The Australian Staghound.
Origin & Purpose: The first and oldest type of dog created in Australia by the earliest settlers. Used for providing meat for the table for over 200 years, keeping dingos away from the stock and sport.
Temperament: The Staghound is a very laid back dog, one of the most gentlest giants in the dog world. Size is the only deterrent when it comes to being a watch dog.
Size: Males ideally should measure 28-32 inches to the shoulder Females should ideally measure 27-29 inches.
Coat and colour: Staghounds typically have a rough coat, any colour is acceptable that is generally found in deerhound, greyhound, wolfhound, borzoi and the various sighthound breeds.
Eyes: Dark coloured and far seeing. Must be able to spot moving game over long distances
Head: Broadest between the ears than tapering down. The head should be long and strong.
Ears: Small, folded back, raised above head when excited.
Scent Finding: The staghound is more of a sight dog, however some lines do certainly have nose, in the past they were expected to find by sight and scent. The wolfhound certainly improves nose in the breed somewhat as its recreated origins is made up of great dane and deerhound mostly. The deerhound also has a nose that he will use to good effect. In my experience with them I would say they are more of a wind scenting type of dog, not one you would see "nose to floor". Hot nosed would be what I would call them - being they tend to work fresh scent. Mine have gone up to 700metres on a number of occasions to make a catch but generally they are closer then that.
Appearance: The staghound is typically a tall lean dog, which should resemble a greyhound of larger size and bone. They come in a variety of colours, however brindle and blue brindle are quite common. The three main coat types are rough which resembles the coat of a deerhound, the smooth which resembles that of a greyhound only tougher and the broken coated which is between the other two.
Training: The Staghound can be trained to any degree according to the handlers expertise. More often then not they have to come when called, jump in the ute, clear fences, catch and show. They are a intelligent dog in their own right, very "hunt smart" and once you know how they think they are easily controlled. Their temprements are just about second to none and I believe this comes heavily from the deerhound influence(the gentleman of the dog world). Most stags are expected to work by 12 months but there are exceptions where they can take up to 18months to switch on however this is rare in my experience and generally by 9 months of age they are starting to phsically mature enough to get in on the action a little. Being a large breed they do take a while to mentally mature and a hard hand can ruin them quicksmart, I believe this is why some dont find them to their tastes as they are used to handling the more stubborn breeds out there and these dogs require a totally different method of training, something I can not stress enough!
Abilities: The staghounds primary function is to run down and catch game, this is where they will leave nearly every other breed for dead, they are fast and bodies are tough, they will catch quicker then your average dog. They are an intelligent hunting dog that has the ability to work all kinds of game. They are born with a natural desire to chase. They can scent from the ground as well as by air and plenty of them are working in these ways. They work well by themselves but working as a pair is where they excel. In the old days they were expected to catch food in a single outing in natural bush as well as out in the open, I have spoken to quite a few old timers that dogs that only ever worked bush and they were excellent.
Purchasing: If you are interested in finding a staghound then either register on www.ozziedoggers.org or go to http://www.kangaroodog.org and get in contact with one of the guys on there. Queensland certainly seems to have a severe lack of staghounds, mostly due to being x'd out to other breeds and I am quite often contacted from qld'ers wanting some pure stags.
Pig Hunting Traits: If run in the bush as a youngen and given the work im sure you will find they are a decent dog for catching pigs, in the open nearly no dog will get there quicker then a stag(greyhounds and whippets excluded). They excel in the open but work well in the bush. I have found from my very limited experience with hunting thick stuff that they cant manouever as well as say a small dog, but still do well enough for them to be used all over the country. Probably the best thing about this breed is they are a good allrounder if your access to pigs is limited, you can go out with them catch half a dozen rabbits a couple of foxes and a pig all with the one dog.
Submitted by Aaron aka Staghound