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Posted at 11:56 AM ET, 02/16/2011

Scottish deerhound wins at Westminster; breed adoption likely to increase

By Melissa Bell
scottish deerhound
Scottish deerhound Hickory poses with handler Angela Lloyd, right, and judge Paolo Dondina after Hickory won Best in Show. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Notable dog moments -- be it a starring movie role or a White House adoption -- increase demand for certain breeds. This uptick probably will happen to the Scottish deerhound, a relatively unknown breed, after Hickory took home the Westminster Best in Show on Tuesday night.

Kim Saunders, vice president of shelter outreach at Petfinder.com, said, "We do see it after a big famous dog show like this, or when they are inserted into popular culture like when "101 Dalmatians" came out."

Petfinder.com, one of the largest online pet adoption agencies, is prepared for the heightened interest in the breeds with a purebred directory that would help would-be dog owners understand the different breeds. They also currently have 11 Scottish deerhound mixes listed on their site.

"People see the dogs and are intrigued by how adorable they are," Saunders said. "And then think, 'Oh, I'd like one of those for my own.' We hope that they bring a dog into their family, but we also hope they do a little research to see if that dog is the right fit for the family."

The Virginia-bred Scottish deerhound surprised dog watchers at the show when she was picked from a crowd of seven dogs for the top spot. It was the first time a dog of her breed won. Among her competitors there was a Pekingese, Portuguese water dog, Chinese Shar-Pei, smooth fox terrier, bearded collie and black cocker spaniel.

The American Kennel Club says the breed "possesses a quiet and dignified personality in the home," and was first bred for the pursuit and killing of deer.

Saunders said that since the breed is a sight hound, the dogs will be apt to give chase to any running animal that may cross their path. "You just have to know and be willing to deal with it."

Each breed often has very specific requirements for their health and upkeep, and rescue organizations work to place the right dog with the right home.

Jenny Eisen, who adopted a Great Dane through a rescue league, said some people are reticent to adopt a rescue dog because of the stigma that something must be wrong with the dog for its owners to give it up. "Most people are worried that if they get a dog from a rescue league the dog will have all these issues," said Eisen. "But in actuality they have a pretty rigorous screening process for the people and the dog, so you know what you're getting into."

By Melissa Bell  | February 16, 2011; 11:56 AM ET
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Comments

'Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome tæ yer gory bed,
Or tæ victorie!

Posted by: jamie_kirkpatrick | February 16, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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