Thursday, February 17, 2011

SCOTTISH DEERHOUNDS

If you watched the Westminster Dog Show this week, you might have noticed that a Scottish deerhound won Best in Show.  In my opinion, this is a very good thing because (1) it was the first time this breed ever won the top prize at Westminster, (2) Scottish deerhounds are in the Hound Group, which basenjis are also in, so it was a victory for the Hound Group, and (3) at least that little Pekingese didn't win, because I think that even though he is probably a very nice dog, the way Pekingese are groomed for dog shows makes them look bizarre -- sort of like caterpillars with little black faces peeking out!



Okay, so now that I have told you the reasons why I'm glad the Scottish deerhound won BIS, I will admit that I was actually rooting for that adorable smooth fox terrier.  He was black-and-white, like me, and he was soooooo cute!  And the very cutest thing about him was that his face was half black and half white, just divided right down the middle.  I really, really wish he could have won, and I also wish he could be my boyfriend!  But I guess those things just aren't going to happen.  Sigh.





Anyway, getting back to Scottish deerhounds, the one who won at Westminster was named Hickory, which seems like it would be a boy's name, except that this Hickory is a girl.  Her official name is Grand Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, and she is 5 years old.  She lives on a big farm in Virginia, where she can run around and chase deer and rabbits and whatever else she wants to chase.  She had already won 14 Best in Show titles before Westminster and was the top-ranked Scottish deerhound for the past three years. Now she is going to retire from show business and make puppies.


Scottish deerhounds are really tall dogs, and they look kind of like shaggy greyhounds.  Of course, since they came from Scotland originally, it was a good idea for them to have more hair than greyhounds have because it can get pretty chilly there.  Nobody knows exactly when the breed got started.  It might have come from the dogs that the ancient Picts had, or it might have started out being the same dog as the Irish wolfhound.





Anyway, the deerhound was mostly used for hunting deer, which you might have figured out from its name.  Back in the old days, only the rich people could own these dogs, so you had to be a Highland Chieftain in Scotland or at least an Earl in England before you could have one.  And this got to be a problem for the deerhound breed because by about 1769, there weren't many of them left.  Then finally in 1825, some people started trying to bring back the breed, which they managed to do, and that's why we have Scottish deerhounds around today.











Deerhounds hunt by scent and by sight.  Usually, either one or two hounds were used to hunt deer at one time.  They had to be strong enough and fast enough to catch the Scottish deer, which can weigh as much as 250 pounds.  Deerhounds were very important to the people who owned them, so the dogs were often kept in the home, and not in kennels.  That's how the hounds learned to really love being around people, and they still love this today.





In the U.S., it is illegal to use dogs for hunting any animals with antlers, but deerhounds are sometimes used to hunt wolves, coyotes, and rabbits.  Also they are good at lure coursing.  The dogs are easy to train and very devoted to their people.  In the old days, they used to come in several different colors, but now they are always some shade of gray.  It's okay for them to have a white chest, toes, and tail tip, but they're not supposed to have any other white on them.  Their tails are very long, and they go almost all the way to the ground.







Scottish deerhounds are gentle and friendly, but they really like to run, especially when they are young.  They need to live someplace where they can run a whole bunch, and not just in a little back yard.  Deerhounds can get bone cancer, cardiomyopathy, bloat, and torsion.  They usually live to be 8 or 9 years old.  Which means that if I were a deerhound, my life would be mostly over, since I am already 8.  I don't know why big dogs don't live as long as little dogs, but I have to admit that I'm glad to be a little dog!

6 comments:

  1. After accepting the fact that the dear Vizsla once again didn't win in it's grouping...I had two favorites; the fox terrier (smooth) and Hickory, who did win. I think I was a bit partial to Hickory just because I'm also Scottish. I doubt my ancestors owned any Scottish Deerhounds because we were of the poor clan of Mortons. I really enjoy the dog show, as there's always a breed(s) that I know very little about i.e Scottish Deerhound and breeds I know nothing about!
    Love, AP

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  2. Dear Piper,
    I am glad you are a small dog so you will live longer. Also it is a good thing you are lazy like you mentione last time, pets live longer if they stay indoors! Plus I feel kind of sad for the deerhounds, but life is life and you can't change it. Plus I am also glad that you wrote a blog today and that you don't eat corn, even humans shouldn't eat it! Anyways I looked up Google for those Pekingese dogs (That type of dog sound like pecking geese when you read it without knowing how it should be pronounced LOL) and I found the first white dog it looked adorable but then the rest of them looked like pugs Pugs with a lot of hair just don't look right! Anwyay, I bet you will meet a deerhound because you're so pretty, that the deer hound from TV will find a way to get out of the television!!! :D :D BTW you wrote a lot of blogs, did you celebrate you hundreth blog? if not maybe your 300th blog will do maybe even your 1000th one!!! if you can of course, I also want to add that since Nicky only wrote one blog, maybe he should write another one since he is pretty good and it will increase confidence in himself too. LOL I keep on changing topics so that is why that most of my comments are long and it is really nice to make others happy so that is why I try to write really nice comments, Also because you will keep on writing blogs and feeling good about youself! your mom is lucky to have such a smart pup!!! :D keep on writing!!!
    Love,
    Tas

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  3. There are a ton of dog breeds that I don't know much about either, and some I never heard of before. But that's good because it gives me more stuff to write about in my blog!

    I don't have anything against the pet Pekingese dogs that I have seen because they look like they are just regular dogs with kind of smushy faces. But the ones in the dog shows just look weird! And they're not the only ones. I also think poodles look really goofy with their butts all shaved and those funny pom poms left over their hip bones. But this is just my personal opinion, so you can ignore it if you want to.

    Anyway, to answer Tas's question, no I didn't celebrate my 100th blog because I didn't notice that it happened until after it was too late. I always forget to look at the numbers!

    And yes, Nicky should probably be allowed to write another blog entry if he wants to. I'll have to ask him if he wants to write about something else besides greyhounds, though, because how much can you really say about greyhounds? LOL

    Love, Piper

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  4. These messages are great what people have put on here. Would just like to say, all dogs small and big are great.

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