American Staghound

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • calm
  • easy to groom
  • excellent hunter
  • poor guardian
  • chases small animals
  • needs daily and energetic exercises

The American Staghound is undoubtedly a graceful and extremely agile hunting dog designed specifically for coursing hares and coyotes in the American West. The dog is endowed with even temper and sweet demeanour. Thanks to these traits, it has considerable following all over the world.

The American Staghound as a separate breed first appeared in XVII century on the American continent. The original American settlers brought their Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, and probably their crosses to the New World. Coursing quarry provided essential source of proteins and fur as well as it was very entertaining spectacle. Before that time the coyote had never been coursed with dogs, which had been mainly used for wolves. The coyote presented a challenging quarry since it’s more agile than a wolf and fights with uncompromising persistence. At that time it was important to find a way of effectively controlling the population of coyotes. Gradually it was ascertained that the cross of swift, refined Greyhound with sturdier Scottish Deerhound produced very capable coursing dog for putting down a coyote in the harshest terrains.

The American Staghound took only best traits from both breeds. Actually it was not created as a result of a singular breeding of the pure-blooded Scottish Deerhound and the pure-blooded Greyhound but it had been rather perfected by extensive breeding experiments over several hundred generation with different proportions of above-mentioned breeds. From the Deerhound it inherited its rough coat, fabulous nose and superb robustness and from the Greyhound the breed acquired its agility and speed. General George A. Custer included several Staghounds in his dog pack, which he applied for coursing on different species of North American animals.

Currently the dog isn’t recognised as a distinct breed by any reputable kennel club and its breeders have no intention to seek for approval of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in any foreseeable future. The American Staghound preserves most of its superb working characteristics and it still actively performs its original duties of quarry coursing.

Though being an innate hunter the American Staghound possesses steady and mild temperament. This dog will become an outstanding pet, unshakably loyal and affectionate. Most of the specimens have more of an introvert type of personality meaning they are slightly reserved in displaying their emotions. This dog also gets along with children when they have been introduced to each other timely and correctly. At the same time this breed is too big for a toddler and can unintentionally knock it over.

As a rule the American Staghound demonstrates its usual laid-back attitude in the presence of unfamiliar people. Though majority of the dogs remain wary during the first meeting and don’t like to be petted by strangers. Thanks to its excellent scenting ability as well as to its acute sight the dog can be turned into a good watch dog. However the American Staghound will become an awful guard dog because it lacks protective instincts.

This breed has a great experience of working in a pack so it’s deprived of any type of canine aggression. Nonetheless it’s not advisable to keep the American Staghound with a toy breed as it can seriously hurt it during some vigorous game. The breed has been refined on its hunting capabilities over several hundreds of generations and it possesses an incredibly powerful hunting drive. Some specimens will never be able to suppress it even in relation to a home cat with which it has been reared together. That’s why it’s also highly important to keep this dog muzzled and on a leash at all times while during the walk.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• sensitivity to anaesthesia;
• gastric torsion.

The American Staghound demands minimal maintenance. Its owner should brush its coat periodically to keep it good-looking and shining. This dog will never require to be professionally groomed. On the whole the amount of necessary care will also depend on the type of coat of the dog: shag, broken and smooth.

The rest includes basic care as nail trimming, ears cleaning and teeth brushing. This breed sheds moderately.

The American Staghound is a quite trainable dog but only if the handler uses correct training techniques. As a hunting dog it used to make quick and numerous decisions during a hunt so this independent and quick-witted dog won’t obey blindly. It should fully acknowledge the superior position of the trainer in order to follow his commands hundred per cent of times.

This dog works best if stimulated with plenty of gentle verbal encouragement and tasty incentives. The American Staghound will act defiantly and even aggressively if you resort to hard corrective methods of training.

The American Staghound is a highly energetic dog, which needs a spacious yard to run and play. The minimal requirement consists of an hourly vigorous walk every single day. Be mindful not to exercise the dog, which is under 12 months, too strenuously because its bone structure is still forming.

The adult dog will be an excellent companion for sport minded individual, who loves jogging or riding a bike. The American Staghound does adapt to a big city life but it’s certainly a rural boy, which craves nothing more than to burn its excessive energy in a free run (preferably during a hunt).