Today we will learn about Sighthounds or ‘Gazehounds’ as they are alternatively known. The Sighthound is a lesser known type of hunting dog, but was heavily used back in the day to accompany their masters on the hunt for typically larger prey than pheasant or grouse.
As the name suggests; Sighthounds have sharp eyesight and must have keen vision. As well as this, they are the specialists of the hunt. Keeping a close watch on their prey, then catching it with incredible agility and skill when the time is right.
Cusworth hall will once have hosted hunts such as these from the Georgian period spanning to the late Victorian era, as was the fashion with Estates such as this. Deer/Hare hunting was a skilled sporting activity and would have been enjoyed all season round.
Deer Hunting and Hare Hunting is now illegal in the UK, so the demand for Gazehounds in this capacity is significantly lessened, but the fact also remains, that they also make fantastic, loyal and gentle pets.
The tallest of all dog breeds – the Irish Wolfhound. This impressive sighthound can’t help but turn heads in the street if you are walking along with it. Known for their gentle temperament, loyalty and intelligence. Wolfhounds are usually grey in colour, but more rare occurrences have seen White Irish Wolfhounds. The national dog of Ireland, it also has a lot of accompanying mythology surrounding it and has many poems, stories and legends surrounding these hounds.
As the name suggests, originally the Celts and Irish people used these dogs to hunt and protect from wolves and larger animals. Today however these dogs make fantastic pets.
They also require a high protein diet to support their growing needs and bones.
Irish Wolfhound Lifespan
Due to their huge size however, and a history of inbreeding leading to a limited gene pool, these majestic creatures only have an average lifespan of only 6-7 years.
Irish Wolfhound Size
Male wolfhounds on average are at least 32 inches tall.
Female wolfhounds usually get to around 30 inches.
Irish Wolfhound Price
A Wolfhound could set you back anywhere from £900 – £2000 depending on the pedigree and lineage you are wanting to get. Some breeders make sure to
Similar to the wolfhound in looks – The Scottish Deerhound also once had the job that its name suggested. This dog was bred to hunt red deer by Deer stalking and a method called ‘coursing’. This majestic is also linked with nobility and land ownership who would have used them for sport on their own lands and forests.
These Hounds have high energy and love to run, so need to have a lot of space and an active lifestyle.
As well as the Wolfhound – Scottish Deerhounds are incredibly friendly and gentle.
Scottish Deerhound Lifespan
On average Deerhounds live around 8-11 years.
Scottish Deerhound Size
The male is on average 30 inches tall, and the females 28 inches.
As well as being slightly smaller than the Wolfhound they are also considerably lighter builds.
Affectionately known as a ‘Little Russian lady’ or a ‘Russian Wolfhound’, this Sighthound originates from Central Asia and Russia. With a similar shape to a greyhound, this dog uses its size to its advantage, and uses its agility to hunt down its prey.
Borzoi have a good temperament and are very intelligent, independent and gentle. This is a fantastic family dog. This long faced dog breed is very eye catching and will turn some heads!
Although they are intelligent, these dogs are not always too obedient and can be very stubborn to train. They also like to chase things like squirrels, rabbits, or anything else that might take off suddenly so if you don’t want to be constantly running after your Borzoi, this might not be the dog for you!
Similar to the Deerhound the males are on average 30 inches, and the females 26 inches.
AKA the Arabian Greyhound. A lesser known Gazehound in the UK at least- the Sloughi originates from Morocco. These dogs make excellent companions to their family, they are highly alert and intelligent. They also have a tendency to not shed as much as other dogs and are very clean.
They were originally designed to keep watch and protect farms from threats as well as hunting for larger prey.
They also like to chase animals if they are let off the lead and take a lot of training to keep them on track. They also require a lot of daily exercise because of the nature of their energy levels, so if you are planning to leave this dog alone for long periods of time in your home, consider getting a dog walker, because they can get destructive if they are bored or frustrated at home.
12-16 years. This is due to a wider gene pool and less inbreeding.
On average the males are 26 inches and the females are 24 inches.
Perhaps another lesser known sighthound, this is another Livestock guard dog, this time hailing from West Africa. The Azawakh.
These dogs have quite distinctive white markings and are a range of colours, from sandy to dark brown and red.
Like the Sloughi this dog also has a high energy and needs a high level of exercise. They also like to be in pairs or groups. This is a very rewarding dog to keep and train, but it is not for the beginner dog keeper or owner as they need an experienced trainer. They are also incredibly fast dogs.
These dogs have few genetic conditions and so are generally known to live a long and healthy lifespan.
Males reach 25 inches on average, and the females 24 inches.
So – that was my Top 5, inspired by wandering the grounds of Cusworth and wondering what majestic dogs may have roamed these acres with their masters. Hope you learned something new today! For Cusworth Hall opening times, Click here.