Dirhound is one of the oldest hunting breeds . The dog is distinguished by an aristocratic appearance, strength and enviable endurance. For a long time the dog was used to hunt deer. More than once this greyhound breed was on the verge of extinction, but today its position has stabilized. Due to its exquisite appearance and friendly character, it was chosen by dog breeders all over the world. Let's get acquainted with the dirhound closer.
History of origin of the dirhound breed
Today there are two theories of the origin of the breed, and both date the breeding of dogs in the 16th century. The first theory states that the dirhounds were formed as a result of the crossing of the hunting Picts. There is a lot of evidence for this: drawings, repeating scenes of hunting with dogs, decorate ceramic products of ancient peoples.
The homeland of origin, according to this theory, is Scotland. There is also a version that dirhands have common roots with Irish wolfhounds , but scientific evidence has not yet been received.
Dogs have always been in price with the local nobility, it was they who were chosen as pets by the leaders of the clans. This breed was used to hunt a large forest dweller - deer. Pets were valued for their keen intelligence, developed hunting instincts, courage and speed.
Valuable qualities of the breed led to its spread outside Scotland, soon the dirhands began to divorce in the UK. However, excessive hunting enthusiasm led to a sharp decrease in deer in the forests. The breed stopped being in demand and replaced by greyhounds that hunted smaller game - hares.
This situation almost led to the complete disappearance of dogs in the late 18th century. However, thanks to the efforts of the McNeill Brothers, the breed was represented at exhibitions, it was spread outside Scotland and Great Britain. Dirhounds began to be perceived not only as an attribute of hunting, but also as pets. In 1892 the first standard of external data of dogs was developed, and the breed received official recognition.
- General appearance - large animal, height up to 73 cm, weight up to 45 kg, body elongated, has developed musculature, miniature head, legs long and slender, wool stiff and long;
- Head - flat skull, elongated muzzle, wool softer than on other parts of the body, strong jaws, muzzle gradually narrows towards the nose;
- Eyes - an oval form, the inner eyelid has a black color;
- Ears - small size, high set, at rest placed behind the head;
- Body - elongated square shape, neck without suspension, chest deep, loin protrudes, powerful croup;
- Paws - strong and muscular, limbs compact;
- Tail - thinning closer to the end, in dynamics keeps bent, covered with stiff hair;
- Hairline - shaggy coat, coarse structure, tightly fitting, length of hair up to 10 cm, hanging from the body, softer cover on the chest, abdomen and head;
- Color - gray, gray with a blue tint, sand.
Character of the breed dirhound
The breed has an interesting character: on hunting dogs are very quick and energetic, always ready for battle, but at home they are the embodiment of tenderness and affection. They behave very independently, but quickly and irrevocably become attached to the owners. Pets like to be surrounded by people, to feel their attention and love. They will gladly perform the commands, try to please the owners, and sometimes even their guests.
Dirhounds are distinguished by a peace-loving and absolutely non-aggressive temperament. Therefore, as a guard and a guard, they are extremely weak. But they instantly capture the mood of a person, are ready to distract from problems and show support.
Despite the hunting nature, dogs highly value home comfort and coziness. They will be located on a comfortable sofa with you. They can occupy the master's bed and not feel remorse. To eradicate this habit among pets, it is necessary to conduct educational work in childhood. Offer the dogs a soft alternative in the form of a couch on the floor.
Dirhounds have an amazing sense of humor. They can perform funny acts or play the hosts. When planting such a breed, one should be ready for it.
Advantages of the breed:
- Developed intellect;
- Absence of aggression;
- Caring for children;
- Quiet disposition (almost never bark);
- A useful helper.
However, the dogs have disadvantages. For example, pets do not like to remain alone. Some members of the breed can just be sad and in a bad mood, while others can go to extreme measures and start spoiling the property, seeking to attract attention.
Also dogs are very active, require frequent and long walks. To use dogs as a watchman is a bad idea. A peace-loving character and lack of barking habits reduce the dog's security concerns to "no."
Features of the content
Despite its impressive size, the dog can easily live in urban apartments. However, much better dirhounds feel themselves in country estates. A pet can live in a spacious enclosure, but with the onset of cold it is better to let it into the house. In the summer heat the dog should have a secluded place where it is possible to hide from the sun. It is not recommended to keep the breed on a leash on the territory near the house. Such a restriction will not be to the liking of the freedom-loving animals.
If you decide to have a pet in the apartment, then you should pay special attention to walking. Do not forget about active games and toys. The duration of the walk should be at least an hour. A great idea is to combine walking with the dog and jogging the host.
Feed your pet several times a day. Do not overfeed the animal, as it is prone to a set of excess weight. Give preference to balanced premium foods. To make a correct diet from natural food to an inexperienced owner will be quite difficult, and culinary missteps can affect the health of the animal.
If you still decide to cook food for yourself on your own, then you should base the ration on the following products:
- Low-fat meat;
- fresh vegetables;
- dairy products.
The breed of the slope to frequent molting, therefore combing of dogs is necessary at least once a week. The areas around the muzzle and neck require regular trimming. Ears should be cleaned with a cotton swab as they become dirty. Claws are cut only if they do not tread on the ground and asphalt when running. This happens when the dog is not active enough.
Health of the dirhound
Dirhounds do not belong to the number of long-livers, because on average they live no more than 11 years. In general, the breed is distinguished by strong health, but there are diseases to which pets are inclined:
- Pathology of blood vessels;
- Hereditary diseases of the kidneys;
- Twisting of the stomach;
- Pathology of the heart;
- Thyroid gland diseases ;
- Respiratory allergies .
With the training of animals, there are no questions even for beginning dog breeders, because dirhounds are smart and intelligent animals that want to please the owner. Commands the pet remembers quickly, but with repeated repetition, it can protest, because it does not like pressure from the person and monotony of training.
It is recommended to accustom dogs to run, to do with them coursing, biking. During training in the fresh air, you need to monitor the dog, because of his hunting instincts, he can chase after moving objects, cats or squirrels.
Strengthen the team follows the praise, expressed in an admired form, as well as delicious incentives. The dog can be trained only by its owner. The dirhound likes other inhabitants of the house, but he can not obey.
- Combination with children - the pet likes kids, but large sizes can be a threat. The dog can play and accidentally harm the child, just at a young age the breed is characterized by excessive activity and speed;
- Type of host - dirhounds are designed for caring owners who try not to leave the pet without attention. You will also need to sacrifice your personal time for long walks;
- Neighborhood with other animals - gets along well with other dogs, especially if they are among the hunting breeds. With cats peace-loving dog also gets along well. But pets from neighboring houses can awaken in the dog hunting instincts;
- Which should be feared - the breed needs socialization lessons, otherwise you risk growing a timid pet.
The cost of the breed dirhound
It is quite difficult to acquire such a friend in Russia, as there is no National Club of breed. And the number of pets is calculated in units. And not every owner wants to breed animals. Therefore, to buy a puppy, you will most likely have to go to Europe. The average price varies between 60,000 rubles , excluding traveling expenses.
Dirhounds are stately and aristocratic animals, so their nickname must meet the status. For males, the following names are often chosen: Caesar, Mustang, Gray, Iris, Apollo, James. Nicknames for girls: Ellie, Stella, Tory, Blair, Jenna.