The Sylvan Deerhound is a breed of hunting dog native to Palladium in Aufanaie. They are of medium build, with a strong prey drive and high intelligence.
The breed was named for the Sylvan Forest where the Greenwood Village is located. The breed is used to hunt the deer that live within the trees. The name is not known to be shortened.
The Sylvan Deerhound is the result of careful breeding of the Greenwood Sledge to create a sleek, fast hunting dog. The resulting dogs no longer resemble their ancestors.
The Sylvan Deerhound gives the impression of a graceful, slim dog with a silky coat. The tail and legs are slightly feathered. The overall impression should be of a dog built for speed.
Size and proportions Edit
Males stand between 23-28 inches at the shoulder, females 19-26 inches. Body length is 30-45 inches. Males usually weigh about 60 pounds, females 45-50 pounds. The head is square, with a long, narrow squared nose. Their paws are smaller than those of the Sledge.
The breed comes primarily in shades of brown, though pure white or black is not unheard of. Usual markings are start on the muzzle carrying down the chest and underside. The paws are marked as well as the tail tip, and they have two markings above the eyes. The coloring of the markings is usually white or a lighter shade of their main coat, though there are exceptions such as the black and tan coloration. The nose is usually black. Their round-shaped eyes are usually shades of brown. No other color has been observed and would be an obvious sign of cross-breeding.
The tail of the Sylvan Deerhound is long, narrow and feathered. When not running, it is held down and loose, but is used as a counter-balance when running down prey. If the dog has markings, the tail tip will be marked the same color.
The breed has wide-set, long fluffy ears that stop in length just above the shoulder.
The Sylvan Deerhound has a dignified personality and is the most reserved of the Palladium breeds. Much like the Sledge, the Sylvan Deerhound is wary of strangers. It is not an overly affectionate breed, having been breed to hunt almost independently. They must be socialized early to prevent them from seeming skittish. Their affection is mostly shown by sharing the same space with others. They do not care for rough-housing or fetch. Sylvan Deerhounds are more stubborn than their Sledge counterparts, often playing deaf if they don't want to do something.
The breed is, like the Sledge, fond of children and unless pressured will not handle them with aggression. Their no-nonsense approach to life in general will lead them to discipline a too-rough child, though, so they should not be handled by children not taught respect for animals.
They have a stronger prey drive than even the Sledge and must be socialized young with other animals if the owner doesn't want them to consider the species fair game. Even then, they should not be allowed around anything smaller unsupervised. They will chase anything smaller that moves, and kill if they can.
This breed is extremely intelligent, possibly more so than the Sledge, and must be mentally stimulated to avoid them finding their own entertainment. They bore easily, however, so trying to keep them interested is a challenge. Training them requires patience most simply do not have. Repetition will make them simply quit, because why sit ten times in a row? The breed is not recommended as a straight pet unless you have a lot of time on your hands.
Sylvan Deerhounds are rarely aggressive, but if pressed can hold their own with all but the Killroy's Warrior. They will not put up with aggression from other dogs. Any dog that tries to dominate an "alpha" Sylvan Deerhound will find itself soundly put in its place unless it is much stronger. More submissive members of the breed may back down, but it will usually be with an air of "Are you serious? Calm down, idiot." The breed gives off an aura being above petty drama.
The breed has few health problems. Heart conditions can develop if not kept active, and poor care can lead to stiff joints. Their biggest issue comes from work injuries; kicks from their prey can break bones that even when healed will be a slight issue later.
Once the Greenwood Sledge was established, a few Palladians began to breed for a swifter, more independent hunting dog. Along with a lighter frame, floppy ears and a silky coat appeared, along with the gray coloration almost completely disappearing. The new breed is disdained by the Greenwood Villagers as an unnecessary novelty. However many of the better off Palladians prefer the breed, not only as a mark of status, but because it is more efficient than the Sledge. It is the oldest of the breeds after the Sledge itself.
The breed is used to commonly hunt deer and other ungulates found in Palladium, though it's not unheard of for it to be used for smaller prey as well. They track, point, then on command will run down and attempt to bring down their prey. They work best solo or in teams of two. Dogs that know each other well work best. Attempting to pair strangers will result in confusion and possible injury. The breed also sees use in dog races.
Known Sylvan Deerhounds Edit
- Crepundium's Sweet Rosalyn - "Rose"
- Crepundium's Fastest Horse In A One-Horse Town - "Colt".
The Sylvan Deerhound is found only in Palladium. They are not a breed that fairs well in the wilderness without human aid.
The Sylvan Deerhound is almost never intentionally bred back to the Sledge. And due to its perceived status as a novelty breed, wolves are not eager to breed with them.
Like the Sledge, the Sylvan Deerhound is considered incompetent by the Greenwood Villagers and the wolves. While it is more than a "novelty breed", it is less capable of surviving than the Sledge without human assistance. So that myth has some truth in it.
- It is canon in deviantART's Dog Art Role-Playing Games that the Sylvan Deerhound along with its three contemporaries, was brought back to Ohio by Ashtree Waxwing in 2010. Waxwing noticed the similarities between the Palladian breeds and better known counterparts in the USA, and was interested in seeing how they stack up against each other. Ashleigh Cutler expressed interest in the project, and together the two founded Crepundium Kennel in 2017.