Working ability in Deerhounds

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9 years 5 months ago #19486 by Lurch8252
Lurch8252 replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
hairybeasty wrote:

Nat wrote:

hairybeasty wrote:
As far as I can see the only way of preserving the Deerhound as a functional breed is to get the Hunting Act overturned...

:laugh: Yes, perhaps we could lobby alongside the British Bulldog breeders, who could have bull-baiting made legal again to ensure the preservation of their breed as it was originally intended.... or the Neoploitan Mastiff breeders, who could once again train their dogs to run under enemy horses while wearing steel spikes to disembowel the horses... and the fighting breed enthusiasts would be over the moon to once again prove the worth of their dogs... and we could all have a tasty Chow Chow kebab while discussing our dog's prowess..

:P I'm not talking about animals who are taught sick things by equally sick people I'm talking about hunting dogs doing what they do best...what comes naturally... :P[/quote]

We have always said "Don't hunt or kill anything that you wouldn't eat" I have eaten rabbit and hare lots of times. The hunting ban was bought in by town people. You can go out and poison an animal and watch it die a slow painful death, but when a dog catches a hare, it is over in seconds, trying to work the logic out on that one. I love animals and wildlife, but where are these do gooders that over turned the ban now, when animals are interbred and diseased, what are they doing about their welfare now. We are overrun with foxes. The golf courses have a man go out and shoot all the rabbits.

We were watching one of the last Waterloo Cups the other day, approximately 64 dogs competed, the only hare that was caught was because of Animal Rights protesters screaming and shouting and the hare lost it's bearings. I must say, it died instantly.

The hunting ban didn't stop people badger baiting, or people digging out a vixen from her lair trying to protect her cubs.
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9 years 5 months ago #19487 by Chon Dubh
Chon Dubh replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Have to agree with Murph the Magnificent and Robbs point in their last two points.Regardless of peoples view of the hunting ban,i believe it is unlikely to be repealed whatever party is in government.Therefore i also believe the future of the breed,broadly speaking,lies in the show ring,like it or not.
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9 years 5 months ago #19488 by Chon Dubh
Chon Dubh replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Lurch8252 wrote:


The hunting ban was bought in by town people. You can go out and poison an animal and watch it die a slow painful death, but when a dog catches a hare, it is over in seconds,
Lurch,i take the point you are making,but the statements above are not strictly true.Normally you cannot go out and poison an animal-that is as illegal as hunting currently is unless you are licenced.The hunting ban was not brought in solely by town people-the National Farmers Union carried out a survey of farmers regarding fox hunting.Seventy pecent of U.K.farmers did not believe the fox to be a problem.
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9 years 5 months ago #19489 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
This is not the place I envisaged when I posted this thread. It matters not what we feel or think about the situation surrounding hunting in the UK..what matters is the future of the Deerhound or in fact any working dog where form should follow function; and where we think the future should take us. Personally I love to watch my dogs work but I have no problem with those who don't and consider the dog as a pet I just worry about the future of these great and beautiful creatures. It has been said that the Deerhound has been in decline for 150 years... where do we go from here??
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9 years 5 months ago #19491 by Chon Dubh
Chon Dubh replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Agreed hairybeasty.I think we were in danger of going off topic there,and i was as guilty of that as anyone.In answer to your question,i guess some will continue to work their hounds and some will continue to show.Personally i hope the working/showing hounds are the same,and that we don't have two distinct types as has happened in other breeds.I don't see why we should breed one "type" to the detriment of the other.
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9 years 5 months ago #19492 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Thanks for that Chon Dubh I also was guilty of "off topic" for the sake of argument...it will probably roll on...
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9 years 5 months ago #19493 by Nat
Nat replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
hairybeasty wrote:

Nat wrote:

This isn't going to win me any friends, but I feel that a Deehound without a strong prey-drive is just a shaggy grey dog.

A strong prey drive is part of the Deerhounds temperament. We must find a way to keep the prey-drive high in our breeding dogs, or the most integral part of our breed will be gone.

But a high prey-drive is what makes our breed what it is, and certainly the forebears of our breed hundreds of years ago would roll over in their graves if they knew we were breeding dogs without drive. A Deerhound without drive would not have seen it's first birthday back then!

Just trying to equate this post with your recent one.. :S


Well, in the first post I said a Deerhound should have a strong prey drive.

In the second post, I subtly inferred that the hunting ban will not be overturned.

What is there to "equate"?

A strong prey drive does not require a dog to kill a Red Stag. Hell, two of my dogs have not even SEEN a Red Stag for several generations of their breeding, yet have exceptional prey drive.

Now that hunting is illegal, the aim is (as it has always been) to breed Deerhounds that COULD hunt Stags.

I agrees strongly with Verenav; a fit and functional hound will always be the most beautiful dog in the showring. Now we just need to convince the judges!!

And by the way, I am unsure as to why everyone is apologising for being involved in a spirited debate? I think it is great to hear other peoples opinions and thoughts. If we all agreed with each other all the time and didn't actually THINK or QUESTION what we were doing/where we are headed with our dogs, the breed would suffer in the end.

Glascu Deerhounds
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9 years 5 months ago #19502 by Brollachan
Brollachan replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Tchnically speaking, if a dog conforms correctly in the show ring it should be able to perform its function physically. And the majority (though not all) have an inate prey drive which given the right stimulation, whether that is rabbits, wallabies or lure will show through.
In regards to the post about the guy who "finishes" the job, Deerhounds are not meant to tear their prey to pieces. The dog was to bring down or hold at bay their prey for their "masters". I'm talking about deer here, not small prey.
Xena has never torn apart or blooded any of the opportune prey that she has disposed of, and will bring to us if given the chance.
BTW we do not hunt our hounds, they just get the odd opportunity to chase stupid wallabies that insist on crossing our property during the day :P
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9 years 5 months ago #19503 by Sid
Sid replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Chon Dubh wrote:

Agreed hairybeasty.Personally i hope the working/showing hounds are the same,and that we don't have two distinct types as has happened in other breeds.I don't see why we should breed one "type" to the detriment of the other.


Back in the day when coursing was still legal, we used to run our Deerhounds at the Borders meeting high in the Lammermuirs on heather and rough ground, and then show the same dogs at Crufts the next week; often the same dogs did well at both. That's not all that long ago, so I don't think we need to worry about type diverging yet; there hasn't been time or inclination.

As for the hunting ban being overturned, there's more chance of that happening in England than in Scotland (hunting's a devolved issue and I don't see Scotland returning a Tory Parliament, which is what it would take), but it wouldn't surprise me if coursing is the sacrificial lamb to enable the return of fox hunting in England.
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9 years 5 months ago #19513 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Murph the Magnificent wrote:

I'm not talking about animals who are taught sick things by equally sick people I'm talking about hunting dogs doing what they do best...what comes naturally...


This might not win me any friends here, but it's only right to say that this is all relative. The world has moved on, and hunting live animals with dogs for sport is "sick" in many (if not most) people's eyes in this country. Yes, they do this "naturally" but this doesn't make it right by society's standards.
So, the bottom line is, how do we preserve the innate instincts of our beloved hounds?
If you want to continue to have a strong line of hounds with "intact" prey drive then we simply do not breed for aesthetic conformity but for the ability to hunt, and simply do not breed from those who look nice but couldn't catch a cold.


Ok so we agree that the innate instincts of our hounds are important to preserve,and that we breed for the ability to hunt not those who couldnt catch a cold but how do we test this?
I have never been lure coursing but would love to try it but is it a true test of ability...
Oh and sorry to be crabby but I object to being called sick for wanting to chase things with my dog ..I know it' a bit different but would you call a homosexual sick because they had a different sexuality to you(I mean this as a hypothetical discussion not at you directly)
There is an old saying; I may not like what you say but I would die for your right to say it...
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9 years 5 months ago #19514 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Nat wrote:

hairybeasty wrote:

Nat wrote:

This isn't going to win me any friends, but I feel that a Deehound without a strong prey-drive is just a shaggy grey dog.
A strong prey drive is part of the Deerhounds temperament. We must find a way to keep the prey-drive high in our breeding dogs, or the most integral part of our breed will be gone.
But a high prey-drive is what makes our breed what it is, and certainly the forebears of our breed hundreds of years ago would roll over in their graves if they knew we were breeding dogs without drive. A Deerhound without drive would not have seen it's first birthday back then!

Just trying to equate this post with your recent one.. :S


Well, in the first post I said a Deerhound should have a strong prey drive.

In the second post, I subtly inferred that the hunting ban will not be overturned.

What is there to "equate"?.


Sorry from your first post I had assumed that you were in favour of Deerhounds hunting within the law.
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9 years 5 months ago #19515 by Nat
Nat replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Where did I mention hunting in my first post? I was talking about prey-drive. Hunting within (or without) the law was never even mentioned.

And just in case you were wondering, hairybeasty, I hunted on horses to hounds until it became illegal, so do you think I oppose hunting?

In Australia, hunting ANY form of game is illegal with Deerhounds. And I am a law abiding citizen. :)

Glascu Deerhounds
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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #19516 by Sid
Sid replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Nat wrote:

...hunting ANY form of game is illegal with Deerhounds. And I am a law abiding citizen. :)


That's the real problem for me, too. I don't feel that the risk of acquiring a criminal record is one that I'm prepared to take. However, come the revolution...
Last Edit: 9 years 5 months ago by Sid.
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9 years 5 months ago #19518 by hairybeasty
hairybeasty replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Nat wrote:


And by the way, I am unsure as to why everyone is apologising for being involved in a spirited debate? I think it is great to hear other peoples opinions and thoughts. If we all agreed with each other all the time and didn't actually THINK or QUESTION what we were doing/where we are headed with our dogs, the breed would suffer in the end.

I couldnt agree more with your last sentiment we do need to think and question where we are headed that's one of the reasons I started this thread. So what do you think the next move should be? :)
I wasn't apologising for my views I just didnt want to get bogged down in an argument about the in's and out's of the moral minefeild surrounding hunting.
As I'm sure from your admission of riding to hounds you know as well as I do that the argument changes nobody's mind,gets us nowhere and just loses us friends :kiss: ....
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9 years 5 months ago #19521 by Murph the Magnificent
Murph the Magnificent replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds

the argument changes nobody's mind,gets us nowhere and just loses us friends


...exactly! Which is precisely why I won't respond to:

Oh and sorry to be crabby but I object to being called sick for wanting to chase things with my dog ..I know it' a bit different but would you call a homosexual sick because they had a different sexuality to you(I mean this as a hypothetical discussion not at you directly)
There is an old saying; I may not like what you say but I would die for your right to say it...


Apology accepted for being crabby, but everyone knows the point I was trying to make. PLEASE let's not get bogged down into a polarized debate - particularly about such emotive subjects as religion, politics and sexuality. Certain subjects (and the sensible ones on here do this very well) need handled VERY sensitively or, as Rob (Teratyke) suggested, there's bound to be blood on the walls sooner or later. PLEASE no more remarks of this nature.
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9 years 5 months ago #19527 by verenav
verenav replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I think , it is really important what they were bred to do and think hard about what they'd really need for that , confirmation and " spirit" wise - an overly shy/timid/sensitive/soft deerhound would never be able to do the work , also , will even have a much harder time just being a pet , being more succeptible to bloat e.g. and having a hard time to really relax ( have one of those , she does hunt , but everything has to be just right for her and have seen several of this kind - sweet , sweet temperament but in the end greatly diminished in their joy for life ) . Sometimes one can only realise what is going on , when one get's to experience a truly sound deerhound - this can be a big eye opener .
They also need a certain amount of obedience , joy working together with teir humans - and yes , I have 2 of those , too , they do exist and it is extreme fun having them around - my youngest could be the biggest " trick-dog " if I only took the time , so , we do a bit of agility at least and she has fun and thus I do , too ( never thought I would...) . of course , she will be single minded , too , when on the chase .And that is right and ok , too.
Next , I think one would have to think about what is physically essential for a hunter/athlete - and , I am afraid , there is already the tendency visible that some modern days successful showdogs would never be able to hunt in the mountains ... Too big , too narrow , really bad feet , not enough muscle ( not even speaking of conditioning here ! ) and and and - not necessarily all in 1 dog combined , still , all of them detrimental to their working ability ./soundness.
The breeder of basically 2 of mine came through hunting to the breed - though she stopped many years ago to go out for coyote and hare /rabbit , she sais , she'd never breed ( to ) a dog whom she thinks would be " an idiot in the field " - and thus , her (show)deerhounds all are build incredibly sound and , they prove over and over again , that they still could/can do the work , have the right temperament on top of the body .
The little girl ( 75.5cm ! - love this for a female - , enormous bone ) who hunted down and held the wild boar at bay recently is from her e.g - and this after at least 5 generations of not hunting with them , rather breeding for shows.
So , it is possible
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9 years 5 months ago #19536 by Murph the Magnificent
Murph the Magnificent replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Verena,
Thank you for that excellent, balanced post, as always.

I think if we can, on occasion, bring a dog or two into the UK gene pool from places such as Canada and Australia where the conditions you have often described so eloquently would be conducive to maintaining a strong working hound than that of the modern UK, then this would certainly support the continuation of our breed in the UK in the form we all want to see.
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9 years 5 months ago #19540 by verenav
verenav replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
I think , it is never easy to make the decision to bring in a deerhound (or semen at least )from animals in far away continents , lots of trust and daring ( yes , I think this is the right word ! ) involved and yet , I think , it is great that there are lines out there , who , until quiet recently , were still allowed to hunt large game ( kangarooh can be really , really dangerous as far as I understand !) , not even t speak about wild boar and have thus kept their working abilities alive . I remember Kenneth Cassels writng about some hunts he experienced when visiting Australia . And , not even for that , I think it is most likely beneficial - in the long run - just alone for the genepool , the diversity - I have seen some nice " mixes" of bloodlines from different continents and always find it interesting what they bring .
Well , one day , when all is right , I might just go and put all the theory into my own practise - so far , I " breed through friends " , so to speak , follow , what they do and the " results " ( over some generations now ) , have long and beautiful talks and do hope , to find the money and the land that would allow me to have my very first litter of deerhounds , after following the breed intensely for many years now.....
For now I only know , what I am looking for in them and what I hope will continue to happen for this beautiful breed ( and also , what not...).
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9 years 5 months ago - 9 years 5 months ago #19541 by Ardneish
Ardneish replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
Handsome is as handsome does!
If a deerhound is not built correctly it will be a poor worker subject to injury, when judging construction is paramount to me,they must have it there to power up a Scottish hill, they have to be built to do it for me, and I don't give a hoot who owns it, who bred it, who shows it, who is judging later in the year yada yada yada there to me is only one person I have to please when judging and thats " Me " and they have to be built correctly , its the hound and the hound only that deserves a place ( I owe it to deerhounds you see for everything they have given me, I owe it when judging to keep them true and I owe it to my mentors in the breed now sadly in the happy hunting grounds to remember all I learnt from them ) I also love to see a "keen eye" which tells me quite a bit about their nature.

There should be no difference between a so called working bred deerhound and a show deerhound to me there is only one "Scottish Deerhound" full stop.

I remember as Sid does hounds that had won a 32 coursing stake, going into the ring a few days later to win the ticket and BOB
Last Edit: 9 years 5 months ago by Ardneish.
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9 years 5 months ago #19544 by Bonnie
Bonnie replied the topic: Re:Working ability in Deerhounds
The hunting ban is hypocritical. Society allows cows, pigs, et al to be held in atrocious living conditions, not to mention the way they meet their deaths, only to end up on our (well, not mine, I'm a vegetarian) plates as cheaply as possible.
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