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Both of us have Scottish ancestry in our family histories. Mary probably has more, with surnames of 'Scott' and 'Hunter' appearing in her lineage. Steve's fraternal grandmother was a 'Jamieson' which was a sept of the Gunn Clan in Scotland, and you will see the Gunn tartan as background on this website.
We first were introduced to deerhounds at Scottish Highland Games and Celtic festivals, where Steve played the bagpipes with the Kansas City St. Andrew Pipes & Drums Band. We also attended these events as vendors of Scottish apparel, giftware and accessories. Our first encounter was at the Highland Games in St. Louis.
We distinctly recall seeing a small lady walking 4 deerhounds on leashes. They were so regal looking and so well-behaved we thought this must be the norm for the breed. (It is in general; but, you know, every breed has its exceptions). It really impressed us when a number of little girls came running up to the dogs yelling and laughing. The deerhounds didn't even flinch - we were hooked.
We (especially Steve) wanted a deerhound for quite some time, but did not feel we had the right environment, and setting, to house and care for a 'deerie'. After moving to Colorado from Kansas City in 2008, we had the setting with 40 acres of land, but needed the space that a larger residence, with fenced yard, would provide. In 2012 we moved from our 2-bedroom apartment into our new house, with two separate fenced yards for dogs to roam and stretch their legs. Then began the search for a deerhound puppy.
A year's search, and substantial disappointment in not finding a puppy, almost ended in us throwing in the towel. Fortunately, in the fall of 2013, we found a long-established breeder in southern Arizona, Rachel Matthews, who just had a litter. We were able to convince Rachel, and her husband, Jim, that we were good folks, with good intentions, who would honor the breed, and, who would make good deerhound guardians. (I say 'guardians because it's hard to consider ourselves as 'owners' of these incredible animals).
In November, 2013, we went to Arizona to pick up our new puppy, Pink Girl. Somehow we managed to come home with not only Pink Girl, but also one of her sisters, Purple Girl ..... but, that is the subject of another story. Let's just say we love them both and can not imagine a situation of not having deerhounds in our lives.
The rest, as they say, is 'history' .... or history yet to be!!
We firmly believe that Scottish Deerhounds should conform to the 'Standard' for the breed. Interpretation of the Standard can vary from owner-to-owner, from breeder-to-breeder and from judge-to-judge; but, in general, we feel that deerhounds should be of sufficient size, in keeping with their original purpose, to be able to chase and bring down highland deer. To that end we strive for dogs that are larger, stronger and approach the upper ends of the Standard categories in terms of weight and height.
Others may have different opinions of, and preferences for, what a Scottish Deerhound should be, or should look like. We readily acknowledge and embrace those differences. Our preference, however, is to shoot for a dog:
- that is of gray, or gray-blue, with some brindle coloring
- with a beautiful head (you know it when you see it) atop a longish neck
- having a nice 'topline'
- with strong, powerful hindquarters that lead to flowing, straight-forward movement, and
- that has hazel to dark-amber eyes that look you in the eye, as if to be peering into your soul.
Above, and beyond, the Standard, however, is our desire to produce deerhounds that have wonderful temperament - dogs that really like people, are gentle with children, are tolerant of other animals (we know this is asking for a lot), and that come when they are called.
We just threw that last one in to see if you were paying attention, as it's probably not going to happen.
If you are interested in our puppies, please be sure to read our Contract carefully. You can also find it on the 'Resources' page
Steve & Mary Chandler
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