Also known as just the Staghound, the American Staghound is one of the most beloved types of dog in Europe, Australia and North America. Unlike most other dog breeds, the Staghound is bred for function and not for specific looks. As a result, this is technically not a dog breed but a dog type. Staghounds do exist in Europe, although sometimes they are mistakenly called Lurchers.
Staghounds are practically identical to Lurchers, but they are usually larger and have a rounder top part of the head and more solid bone. According to Dog Breed Info Center, Staghounds in America were the results of deliberate crosses of Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds and possibly Lurchers, Salukis, Irish Wolfhounds and Borzois. Famous American who are reported to own Staghounds were author Ernest Thompson Setton and President Theodore Roosevelt.
Staghounds (no matter what country they live in) are bred for the chase. They have very good eyesight for dogs, just like other sighthound breeds such as the Scottish Deerhound, Whippet and Greyhound. They also are large enough and powerful enough to bring down deer, but usually their job is to flush prey out in the open to the human hunter does the actual killing. Many American Staghounds do not hunt but enjoy the sport of lure coursing.
As an added benefit, Staghounds have retained the good temperament that is the endearing quality of the sighthound breeds. They love attention, so they are willing to try just about anything in order to please their people and get that attention. In general, they can get along with other animals, but keep in mind that they are bred to chase, so they should be closely supervised when other small animals are about, especially rabbits and rodents.
One of the nice things about Staghounds is that there is a lot of variety within the type. However, all will have the long, lean build of a Greyhound and the long, slightly curled tail. The ears are usually floppy, but some may have one ear up and one ear down. The coat is usually shaggy but some dogs can feel quite wiry like a Schnauzer and some can feel quite silky, like a Saluki.
Since they have wide chests tucked up into a wasp waist, this means that they can be prone to bloat, which is similar to colic in horses. To prevent bloating, their feeding bowls should be raised off of the ground. They should also be supervised for at least a half hour after eating and the vet called at any signs of distress.
Generally, these are big dogs. Some males have been known to tip the scales at 100 pounds, but this is unusual. Staghounds can weigh anywhere from 50 to 90 pounds. Females are usually smaller than males. They can come in just about any eye or coat color known to dogs.
Wikipedia. “American Staghound.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Staghound
Dog Breed Info Center. “Staghound Pictures.” http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/staghoundphotos.htm
Dog Breed Info Center. “Staghound.”