Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?

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3 years 5 months ago #42704 by Iko
Iko created the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Hello all,

I've been reading a ton of the breed here and everywhere, and am waiting to hear of a planned litter is successfull - so hopefully getting a puppy next fall!

However, most of my experiences with deerhounds have been at a relative's home, where they lived in the middle of a forest with a pack of 1-5 male deerhounds and pretty much never met other dogs. They had a bitch every now and then, but only one at a time.

I on the other hand live in urban environment, and there are many many dogs in the area. I'm personally more inclined to get a male, as worrying about the seasons of a bitch is not something that I would appreciate. Few of the threads I've read here have said something along the lines of dogs being more "dominant", and I was wondering how this has manifested in your lives (is there more growling on walks or something else?), and if you think a dog/bitch would be preferable as a first dog? The doggy would be the only dog in our household, and would have to put up with being alone during the day, but otherwise I'm looking very much forward to jogging company in the mornings and evenings :lol:

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3 years 5 months ago #42705 by Lieve
Lieve replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Deerhounds don't like to stay all alone, they need company.
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3 years 5 months ago #42710 by Bodhranlady
Bodhranlady replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
I'm totally with Lieve here. Whether you get a dog or bitch is not important but *any* dog should not be left alone all day. You can't train and socialise a puppy if you are not there! Is there a doggy day care you can use or a carer to come to the house a few times a day. A lonely deerhound can be a very, very destructive creature indeed if loose in the house and crating all day is a total no-no. However would you feed your pup several times a day and let him/her out to poop/pee?

Also, you will not be jogging with your pup for quite some time as exercise must be restricted when young as the bones can be irreparably damaged. If maybe you are thinking a kennel and attached run, the dog will still be very lonely and problems will ensue.

Sorry to sound so negative but unless your dog can have company for much of the time it isn't fair to have one.
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3 years 5 months ago #42712 by WendyS
WendyS replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Please don't get any dog at all if it is destined to be alone all day. If you can use a dog minder during the day that is a different matter. I would also think twice about getting a hound as a first dog as they are not easy dogs.
Why not talk to a couple of breeders as they usually are very pleased to tell people about their breed.and visit their kennels?
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3 years 5 months ago #42715 by Iko
Iko replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Thank you for your comments, they are much appreciated. I've been looking at "dog-helpers" during they day, and that is indeed one possibility. Naturally, we also know that the puppy cannot be immediately taken to long walks, not to mention jogs, but we are planning for the dog further on past the puppy stage, when exercise companionship is important to us. We have a nice dog park just a few minutes from us which has all sizes of dogs, and otherwise we would of course progress gradually with the advice from books and the breeder. Crating, I agree, is not acceptable. Our apartment has a room that we have been thinking of converting into a puppy room - there's a good amount of space, no electrical cords hanging around etc.

Bodhranlady, I was wondering if you have personal experiences of deerhounds being destructive when alone? I've seen both kind of stories of deerhounds - how they have been destructive when bored, but also of happy hounds not affected by being alone. It would always be good to hear more experiences

WendyS, I've been around deerhounds regularly, though not even monthly, I admit. Between these meetings and talking with a breeder, I've come to appreciate their nature very much, and would not myself describe them as difficult first dogs if you know (as much as you can without ever actually owning one) what you are getting into. In addition to the exercise I've mentioned above, we are looking for a dog that is low-key inside the house, easy coat care, friendly, and we do not require it to be trainable to compete in obedience trials. To my mind a deerhound would be a perfect fit, but if you don't agree, or if you have some good examples to share, could you do that? It is good to hear of people's experiences before making any major decisions in any big matter.

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3 years 5 months ago #42716 by WendyS
WendyS replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Hello IKO
What I mean by difficult is that while they are a delight in the house, not in your face or continually asking for a ball to be thrown. BUT they were bred to hunt red deer over large areas of hillside and therefore to think quickly and independently of their handler and sometimes a long way away. Because they were bred to think for themselves they do not just accept instructions in the same way that a German Shepherd, Border Collie would. If an instruction does not make any sense to them they often ignore it. So it is the fact that they were bred to be independent and to think for themselves that I don't think they are the easiest dog for a first dog.
I have had dogs all my life, first as a child and then my own dogs. I have had German Shepherd, Border Collies, Labrador, Scottish Terrier, Bearded Collies and cross breeds and have 3 deerhound bitches now. The most difficult to train were the Bearded Collies and the Deerhounds. Both these breeds were bred to think independently.
As they are very large dogs basic obedience is very important especially when they will be contact with other dogs and children. Remember a large over enthusiastic friendly dog can be terrifying for a lot of people and many little dogs. But I have never had problem with them being destructive as I am at home all day so they are only left occasionally for a few hours and they also have each other for company. Deerhounds thrive on company.
I am sorry if I sound negative, I am not doing down the breed. Far from it. Deerhounds are the most wonderful dogs in the world and I don't think I could have anything else now. It is better for you to be aware of what is involved with a deerhound before you start as to have to rehome a beloved companion would be terrible for you.
I wish you well in your research and can I suggest you somehow find a deerhound owner who lives in a similar environment, eg apartment and urban area. You may pick up some useful information. The breeder you have spoken to may know of somebody.
best of luck
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3 years 5 months ago #42722 by Bodhranlady
Bodhranlady replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Iko, oh boy - deerhounds being destructive being alone. I'll say! Say goodbye to shelves, windowsills, skirting boards, corner walls etc. Even though we are there with our current puppy and he has an older DH who is perfectly behaved as an example, if not in a crate (just overnight) he has eaten walls, furniture etc. when we just have our eyes off him for TEN MINUTES - really! We are at present on vacation at a friends home and they have a super kennel and run. We went out shopping for an hour this afternoon, leaving him in the kennel and.....returned to chewed wood everywhere!!! - the partition in the kennel/the stable type door/ the back corner of the kennel. OMG, goodness knows how our friends will react!
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3 years 5 months ago #42729 by Iko
Iko replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Thank you Wendy for clarifying what you meant, I'll be sure to try and contact deerhound owners in my town to hear their experiences :)

Bodhranlady, oh boy, that does sound like true interior decorator you've got there! The stories I've heard have been much milder, except for one sofa that must've insulted the dog somehow, based on the destruction the owners came home to :laugh:

Thank you both again for your experience, we will take these advice really into consideration as we ponder on getting a dog.

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3 years 5 months ago #42731 by Mheobail
Mheobail replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
Hi there,
Just to add my two penny: I've had a boy and a girl. I can honestly say there wasn't much difference other than I found my boy was more laid back and my current girl is a born hunter killer! I appreciate the hunting instinct will vary between individual dogs but a deerhound in flight after a small furry is very hard to call off. Therein lies the problem. As others have said these dogs need to run and are born to hunt, that's not the same as jogging along with your dog on a lead, they need off lead exercise every day. Leaving any dog alone all day is a recipe for disaster, not to say downright cruel. Deerhounds are sensitive as I'm sure many people on this forum will attest to, they are NOT an ideal first dog. They take a long time to grow up and whilst they look fully grown physically they certainly wont be mentally! I don't want to put anyone off owning a deerhound, I have loved the breed since I first saw one at 8yrs old but I had to wait 30yrs to have the right circumstances in which to keep one. If you get one that has a soft coat you will be grooming it every day, they are big dogs with big vets bills, they are not naturally aggressive but they can be if provoked and trying to control a 50kg plus dog that stands nearly 6ft on its back legs is no joke. I'm worried that now they are due to appear in the latest Game Of Thrones series it will be the must have breed, replacing huskies and bull terriers in the dog pounds.
Please think long and hard about whether you can truly accommodate a deerhound, if you decide you can then I wish you all the very best of luck.
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3 years 3 months ago - 3 years 3 months ago #42861 by CiCoch
CiCoch replied the topic: Would you recommend a dog or a bitch as first dog?
If the dog is going to be on it's own, it doesn't really make much difference as to whether you have a boy or a girl and really comes down to personal preference. If your worried about seasons then you can them neutered/spayed (timing for this are for another discussion!)
From a dogs perspective, I do not think they treat their owners or generally behave differently by being male or female.
In a multidog home , bitches are normally the dominant ones , and if that bitch happens to be a deerhound , then she will be the head of the pack , unless of course you
also have a lion ! :)
Destructiveness is not always down to being lonely or bored. We have had chair legs, table legs, skirting, cupboards and sideboards all chewed just because they happened to be
within easy reach of where the dog happened to be laying at the time !

I have to say that Deerhounds, in fact any hound, will be much happier if they live with another dog. Not only as a form of company, but they really do love
to have a running partner. Running by yourself just aint the same !

Good luck in whatever you decide.
Steve.
Last Edit: 3 years 3 months ago by CiCoch. Reason: spelling
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