned to bring down wolf. Scottish Deerhounds needed the same coats as the Wolfhounds but had to be lighter-boned to chase the agile deer. Knowing a breed’s history makes it a lot easier to remember and instantly note the breed’s unique characteristics.
But just as important is going back to what they have in common. All need well-arched necks to bend towards their prey. They need well-sprung, deep ribs that cover their large lungs and heart right down to the elbow. Long loins are imperative for the flexibility they need for the double suspension gallop. The double suspension gallop is one of their common traits, in which all four legs are off the ground twice in a single stride. To achieve it, their bodies have to tuck up into a tight ball. That’s why they have small waists. Their underlines need to tuck up in a way that bring to mind a bellows. A slight arch over the loin keeps their shape but it must be flexible so they can bend and reach. Sloping pasterns are their shock absorbers for the intense pounding of the chase.
Having a template is also useful in helping to see through ambiguities in the language of various standards, which can throw a novice judge off track. By applying the language to your “matrix” sighthound, you can see through equivocal passages and get back to what the form is truly supposed to be. if judges can do that, they can help to uphold their duty to find the hounds best suited for the job they were built to do.”
web.mac.com/sharonsakson/Site/Welcome.html

VALUE OF AERODYNAMIC STRUCTURE www.americanwhippetclub.net/

Although there are differences between sighthound breeds, they possess many common traits that favor more aerodynamic structural features, since lots of bulk and body would lessen speed and agility. Heads are long and lean; bone is thinner, lighter and flatter yet still strong; the body is narrower; bodies are flexible and elastic as well as longer to increase stride length at the gallop. Generally, the body of sighthounds is lean in outline with a definite tuck up, yet well covered with muscle. Muscle mass is increased in the rear quarters, through the topline and forequarters to add speed and strength to deal with the stresses created by high speed and quick turns. Muscling is long and strong, not thick, bunchy or undeveloped. Sighthounds utilize the double suspension gallop, the swiftest of canine gaits, with speeds up to 40 mph in the Greyhound and 35 mph in the Whippet. Good reading in the rest of the article.
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9 years 7 months ago - 9 years 7 months ago #20118 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
It would help if you can let us know if you are speaking about UK Deerhounds?
USA canada Deerhounds?
Europe etc etc

Can you be more specific please ,

And my Deerhounds hunt up to their prey or level to it I hope you find the time to read Captain Grahams notes he maybe did not go into the science of engineering but he was there at the time and was a country stockman that had a natural eye, an eye that cannot be trained its born, and knew the highland of Scotland very well indeed along with huge knowledge hounds, as did our breeders of the past,all of my posts concern UK Deerhounds as they are the ones I am familiar with I am not commenting on any outside of the UK( but have to add there were some outstanding deerhounds in Europe when I attended the german breedshow)

I wonder when our US and Canadian deerhound fanciers were last climbing the crags with a hound at leash in Scotland. as many UK Scottish Deerhound owners exhibitors and judges do on a daily basis or when they last saw in the flesh a number of UK deerhounds. or if you could confirm you are speaking about US Candadian deerhounds then it would make things clearer.

This information I think is needed.
I can't add anymore to this its got to negative for me but I wish you all well
Last Edit: 9 years 7 months ago by Ardneish.
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9 years 7 months ago #20120 by florent
florent replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Ardneish wrote:

It would help if you can let us know if you are speaking about UK Deerhounds?
USA canada Deerhounds?
Europe etc etc

Can you be more specific please ,
....


:lol: Perhaps she is speaking about Scottish Deerhounds..... :S
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9 years 7 months ago #20128 by mysdeerie
mysdeerie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Ardneish wrote:
It would help if you can let us know if you are speaking about UK Deerhounds?
USA canada Deerhounds?
Europe etc etc
Can you be more specific please ,
....
I am speaking about Deerhounds everywhere!
I could point out the differences simply by posting photos, I can't do that without it appearing to imply criticism of breeders past or present and potentially causing hurt to someone or other. Visit breeders websites the world over to see the distinctive differences of some.
I am sorry you feel the discussion has become negative. I have the utmost respect for your opinion and your right to it. I am stating my thoughts on the matter. Would that I could climb the crags with a hound off-leash. I am Canadian that is true, I'm sure you don't mean to suggest that is an impediment to discussing the working ability of deerhounds today.
The pictures included from the IW archive on Graham which I have read along with Scrope, Bell, Hartley, Cupples etc. etc. are we surely agree an ideal worthy of aspiring to uphold.
Respectfully Barb
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9 years 7 months ago #20129 by mysdeerie
mysdeerie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Ardneish wrote:
It would help if you can let us know if you are speaking about UK Deerhounds?
USA canada Deerhounds?
Europe etc etc
Can you be more specific please ,
....
I am speaking about Deerhounds everywhere!
I could point out the differences simply by posting photos, I can't do that without it appearing to imply criticism of breeders past or present and potentially causing hurt to someone or other. Visit breeders websites the world over to see the distinctive differences of some.
I am sorry you feel the discussion has become negative. I have the utmost respect for your opinion and your right to it. I am stating my thoughts on the matter. Would that I could climb the crags with a hound off-leash. I am Canadian that is true, I'm sure you don't mean to suggest that is an impediment to discussing the working ability of deerhounds today.
The pictures included from the IW archive on Graham which I have read along with Scrope, Bell, Hartley, Cupples etc. etc. are we surely agree an ideal worthy of aspiring to uphold.
Respectfully Barb
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9 years 7 months ago #20131 by Chon Dubh
Chon Dubh replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
In todays issue of "Our Dogs"(Feb 19)there is an interesting article about "Idstone" which is the pen name of the Reverend Thomas Pearce who wrote for The Field magazine and produced a book called (unimaginatively)The Dog in 1872.Todays "our Dogs" reproduces his comments on the Deerhound.For those that don't get Our Dogs i am happy to copy it here for discussion.Unless i am likely to be sued by Our Dogs for breach of copyright of course. :ohmy:
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9 years 6 months ago #20134 by mysdeerie
mysdeerie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Upon reflection I would like to raise a point or two I’ve been considering. It is slightly off topic but relates to the topic in that the discussion while worthwhile would interest all of us more were more Deerhound breeders to take part.
I am not a breeder and can’t become one- I’m too old to begin now even if I wanted to and besides hubby would veto the idea immediately! The commitment of time and energy, study and intestinal fortitude is immense.
I think it is a great pity that more breeders don’t share their thoughts on issues which are important to the great deerhound collective. It is a great deal to ask I know breeders are extremely busy- Crufts, St. Louis and many other events are coming up shortly. Perhaps some breeders might be prevailed upon to simply write a column or two on topics they would like to speak to. I have been fortunate enough to discuss many issues related to deerhounds with breeders I respect immensely and hope more will come forward in the future. I think stimulating discourse that provokes thought or even disagreement is great if we all learn something. Hopefully the knowledge we share here will make us all better deerhound owners/ buyers and breeders.
Chon Dubh
I think our corporate lawyers would defend you :silly: If you are willing to take the chance I would like to read it.
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9 years 6 months ago - 9 years 6 months ago #20140 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
mysdeerie wrote:

Ardneish wrote:
It would help if you can let us know if you are speaking about UK Deerhounds?
USA canada Deerhounds?
Europe etc etc
Can you be more specific please ,
....
I am speaking about Deerhounds everywhere!
I could point out the differences simply by posting photos, I can't do that without it appearing to imply criticism of breeders past or present and potentially causing hurt to someone or other. Visit breeders websites the world over to see the distinctive differences of some.
I am sorry you feel the discussion has become negative. I have the utmost respect for your opinion and your right to it. I am stating my thoughts on the matter. Would that I could climb the crags with a hound off-leash. I am Canadian that is true, I'm sure you don't mean to suggest that is an impediment to discussing the working ability of deer hounds today.
The pictures included from the IW archive on Graham which I have read along with Scrope, Bell, Hartley, Cupples etc. etc. are we surely agree an ideal worthy of aspiring to uphold.
Respectfully Barb


Photos mean nothing you have to seem them move really

No my point is that the UK US Canada European ( forgive that I do not list each country individually )gene pools are diverse due to geographics, thats why I bought my Cscarf O'ocockaigne from the Netherlands into the UK I was interested in getting some new genetics ( and I thought his mother superb) the mothers side of his pedigree is totally different to anything I know of in the UK so diversity of type, height etc will follow due to different gene pools I think.

So obviously their are differences, I meant no more than that and I don't know if Deerhounds in the USA are taller than the UK because of it , as I have not seen them in the flesh.

Great photo lovely hound with good substance and lovely type, slightly yew necked but nothing is ever perfect and it is a drawing, but so re assuring because this type does still exist in the UK today.
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