The Scottish Deerhound is a large dog with a shaggy, crisp and somewhat wiry coat. This is a gentle, quiet and friendly breed used as the name suggests to hunt deer. It has been questioned as to whether the Scottish Deerhound was the same as the Irish Wolfhound or possibly related the hounds of the Picts.
The earliest records found documenting Scottish Deerhounds are from the 16th and 17th centuries, however, historians believe this is an ancient breed existing long before any notes were ever kept.
The Scottish Deerhound nearly became extinct because this was such a highly regarded and prized breed which was limited to only those of an earl ranking or higher. These dogs were very successful in the hunting and killing of large deer and it is this skill which made the Scottish Deerhound a very valuable asset. However, around 1825, Archibald and Duncan McNeill were successful in bringing this breed back from near extinction.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Scottish Terrier in the Hound Group in 1886
Height: The height for a Scottish Deerhound can be from 30 – 32 inches (76 – 81 cm) and for bitches from 28 inches (71 cm) plus.
Weight: The weight of the Scottish Deerhound is between 75 to 110 pounds (34 – 50 kg). Bitches weight less – between 75 to 95 pounds (34 – 43 kg). AKC Standard.
Coat Type: The Scottish Deerhound has a shaggy, somewhat wiry and close lying coat which is crisp to the touch. The hair on the head, belly and breast is much softer. To keep the Scottish Deerhound’s coat in good condition, keep it thoroughly brushed and clean.
Color: The color of the Scottish Deerhound’s coat includes dark blue gray, gray, brindle and black, yellow and sandy red or red fawn. Darker colors are more preferred over lighter shades. White is permissible on the chest, toes or a slight tip to the stern, but as a general rule, the less white, the better.
Temperament: The Scottish Deerhound is a loving and a faithful companion. He is gentle, quiet, friendly and generally good with children (do not leave small children alone due to the Scottish Deerhound’s large size which he may unintentionally knock over a child). It is not difficult to train a Scottish Deerhounds as they are eager to please, although they can be lazy. They are not wary of strangers nor will they bark if something appears out of the norm – therefore, they do not make good watch or guard dogs. While they are busy as a puppy, they are quite laid back as an adult and love to take long naps. However, they need to be subjected to daily exercise – especially as a puppy. Long walks, free play in a secure area and especially lure coursing are all good ways to keep your Scottish Deerhound physically and mentally fit.
Health Concerns: Several health conditions the Scottish Deerhound is prone to includes: osteosarcoma (bone cancer), cardiomyopathy, bloat and torsion. The average life span is between 9 – 11 years.
• The Scottish Deerhound does not like the heat.
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Hound Group 4
CKC: Hound Group 2
FCI: Group 10 Section 2 Rough-haired Sighthounds
UKC: Sighthounds & Pariahs