We have never seen a Scottish deerhound – have you? This sparked our curiosity and there’s no better than Wikipedia to turn to when curiosity sparks. According to our favorite blog/encyclopedia the deerhound was originally “bred to hunt red deer by “coursing,” and also “deer stalking” until the end of the 19th century” (Wikipedia, 2011). For those who are unfamiliar with “coursing,” it is when a dog goes after their prey by sight and speed rather than scent. Deerhounds are quick dogs, which allowed for a sprint rather than marathon chase of the deer.
Now, you’re probably wondering why we’re talking about the Scottish deerhound, right? Well, we LOVE LOVE LOVE the Westminster Dog Show. This year marked the 135th anniversary of the West Minster Dog Show, which was held on May 8th, 1877. Ironically, it startEd off as a show for gun dogs, created “by a group of hunting men who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel… in Manhattan. They decided to create a kennel club called the Westminster Kennel Club specifically for the purpose of holding a dog show” (Wikipedia, 2011). And guess what?! The 2011 winner of Best in Show is Hickory, a Scottish deerhound; she is the first of her breed to ever win. Currently because of the size of the Madison Square Garden in New York City, the show is now limited to 2,500 dogs however over 179 varieties and breeds are shown during the competition.