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Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound


As early as 1682, Scottish Deerhounds are depicted in drawings and paintings. Their primary purpose in Scotland was to hunt deer along side the Scottish Chieftains. At one point in history, no one ranking below Earl was permitted to own one. And due to this and the advent of gun hunting, the Scottish Deerhound became nearly extinct. But Sir Walter Scott helped to revive interest in this breed during the early 1800s when he immortalized memories of his own deerhound in his writings. By 1861 Queen Victoria owned the only Deerhound on record in Britain, and by 1892 British Deerhound Club was formed. The first Scottish Deerhound was registered in the United States with the AKC in 1886. World War II again almost decimated this breed due to the food shortages, but some dedicated Deerhound owners held out, enabling the breed to continue to gain in numbers until present day.


The Scottish Deerhound has a quiet, gentle temperament, and makes an ideal pet. This is a breed that is obedient, and is therefore easy to train because of its will to please. Deerhounds do not make good watchdogs, as they are trusting and unsuspicious. They have a very fine sense of smell and their talents include hunting, sighting, tracking, racing, agility and lure coursing. They are excellent with children, and devoted to their families.

Breed Standards:

  • Hound Group
  • Males are 30 – 32 inches at withers, 85 - 110 pounds
  • Females are 28 – 30 inches at withers, around 75 - 95 pounds
  • Average litter = 8 - 9 puppies
  • Average life span is 7 - 11 years
  • Coat is thick, ragged and very coarse
  • Colors = Dark or light blue-gray, brindle, yellow, sandy red or red fawn

Everyday Care:

  • Exercise: Young Deerhounds should never be over-exercised. In adulthood, however, they require a great deal of exercise. They need to be taken on daily long walks or jogs and make excellent jogging companions. Because of their instinct to chase and their incredible speed, Scottish Deerhounds should never be off leash except in secured areas.
  • Feeding: It is best to feed two or three meals a day instead of only feeding once. A Scottish Deerhound should never be exercised one hour before feeding or for two hours afterwards. And they should never be allowed to gulp water.
  • Grooming: Scottish Deerhounds need a thorough brushing about three times each week, but should only have baths at such times when they have rolled in something. Ears should be checked weekly and cleaned if needed. And nails should be trimmed when you can hear them clicking as the dog walks across the floor.
  • Attention: Scottish Deerhounds should never be kept in kennels, and enjoy being included as a loyal member of the family. When training, the Deerhound requires calm instruction, as they are a very sensitive breed.

Health Considerations:

  • Sensitive to medication, especially anesthesia
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Liver Shunt
  • Bone Cancer
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)

Am I Right for You?

  • I need a large yard for sufficient exercise, and a 6 foot fence, but I do best with some acreage.
  • I am not recommended for apartment life, and need an active family who enjoys my high exercise demands.
  • You must train me patiently and calmly.
  • Do you have other animals? Although Scottish Deerhounds are friendly with other dogs, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets, as it is engrained behavior to chase and sometimes hurt other animals.