Breed Group: Hounds
Color: All shades of gray and gray brindle, with dark blue-gray preferred
Height: male: 30-32, female: at least 28 inches
Weight: male: 85-110, female: 75-95 lbs
Description: The Scottish Deerhound appears to be a rough-coated Greyhound. He is, however, larger in size and bigger in the bone.
He is a tall and slim sighthound with a saggy 3-4 inch long coat, beard, mustache, and mane.
The harsh, wiry coat comes in various shades of gray (blue-gray is preferred), fawn, or brindle, with dark ears and a tapering dark muzzle.
A little white is allowed on the chest, feet, and tail. The hair is softer on the underparts and head. The head is carried high, long, level and in balance with the whole dog.
The eyes are either chestnut or hazel, and the nose is a dark color. The teeth should form a level bite and there is little stop.
The soft ears lie back against the head unless the dog is excited, in which case, they become half-perked. The long straight or curved tail nearly reaches the ground.
Temperament: He is a gentle and gentlemanly dog with elegant ways and polite affection. Quiet, loving, friendly and excellent with children.
Very courageous and dignified, devoted and loyal, but they are not watching or guard dogs, for they just love everyone.
The Scottish Deerhound can be willful at times and slow to obey commands. Although friendly with other dogs, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets. The Scottish Deerhound has an unusual cry.
Health problems: The Scottish Deerhound is prone to bloat. It is wise to feed them 2 or 3 small meals a day rather than one big one. Avoid vigorous exercise right after the dog has eaten a big meal.
Living conditions: Scottish Deerhounds are not recommended for apartment life, although mature Deerhounds can do well in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised.
They are relatively inactive indoors and should have at least a large yard, but do best with acreage so it will have room to run around.
Exercise: This active breeds needs a great deal of exercise, but should not be left off of its lead except in a secure area because they are incredibly fast and like to chase. This breed makes an excellent jogging companion.
Life expectancy: An average of under 10 years.
Grooming: The harsh, wiry coat needs extensive grooming. Some trimming and stripping is required, but little skill is needed. This breed is an average shedder.
Origin: The Greyhound is a centuries-old inhabitant of the British Isles. The Scottish breed’s development closely jockeys it’s English counterpart’s.
In Scotland, the Greyhound developed into quite a distinctive dog and became known as the Scottish Deerhound. Bred as a deer hunting dog of the Scottish chieftains in the Middle Ages, the dog gained size and strength.
Due to the harsh climate, it also gained a rough protective coat. The Deerhound was once so popular with Scottish high nobility that the breed became known as the royal dog of Scotland.
No one ranking below Earl was permitted to own one. The advent of gun hunting, development of fenced agriculture (which cut up the wide-open spaces needed for such deer hunts), and the fall of the Scottish clan system, resulted in the decline of the Scottish Deerhound.
In fact, the breed almost became extinct. However, interest revived in the 1800’s and the breed was saved, largely due to the efforts of two brothers: Archibald and Duncan McNeill. Queen Victoria became a Deerhound fancier, and Sir Walter Scott also owned one.
During World War II in Britain, it was very difficult to feed these large dogs, and many people destroyed their dogs for lack of food. Some dedicated Deerhound owners held out and saved their dogs.
Today, this agile sighthound is primarily a companion dog. Though classified as a sighthound, the Scottish Deerhound also has a very fine sense of smell.
Some of the Deerhounds talents include: hunting, sighting, tracking, racing, agility and lure coursing.