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Sharing A Home With A Hound

There are many types of hound, whether charming Basset Hounds, lighter boned and taller Basenjis or the graceful and elegant Saluki. But then there are the massive and imposing hounds like the Bloodhound and the Deerhound, both of which are dogs that need plenty of space to be able to express themselves as they should which in short, means they are best suited to people who live in the country. Not only do both these breeds need space, but they need to be trained and handled by people who are familiar with their specific needs because a lot goes in to sharing a home with either a Bloodhound or a Deerhound.

The Oldest Scent Hounds - Bloodhounds

Bloodhounds are the oldest of all scent hounds as they are known today. In fact, it would be fair to say that most scent hounds today have Bloodhounds in their foundation stock. Nobody really knows why these breeds first came about, but as time passed, Bloodhounds soon became prized for their hunting and tracking skills thus becoming firm favourites with nobles and royals alike.

Many people think that Bloodhounds are on the lazy side, but in truth they are extremely active dogs by nature and like to be kept busy rather than be treated like couch potatoes. As such, they are best suited to families who lead busy, active and outdoor lives with a dog at their side capable of keeping pace with them.

They are extremely large dogs and they boast long, whip like tails which is why they need lots of space to express themselves without breaking and smashing things. They also need to be given a lot of exercise and back gardens must be ultra-secure to keep a Bloodhound in because if a fence is weak or low, such a large dog would quickly be out exploring the area and getting into trouble. The other thing to bear in mind when living with a large dog is that cleaning up after them can be an epic job whether they do their business in the garden or out on a walk.

With this said, Bloodhounds are known to be clean by nature and puppies are generally easy to housetrain too. Extra attention should be paid to their ears because of the heavy fold which allows wax to build up which means cleaning them when necessary to prevent infections. The folds around their faces also need to be gently wiped with a damp cloth to remove dirt and because their eyes are droopy, they too should be wiped when necessary. It's important to set up a routine when Bloodhounds are still puppies because if left too late, it can prove challenging when trying to clean their ears, eyes and paws.

Puppies must be fed a good quality, appropriate diet bearing in mind that Bloodhounds grow incredibly fast. They need all the right nutrients for their bones and joints to grow and develop as they should. A Bloodhound puppy can put on 2.5 kg every week and their diet needs to contain the right levels of calcium and other minerals so bones develop properly.

Bloodhounds are renowned for being good around children even if they are large dogs, but care should always be taken if there are toddlers or small children in the house because they might be knocked over by accident, but with this said, Bloodhounds will play quietly or roughly depending on who wants to join in the game.

The Majestic Hound - the Deerhound

Deerhounds are seen in the field as they once were, but for anyone living in a rural environment and who has plenty of space both in their homes and outside, sharing it with a Deerhound is a real pleasure. It would be fair to say that thanks to dog shows, the breed has not vanished altogether which is mainly due to fans and breed enthusiasts keeping the interest very much alive. It would be just as fair to say that anyone who has lived with a Deerhound would find it hard not to have one of these charming dogs around.

Large and well poised, the Deerhound is an impressive looking dog and although best suited to living in larger houses, there are some dogs that live happily in smaller ones too because they are laid back and adaptable characters by nature. One myth about the breed is that they are large eaters and therefore it costs a lot to keep a Deerhound, but the reality is they are not big or greedy eaters.

Good breeding is essential and puppies should never be taken from their mothers or litters until they are ready bearing in mind that Deerhounds develop and mature very slowly. Many responsible breeders prefer to let their puppies go to new homes when they are three months old because like this they know their dogs have had the chance to develop as they should in a familiar environment. When they do arrive in a new home, puppies need to be gently introduced into their new environment making sure they don't get frightened by all the strange noises they may have never heard before.

Because they grow into such large and strong dogs, it's important to get puppies used to having their paws, ears and other parts of their bodies being touched so that nail trimming and ear cleaning does not turn into a challenge every time it needs to be done. The good news is that Deerhounds are easy to house train and they learn the rules quickly. The key to successfully house training a Deerhound puppy is to let them out frequently because like other breeds, they need to "go" that more often than an older dog. One of the golden rules when house training a Deerhound pup, is to let them out as soon as they've had a meal or drunk a lot of water. Making note of their sleeping habits is also important when judging when a puppy needs to go out. When they get it right and do their business in the garden, Deerhound puppies need to be given lots of praise and rewards.

Puppies need to be fed an appropriate good quality diet so their bones and joints develop properly. Their exercise needs to be limited so they don't develop any nasty degenerative disorders later in their lives. Their training must start early because these adorable puppies grow into very large and impressive dogs making it harder to handle an unruly and wilful character, bearing in mind that a fully grown Deerhound is an extremely large dog.

Lastly

Choosing to live with any sort of hound needs a lot of consideration because they are such intelligent and energetic dogs by nature. With this said, a few hounds are more laid back than others which is why researching a breed before deciding on which would best suit your lifestyle is so important. Deerhounds and Bloodhounds are among the most impressive of the hounds and are best suited to people who are familiar with their very specific needs. In short, neither breeds are a good choice for first time dog owners, but in the right hands and environment, both Deerhounds and Bloodhounds make wonderful companions and family pets.


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