Is it totally ridiculous to have a deerhound in Lo

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8 years 7 months ago #38688 by lemmy
I had a hound many, many years ago, but I was in a very rural area with fells on my doorstep. i crave another hound but am stuck in London...
Would it be cruel to have a hound here? I have a big house but tiny garden. Am right next door to a little doggy park (small- more for wees than runs) Also two min to a medium park and ten min walk to Clapham Common. If anyone knows that common it is big but of course full of kid, bikes, etc unless I'm very early morning or evening. I could walk him on a lead every morning for an hour (to take my son to school and walk back home). I could go to the Common or Battersea Park most days too for a run. I work for myself and from home so he/she can be with me all day. But...it's just not the huge open spaces I had for my last hound... I guess it could be on visits out of town but realistically that is gonna be during school hols, not every weekend.
There is Richmond Parka and Wimbledon Common which I could get into a routine of going to on weekends but is that a good place for a ruddy great big deerhound?
My worst thought is I remember my last dog racing up to people, scaring the life out of them and they try to dive out of the way but of course they dive straight into his path. I have visions of him bowling toddlers over and everyone suing me. Am even thinking could I make do with a Bedlington Terrier or something but obviously not the same thing. :-(
Anyone with experience of deerhounds in London please advise me. Thank you

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8 years 7 months ago #38689 by Lurch8252
Hi Lemmy

I see no reason at all why you cannot have a Deerhound in London, by the sounds of it you are South London. I live NW London, well, just outside in Hertfordshire. Its a smallish village, surrounded by fields, I don't tend to go to parks. I do know of another Deerhound in Croydon. Richmond park and Wimbledon common are fantastic places to walk dogs. I know what you are saying about the running up to people though. But, perhaps by walking to these places, your dog will be used to these people,dogs, sights etc and not bother. Mine isn't as I tend to walk rural and would bound over, perhaps I should have concentrated more on mixing in parks and he wouldn't do it!
Besides, terriers like a tear up, stick with a hound!

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8 years 7 months ago #38705 by Trowsahound
I hate to be a killjoy but I would be very careful about this, because although I'm sure most deerhounds don't have an ounce of malice in them, a lot of people out there do not like dogs at all, particularly big dogs! I have had problems in the past walking deerhounds in areas where there are lots of 'towny types' that don't understand or like big animals. A big dog running fast towards them is enough to frighten them, and kids can be knocked flying by a 'friendly' deerhound just wanting to play- if their parents are 'anti' then you are in big trouble! You might end up having to keep him/her on the lead all the time which would not be fair. Even around here which is very rural I have to take care with Dirk who is the size of a horse, and when he was a puppy he liked to introduce himself to people by running at them at 30 miles an hour! I never let him off the lead near young children or where he could possibly chase sheep/deer (and therefore go deaf to my calls!) and he is comparatively well trained compared to some I have had! Richmond park has deer does'nt it??

Might be better off getting a rescue lurcher (there is currently one at Battersea I believe, that looks like a miniature deerhound?) which although will still run and chase, will not be so intimidating to a dog hater! Good luck!

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8 years 7 months ago #38718 by Craters_on_the_lawn
Replied by Craters_on_the_lawn on topic Re: Is it totally ridiculous to have a deerhound in Lo
NO, NO, NO! Sorry to be a killjoy but this could end in disaster for several reasons:

1. Having lived in South London with two dogs (not as big as deerhounds though, and older rescues) I noticed that a very high proportion of people in London are frightened/terrified of dogs, and most people have no experience of dogs and how to read dog body language. Much more so than where I live now (rural Herefordshire, near border with Wales). This means your deerhound is at greater danger of being reported as "dangerously out of control" and result in you being have a control order placed on it (or worse).

2. A deerhound needs so much space to run. Clapham Common is big, yes, and lovely - I also used to take my dogs to there and Streatham Common and Brockwell Park amongst other places; but even so wherever you are on the commons you are too near (in my opinion) to open roads - these commons are not bounded by fences but by roads in many places, and I would not trust my young giant deerhound lurcher loose in these places for fear he would end up colliding with a car - a deerhound is so big it can cover a huge distance in just a few strides. Many other parks (like Brockwell) are safely fenced but the gates that open onto the road are usually wide open, and these places are usually locked at night so no use if you need to exercise your deerhound when less people are arround.

3. Deerhound youngsters play very rough (see "is this normal play" on another thread). My deerhound lurcher tried to "rough play" with just about EVERY dog we met when he was a puppy - even the old and the very small. He would lunge, bark, leap and nip. This was, as you can imagine, extremely unpopular with the dogs and their owners (very very few other dogs could cope, and most just found him terrifying, as did many owners). He would also try to rough play with random humans we met if there where no dogs about - joggers, cyclists, even the odd old granny with her shopping bags. We very very quickly learnt we could not trust him off the lead anywhere there were other people or dogs arround for fear we would be in big trouble with the law. I was incredably lucky that the odd person he has tried it on with have been very understanding because they have had enough dog experience to be able to "read" his body language and know he wasn't intending agression.
So we had an incredably bouncy lively giant puppy who was full of energy but couldn't be trusted loose anywhere there where other people/dogs. Our back garden is just about big enough for a circuit - just about. But it is a sad site watching a deerhoundy - type pup trying to run when there just isn't enough space. There was no way I could ever wear him out just by walking him on the lead - and anyway as he was still growing and should not be exercised this way - he needed free running.
So we ended up having to take him to very very quiet rural fields etc far away from where we were ever likely to see other people and dogs, so he could have a proper run. He got a little better when he got to about 18 months old, and now ( age nearly 4) he only tries it on with dogs that look exciting - and isn't as demanding/ rough with them as he used to be. But we still mainly walk far away from others. Still gets very excited by a passing cyclist etc.
Now I'm not saying that your deerhound will be anywhere as nightmarish as mine (I think my experience is probably particularly bad - or does anyone else recognise this???)but London is not a place you can find quiet places to walk even very early or very late at night.

You sound like otherwise an ideal home for a (non giant, non deerhoundy) dog though. Why not treat yourself to an older, calmer rough-coated lurcher or greyhound - the rescue centres are full and so many are being put to sleep because there aren't enough homes.
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8 years 7 months ago #38723 by Robb
My first Deerhound was also particularly bad and was always getting me into trouble. He would chase and annoy Joggers, Cyclists, Dogs and yes Deer, I had to stop taking him to that place even though it was 25 sqare miles of tracks and woods! There was a field over the road to my house where I could let him loose and later I moved to find a house with a large garden.

I lived in temporary accomodation for a while and found a farmer who would let me exercise him in one of his fields. He died earlier this year, I now have a Deerhound aged 2 who is relatively well behaved, a Greyhound aged 5 and a lurcher aged 4, they are all rescues.

Rob B

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8 years 7 months ago #38724 by Trowsahound
I would totally agree with craters - My first deerhound Dougal used to try and rough play with other dogs when we lived on the Dorset Coast path back in the 1990s where there were lots of walkers, which lead to me being yelled at several times, he also ran up to a child playfully once, and the mother accused him of 'attacking' her child which was ridiculous. I think the problems owners may have with deerhound puppies if they are in heavily populated or urban areas, are sometimes overlooked because of their lovely natures around the house, although it is certainly true that they calm down with age and are much easier to handle after about 3 years. Eventually Dougal steered us towards an entirely different life as we bought a derelict farm so he could have his own space, and have never looked back! :)

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8 years 7 months ago #38733 by lemmy
Hi, thanks for all the replies.
Yes you're all saying exactly what I thought/feared. I know my deerhound cross lurcher who was huge (almost deerhound size) would run at 100 mph up to strangers and scare them. Usually joggers or walkers with headphones on so they didn't hear her coming so got an even bigger fright!
And I remember her doing "wall of death" in the flat if I didn't take her out.
And I remember her running miles over the fells into the distance which was fine but obviously not fine on Clapham Common!
And I remember walking her in tiny churchyard next door if it was too late/dark/cold to go up on the fells and it was pitiful seeing her try to exercise in too small a space. :-(
I hate London!
So.. maybe I think of a whippet cross bedlington. I love bedlingtons too but are they like all terriers? or more mellow like hounds?
And where do i look for a reputable breeder of a whippet cross bedlington?
I feel so disloyal!!
Boo hoo, if anyone has a deerhound in the london area can we sometimes visit you for a cuddle? :-(

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8 years 7 months ago #38734 by Craters_on_the_lawn
Replied by Craters_on_the_lawn on topic Re: Is it totally ridiculous to have a deerhound in Lo
Greyhound Gap : www.greyhoundgap.org.uk/h...homeless-hounds have several small rough-coated lurchers at the moment including two beddlington x whippets. (They often have puppies too.)
Or try posting on Dog Pages under "homes offered".
Please consider a rescue. In my experience they are EASIER than having a puppy! - but then the only puppy I've had in my adult life has been my deerhound cross, who has been by far the most difficult dog I have ever had to cope with! My 4 older rescues have been a doddle in comparison! And you can get rescue puppies - my deerhound cross was one of 7 puppies from a rescue.

I know exactly what you mean Trowsahound about these deerhound-types steering your entire life in a different direction; its amazing the effect they have on you isn't it (I know I sound like I'm complaining about my "monster" in the above post but I do love him immensely - he brings so much joy into my life just looking at his noble form stretched across the sofa, or running at top speed - as long as its not towards trouble though!)

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8 years 7 months ago #38735 by Trowsahound
Ooooh there are two BEAUTIFUL beddy-whippet crosses on that Greyhound Gap site- Benny and Frankie, both look exactly like a miniature version of my Deerhound Hazel (Kilbourn Winona who's dad is the nearly black Cloweswood Fagus)- they are gorgeous and my hand is quivering over the phone to dial the number....please someone rehome them quickly before I do, I am SO tempted!!

Yes getting our first Deerhound really did change our lives, and much for the better- as I had always wanted some land but didn't really have a good enough excuse to go through all the trauma of moving until Dougal's antics started to be a problem! Buying land meant in our case moving out of the area, to a much more remote and beautiful place, and later gaining three horses too and a lifestyle we love! Yes Deerhounds are addictive, tried to give them up once when heartbroken over my old girl dying (short lifespan is my only complaint)- but found myself a few months later looking at pictures of puppies and swooning!! Now I have two youngsters who I adore..and who draw compliments from people wherever I go with them!
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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #38738 by Lurch8252
I too had the dog from hell, though at 7 he is a calm submissive boy now. Do you not think though that we tend to walk in these secluded spots rather than deal with the behaviour? I sometimes just give him a quick lead walk round the local park opposite my house if I am short of daylight hours and quite often get Labs and Staffs bouncing over wanting a bit of rough play, with their owners in hot pursuit calling and calling to no avail as their selective hearing dog decides he wants to come over. I think had we (this is me too, I am guilty of it) had persevered and taken our huge bundles of joy on daily walks where there are other dogs and people, they might not have got so excited to see another human being or animal. There is a lady who lives in my village, she has a Hindsight dog and has never taken him anywhere rural, preffering the local parks where her calm dog would happily trot round the park with about 10 other dogs, he never once chased a squirrell or other dog and she was shocked when I mentioned that my boy could only be lead walked where there were other poeple/dogs. Perhaps we have worried too much about it. I must say that my Lurchers and Greyhounds would also come to the park with me and the kids when they were small and never go near another dog uninvited.

PS My friend has a Beddy Whippett and behaviour wise, he is just like a Deerhound, hurtles towards people at full pelt and with other dogs, tends to body slam them!
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Lurch8252.

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8 years 7 months ago - 8 years 7 months ago #38755 by Craters_on_the_lawn
Replied by Craters_on_the_lawn on topic Re: Is it totally ridiculous to have a deerhound in Lo
Well yes Lurch8252 I used to think that might be the solution too but I'd need to be
a)much braver
b)much thicker skinned (to ingore all the anger from dog owners, parents of small children etc)
c)willing to risk police involvement
d)mad :laugh:

Believe me we did keep trying and trying and trying. We socialized, socialized, socialized. We met up with sympathetic friends, relations and their dogs. We went to puppy training classes (and what a fiasco that was! - but I'll save that tale for another day!)
Until about 18 months old he would make a beeline for ANY dog he saw - no matter how far away - and had absolutely no interest in recall in these situations, and would effortlessly dodge all attempts at being caught.
As for humans our house is constantly full of visitors (many of which are my children's friends) who he always meets and greets with the utmost exuberance. I take him to drop and collect my youngest daughter from school every day, where he meets (on a lead) lots of people (and incidentally he has a bit of a fan club, many of the children - and some of the staff - know his name and come up to give him a cuddle)In this situation luckily he always acts with the utmost dignity and calm. So its not as if he doesn't see other people/dogs daily. Its just for proper off-lead exercise this has to be away from everyone else because otherwise he still sometimes nips random people in an attempt to get them to play.

I've never known a dog like him - he can go from ultra, ultra calm (the most placid laid-back dog I've ever known) to ultra-manic-mad-gleam-in-the-eye-uncontrollable, and yet can switch back to ultra-calm again in an instant (if I've managed to get his lead on!!! for example)

My own theory (and I would be very interested to hear other people's views) is that it makes a huge difference if your deerhound / or deerhoundy type grows up with or lives with another dog - especially another sighthound- who is willing to play.
I know a few of the people who adopted Henry's brothers and sister, and out of them the ones that have been nightmareish (and by all accounts Henry's brother Allen has been far, far worse than Henry!!!!!) are the ones that don't live with other dogs. The siblings that went off to live with other dogs seem to have not had this problem.


Anyway with this in mind I did go to the rescue centre last year with the intention of looking for a lurcher pal. On that day my heart ruled my head (!) and I came back with a male brindle staffie cross (you know the type, the ones NO-ONE wants). And amazingly they've been a very good pairing - Barney is extra-ordinarily tolerant of Henry's play-bully behaviour, and does not seem at all phased or frightened by it. ( I put it down to the staffie stoic fearlessness). He has a good attempt at playing with Henry, even though he has much shorter legs! But I will get another sighthound rescue once we've moved to somewhere with a bigger garden - to give Barney a break as much as to provide Henry with a playmate!

Although Henry is much better than he was, we're not perfect yet! But Lurch8252 you give me hope saying that at 7 yours is now calm. Robb and Trowsahound, did your nightmare boys become walkable off lead in public as they aged??
Last edit: 8 years 7 months ago by Craters_on_the_lawn. Reason: missed out another line

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8 years 7 months ago #38757 by Lurch8252
I have more trouble with my diddy little Border Terrier and other dogs than I have ever done with my Deerhound. We walk over the golf course, with both dogs off lead, if there are people about, we don't make a scene. If there were to be small children, big one would be on lead (not that he would harm anyone with his mouth, but he may knock one over!) if there are other dogs and we don't see them in time, yes, he will pop over for a sniff, because that is what dogs do. If it is small and growly, he gets scared. He is not a dog to confront. Once we stumbled upon a beautiful big Doberman. Terrier flew over and went for it, Doberman flipped him over and stood over him bearing his teeth (we thought this was fantastic) Deerhound come out of the bushes and I swear he swallowed and shot back in! He left his little buddy to it! I think we panic too much. I've seen worse dogs than mine, off lead, in local parks and yes, some weigh more than a Deerhound.

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8 years 7 months ago #38758 by Robb
My Deerhound got much better off-lead as he matured. However I did have a problem with him still in so far as many dogs (mainly Labs and Collies) seemed to come up and start to attack him. He would not stand for that and would pin them down by the scruff of the neck and roar at them, he looked very ferocious but would never leave as much as a scratch on them. Other owners however were horrified and thought that their dos was about to be torn apart and this did cause me considerable trouble on a few occasions so I only let him off-lead if there was nobody about, he did have a large garden to run in at home!

He'd been attacked several times when he was young and had to have stitches on two occasions so I think that this was the reason for his behaviour! He was not an aggresive dog and only reacted like this if provoked, of course being a large dog it was always his fault even though he was not the instigator.

He was incidently the only dog. My present Deerhound is very different and is the softest dog I've ever known although she too can get rough with other dogs although not so rough as my last Deerhound Ben.

Rob B

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8 years 7 months ago #38762 by Lieve
I lived in a large house in the center of Brussels without any garden with 1 deerhound and 1 Irish Wolfhound.
Princess came to live with us, she was 7 months old. She was my first deerhound.
Every morning she went with the children to school, later on the day she went shopping with me, she learnt to sit out of the shops and wait until I come back.
Barran, Irish Wolfhound arrived when Princess was 1 year old.
Every evening 23.00h we went for a large walk around sleeping Brussels, all parking places are marvellous to play and run, there are no cars at night.

During a long time my children with hounds had to stop for tourists to take pictures.
My daughter was 3 years old, and smaller than the hounds.

For me, it is a very good way to live with a deerhound, much, much, much better than to have a hound living alone in a stable.
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8 years 7 months ago #38787 by Trowsahound
Do people keep them in stables?! Unless you are breeding them I can't imagine why anyone would do that!?

Yes Craters - I found all mine have matured beautifully and then are fine with kids and other dogs, infact Dirky has just hit three, and has suddenly changed in the last few months and now is off lead most of the time in public although I still would not trust him with livestock (probably EVER!). All of my males have been worse than the females who have been much more manageable when young. All of mine have also kept to training classes, the KC good citizen scheme suits deerhounds better than serious type obedience, Dirky is now at Gold level and Hazel taking her Silver in January. All of them have always been brought up with other dogs, although the invariably smaller rescue lurchers that have brought them up, have all in their turn got fed up with the enormous 8 month old puppy's rough play! My present two have a year between them, and to be honest this has worked out much better than bringing them up with an older dog, as they can tolerate each other's behaviour and run at the same speed!

Someone said that we panic- but it's not a case of us panicking as owners- its the dog-hating public we come across who panic, and they've only got to make a complaint once to the police and you and your dog are in big trouble. You just can't risk it. :(

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