Working ability in Deerhounds

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9 years 3 months ago #20142 by Chon Dubh
Chon Dubh replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
O.K. folks,here is the piece from this weeks "Our Dogs"

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Deerhounds had been scarce until a few years before the book was written(1872),for they were kept only by the few men who owned Scottish forests,or wide,wild tracts of deer-park in the less populated parts of England.Until the breed was exhibited,few had ever seen this handsome,graceful hound.But at once he was a favourite with the sight-seers and many made enquiries about obtaining one.At one of the best shows in London in about 1863,40 or more Deerhounds were exhibited!
The Marquis of Breadalbane had a kennel of 60 or more,all harmonious in colour.Four belonging to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were exhibited at Islington in 1869;the hounds exhibited at this show were "brindled,some dark,others light,and of every tint from black,or nearly black (so close were the markings or bars)to grey-sandy and light sandy,but all were more or less barred."Idstone remarked on the variety of coat;there was a woolly,waved coat,dense and thickly felted soft to the touch,and piable or falling,then there was the silky coat,generally combined with a topknot on the head,but the proper texture was always the hard,wiry hair or pile,about three inches long,harsh to the touch,bristly at the muzzle,and along the back and shoulder-blades almost as coarse as hackles.
The faults Idstone noticed in the breed during his day were short bodies,"thick"jaws and open,loose,flat feet.Judges,he considered,tended to select the very largest specimens as prize dogs,mistaking lumber for quality.

Unquote

So there you have it.Plenty to discuss/debate there i think.Size,conformation,colours,even topknots!!

I'm just going to rest for a moment after typing that lot,and wait for the call from "Our Dogs" solicitors. :S :woohoo:
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9 years 3 months ago #20143 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Thankyou for that good of you.

Again the colours/coat texture etc can be attributed to lack of purity in the lines in my view this was the very early days of dog shows
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9 years 3 months ago #20149 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
He also wrote all this took me ages to type it. ;)

The apprentice to deer driving finds himself thoroughly ignored,
sent to Coventry, and expatriated, if he makes his way into the
courtyard or attempts to overhear, still less to comprehend, the
Gaelic vociferously uttered by the leading spirits of the chase.
The whole establishment is grouped in little knots of conspirators.
The very billiard-room is full of " consultators." The keenest
glances are directed at the slightest clouds ; the barometer is
surrounded by "clients," and the various staircases display as
large an amount of hurrying to and fro as a metropolitan bridge
at noon. Next morning (if his window looks that way) he has a
half-conscious, half-dreamy recollection that he was awoke long
before sunrise by the tramp of many feet. He heard the beaters
leave for their several stations to begin the drive miles away ;
and. at the solemn breakfast, he is conscious of an unwonted
silence and stillness in the courts and rooms. He is shortly on
his way to an ambuscade behind some rock or secure hiding-
place, where he will be left alone for hours. He will receive the
most stringent commands from the head forester who places him
in the pass, with his rifles convenient to his hand, and some
provision for his creature comforts, that he is on no account to
show himself under any possible condition before the deer have
passed, and that until he is fetched from his retreat he is " just
to bide quiet and load again if he can."

Meanwhile the army of beaters has not been idle. Under the
direction of several experienced chiefs, they have managed to get
to the farther side of the stags, and have commenced the difficult
task of driving them gently with the wind, a process at direct
variance with their instincts. Sometimes the greatest skill and
prudence are required. Occasionally one individual forester, in a
critical position, must merely let the deer have his wind ; at
another time he must boldly show himself. Now he must turn
them with his voice, and frequently he must hide himself from
their keen vision with the speed of lightning. He must change
his tactics according to his best judgment and experience, He
must be quick to understand the position of affairs, and he needs
a considerable amount of patience, courage, and endurance. It
is not easy to collect together a number of men calculated to
drive the deer down the passes in which the rifles are posted, or
to command success when you depend upon the scientific con-
traction of a circle.

At a battue of hares and pheasants, with coverts netted in
quarters, and under keepers to maintain the line and restrain the



266 THE IDSTONE PAPEBS.

tongues of the beaters, and to insist upon a perpetual rattle of
sticks against the hazels or young trees, you may put up with
the frozen-out gardener, the hodsman. stable helper, boy in the
garden, or the blinking watchman, who has not seen sunlight
through his lodge window for weeks of winter. All the odd men
of the place may be called into requisition for the simple purpose
of driving a wood, provided the men are formed into line in the
right place, and managed upon a proper system. In fact, success
does not depend upon them ; but in driving it is frequently a
matter of individual skill. One ''jack-daw amongst the rooks"
may overthrow the most artistic arrangements, and "mull" the
whole day's sport irrecoverably, for driven deer are not to be out-
generalled a second tune: they do not forget the manoeuvres of
the human race for weeks, and before they are to be " had " the
whole household will have emigrated to the metropolis for
that year.

There is some danger of alarm being given to the deer from
want of caution on the part of those men who have the hounds
in the leash. A struggling deerhound, or a youngster giving
tongue, or showing an inclination to "riot," as it is termed,
would scare every head of venison from the rifles, and when the
herd are seized with panic they will not be turned by an}- body
of drivers. Occasionally this instantaneous fright seems to run
through them all, communicated probably by some signal from
the leader, for reasons we cannot fathom; then no expedient
will keep them within bounds. I have observed this fact in large
parks containing both red and fallow deer, and under these cir-
cumstances no human power can turn them.

In English parks the owners have resorted to various expe-
dients for driving them within a netted inclosure ; and one
English squire, as good a hand with deer and as fearless amongst
them as any forester of the north, has resorted to the expedient
of riding out the buck and shooting him when he is wearied
down. When, however, it is necessary to confine the whole herd
of fallow deer, no means appear to us so efficacious as the
moderate use of a clever old shepherd dog, and a few intelligent
labourers with poles and little flags.

I am not aware that the dog has ever been called into requisi-
tion for driving on the larger scale, or whether he would be of
any use with herds of the dun deer among the wilds of Scotland,
nor can I guess whether it would be successful ; but I think it
would be quite worth while to make trial of a skilful, temperate,


www.archive.org/stream/id...ariala_djvu.txt
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9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #20153 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
mysdeerie wrote:

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. 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.

:angry: How scary is that as a thought: that form might dictate function?
Now originally (to me) that was what happened with all breeds (dogs cats cattle horses etc)
But, back at the time of their creation they had a job to do and therefore.. "form dictated function" it's viscious circle.
Breeders bred from animals who's form was best suited to a function.
Now there is no function are we just breeding for the most visually impressive creature?
If so then surely the bigger the dog the more impressive it is?...or have we had that one already?....
BTW Bonnie not sure what phenotype/genotype is.

Last Edit: 9 years 3 months ago by hairybeasty.
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9 years 3 months ago #20154 by florent
florent replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I am not an important breeder, i start only ten years ago, and i had produce less litter than some breeders produce in half a year. But, ...(i like this word especially with a comma after and then a strong silence...) i do so many kilometers, running, mountain bike, trekking, and sometime beat hunting, so i think i can have an opinion. I think it is not a coincidence if what i constate on real conditions remind me what i read in old books.
I really think 45 kg is a limite weight for speed and strength optimal combination, under 40 kg you loose strength but win speed and agility, over 45 kg you win strength but you loose the rest. As Usain Bolt is, a over big talented athlete is an exception.
At the begining (and still for some kennel clubs), the deerhound standard had give a limite about size and weight, and it was writing something which was more than a monition, it was a premonition, a prophecy:
"From 85 to 110 pounds in dogs, and from 75 to 95 pounds in bitches."
"From 30 to 32 inches, or even more if there be symmetry without coarseness, which is rare."
I said it was a prophecy because what i saw on the rings (and apparently there is the-crème-de-la-crème on them), and simply or honestly in the litters, correspond absolutly to this old caution. Of course there are some wonderful deerhounds actually, but how many "strange-deerhounds" (to be correct...) you have for a good one?
The quality of a breed need to be evaluate on the whole and not on a fringe of champions. And it is why i think the breed is on a wrong way, too many bad constructions, too many health problems, growth problems, and for the persons who do sport with hounds, low limited performances (speed, agility, endurance), and not a long "sport-longevity".
The affirmation: -"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." is an easy answer to a treacherous statement which finally compare a good dog to a less good one. I would like to know the answer about the jugement of two quasi-perfect deerhounds, one 28in height dog and one 33 heigth dog.
My opinion is that there is an injustice in the standard about the minimum of authorized size in respect of past evidences especially for dogs where the minimum equal the maximum mentionned by the huntsmen nearly two century ago. Second mistake is to have crossed out the limits and the warning words when a dog exceed the limits.

My opinion not compromise my respect about the deerhound standard and the one i prefere respect will ever be the standard owning by the British Kennel Club, the country of the breed. I try to breed and show deerhounds in obedience of UK standard, and i just say honestly what i actually think, ... perhaps tomorrow i'll change one's mind.
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9 years 3 months ago #20161 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Ardneish wrote:

Thankyou for that good of you.

Again the colours/coat texture etc can be attributed to lack of purity in the lines in my view this was the very early days of dog shows


Forgive me for saying but surely all breeds are made from "impure" lines?
That is surely how breeds came about? In the beginning dogs were bred for "working ability" there were no breeds before the Kennel Club chose to recognize some breeds but not others.
Surely before breed recognition there was just "type" but after KC intervention there were "breeds".
Much has been said in this thread about "limited gene pool" and surely the Kennel Club is to blame for this ridiculous state of affairs?
:dry:
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9 years 3 months ago #20187 by Bonnie
Bonnie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
You need to have some knowledge of genetics to understand this, but the point I was trying to make is that this discussion about racial purity is, and I am aware that I will not win the popular vote with this one, from a scientific c.q. genetic perspective, obsolete.
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9 years 3 months ago #20188 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Please explain why it is obsolete.
Regards hairybeasty.
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9 years 3 months ago #20201 by Robb
Robb replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I'm not an expert in Genetics however; the gene that all dog breeds have descended from is the Gene of the Wolf and that is their Gene Type. Differences between breeds are developmental and controlled by the Phenotype. The Phenotype is responsible for controlling the diversity of dog species and controls how a given organism will develop.

If you take a white pea and cross-fertilise it with a red pea then the next generation will be a white pea, take 2 of this new variety and fertilise with each other and you will get either red or white peas. The reason for this is that the Phenotype in the pure red variety contains 2 red and in the white variety 2 white. However in the crossed variety there is one red and one white and the development of the organism will decide which is dominant in that individual.

In the above example only the original red and white varieties were genetically "pure". Extending this to dogs it could be said that only the Wolf is genetically pure and that all of the breed are mutations. Similarly the genes of all people on the planet are of the human gene and differences in physical type (European/African/Asian) are attributable to differences in the phenotype.

As I said I'm no expert, but that's my understanding of the genetic situation and I'll probably get "shot down" by somebody who is an expert.

Rob B
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9 years 3 months ago #20202 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Thankyou Robb that clarifies nicely.
Surely this situation has very real consequence in the world of dogs both with reference to "working ability" and in other factors (height, colour,etc) as well as the limitation of the gene pool of a breed or breeds?
Surely this must be the crux of this thread as it all comes down to the bloodlines and breeding: be that for better or for worse and is not as Bonnie said "obsolete" with reference to this topic?
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9 years 3 months ago #20203 by Robb
Robb replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
To get genetic diversity back into the breed I would think that the best thing that we could do would be to breed a Deerhound with a Grey Wolf and then following several generations of DH to DH breeding from the offspring introduce them back into the breed.

Rob B
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9 years 3 months ago - 9 years 3 months ago #20205 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Haha haha! That wasn't quite what I meant but I like your style!! Any volunteers? :woohoo:
Last Edit: 9 years 3 months ago by hairybeasty.
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9 years 3 months ago #20207 by Robb
Robb replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
It was done with a greyhound, I think around the time of the 2nd World War. The breeder had KC consent and the offspring were allowed back into the breed after several generations. It did increase genetic diversity in the breed.

Theres a lot of studies (in people) where it has been recorded that when couples from diverse genetic backgrounds mate that their children benefit in being healthier and suffering from less genetic disorders than those mating with similar genetic backgrounds.

Rob B
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9 years 3 months ago #20208 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Well there's a thing, would never have believed it!!
I wonder what the modern KC would think of doing that now.
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9 years 3 months ago #20219 by Bodhranlady
Bodhranlady replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Genotype and phenotype represent very real differences between genetic composition and expressed form. The genotype is a group of genetic markers that describes the particular forms or variations of genes (alleles) carried by an individual. Accordingly, an individual's genotype includes all the alleles carried by that individual. An individual's genotype, because it includes all of the various alleles carried, determines the range of traits possible (e.g., a individual's potential to be afflicted with a particular disease). In contrast to the possibilities contained within the genotype, the phenotype reflects the manifest expression of those possibilities (potentialities). Phenotypic traits include obvious observable traits as height, weight, eye color, hair color, etc. The presence or absence of a disease, or symptoms related to a particular disease state, is also a phenotypic trait.

In addition to this - there are 'polygenes' which come into play. These are the reason why, for example, all the puppies in a litter can have differing coat length, tail length, eye colour, amount of furnishings etc. Quite a challenge for the breeder I think.
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9 years 3 months ago #20222 by verenav
verenav replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Hah , now we are getting started here - I still think , the most important thing one nedds to breed sound and beautiful deerhounds/dogs/whatever is a clear mind , honesty ( also to oneself !!!) and to be a responsibel person ; some genetic knowledge is great , too !
Eugenics seem to have played , very sadly , a huge role in the development of kennelclubs ......
I think , you are speaking of Ansatsia Noble breeding a Deerhound to a Greyhound ( to improve drive/passion/skill for hunting as far as I have read ) and not to a Greyhound crossed with a wolf . Here dogs are still regularly crossed with wolfes , usually beatiful offspring but mostly not really fit to live in our/human world , as they tend to be sooo different ( tend to roam , not really bond with humans , be shyer and and and )
And , something else , which puts to rest one of our most beloved ideas - modern science sais , that dogs did NOT evolve from wolfs , but rather from an ancestor ( extinct ) ,smaller and different , most likely more resembling something like a dingo ; I do not recall the exact article , but think , that might have been a common ancestor for both species
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9 years 3 months ago #20225 by Robb
Robb replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I was referring to a greyhound being bred with a Deerhound although I didn't realise that it was Miss Noble who was the breeder.

My readings of dog ancestry have been that the domestic dog is descended from the grey Wolf, at least that is what I have learnt from several articles on the subject that have stated all dogs have the genetics of the grey wolf present and that no other dod species such as hyenna, dingo or other sub species of Wolf have ever been found by any genetic analysis.

I was not suggesting that immediate descendents of a DH/Wolf mating would be suitable for demesticating but rather their descendants many generations later after the original offspring had been continually bred with Deerhounds.

I do understand that such a venture is not easily practical and would require a great deal of expense and commitment to achieve. I do believe the end result would be very beneficial to the gene pool and result in offspring much healthier and with fewer genetic diseases latent.

Rob B
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9 years 3 months ago #20231 by Bodhranlady
Bodhranlady replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Well Robb, an interesting concept but.....
What is your logic here For a start, how do you know wolves are so genetically healthy? Whatever that may mean. Wolves have been around longer than our 'breeds' so it is likely that their genes have mutated too, some of these mutations coding for ill-health of some kind. Sure, any 'weaklings' will have died but this doesn't necessarily mean the ill-health gene died too.
Anyway, after many generations of continual breeding with deerhounds is it not likely that there would not be enough 'wolf gene' left to convey the assumed health properties.
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9 years 3 months ago #20238 by Robb
Robb replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Bodhranlady wrote:

Well Robb, an interesting concept but.....
What is your logic here For a start, how do you know wolves are so genetically healthy? Whatever that may mean. Wolves have been around longer than our 'breeds' so it is likely that their genes have mutated too, some of these mutations coding for ill-health of some kind. Sure, any 'weaklings' will have died but this doesn't necessarily mean the ill-health gene died too.
Anyway, after many generations of continual breeding with deerhounds is it not likely that there would not be enough 'wolf gene' left to convey the assumed health properties.


You're quite right, some Wolf species do have genetic problems but not all. Wolves have been cross breeding with domestic dogs for some time and I think that its in North America that it has helped the Wolf tremendously in so far as it has introduced a darker coat into their offspring which has given them an edge in hunting.

So far as genes mutating over time that has been happening with the human species and it appears that the main genetic problems are in Europeans/White Americans where the genepool is very narrow when compared to Africa. It is estimated that the white populations of this planet are descended from barely 100 original African individuals. Genetically the African population is in far better shape. If a European mates with an African then their offspring are genetically richer and potentially healthier as there are fewer recessive genes in their makeup.

I think that the old adage about the benefits of introducing "new blood" is very true indeed. Although the influence of a parents genes may be halfed each generation there are usually more that 2 dogs in each litter therefore any genes from the original wolf breeding are also carried far and wide.

Rob B
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9 years 3 months ago #20240 by Bodhranlady
Bodhranlady replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
So far as genes mutating over time that has been happening with the human species and it appears that the main genetic problems are in Europeans/White Americans where the genepool is very narrow when compared to Africa. It is estimated that the white populations of this planet are descended from barely 100 original African individuals. Genetically the African population is in far better shape. If a European mates with an African then their offspring are genetically richer and potentially healthier as there are fewer recessive genes in their makeup.

Robb, I'll say a couple things here :- 1) sickle-cell anaemia: 2)thalassaemia. What is your evidence for what you say? I would assert that the African population may be *more* inbred due to lack of mobility.
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