Other names: Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound is a calm, chilled-out, loyal and friendly dog. This large dog is the ultimate gentle giant - in fact, we’d go as far to say that it’s one of the friendliest breeds around! A dog of this breed gets along with anyone and everyone they meet - except cats and small animals, who they’ll chase for hours.
Those who have a large space for their pets to roam around, live an active lifestyle and seek an undemanding, affectionate companion won’t go wrong in picking a Scottish Deerhound as their next pet.
Key facts about the Deerhound
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Intelligent Hunter
Origins and history
The Scottish Deerhound is native to the country which shares its name - Scotland, of course! This famous breed has been around since the 16th century but has formally been known by multiple names, including the Scotch Greyhound, the Rough Greyhound and the Highland Deerhound. For as long as the breed has been known, it’s been highly sought-after for its impressive ability to hunt deer.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 10 - Sighthounds
Section 2 : Rough-haired Sighthounds
Physical characteristics of the Deerhound
Female : Between 28 and 30 in
Male : Between 30 and 31 in
Female : Between 79 and 82 lb
Male : Between 99 and 101 lb
The Scottish Deerhound most commonly has a dark grey or blue-grey coat, though they’re also seen in true brindle. Historically, they were also seen in yellow, red, and fawn.
Type of coat
This breed has a medium length, wiry coat.
The Scottish Deerhound originates from the Scottish Highlands - their thick, harsh and rough-textured coat helped keep them warm and dry in bitterly cold, wet weather. The hair on the belly, chest and head is soft in comparison to the rest of the coat. The Deerhound also has a little bit of a fringe on the backs of the legs and lovely, thick eyebrows.
The Scottish Deerhound has very dark brown or black eyes.
There’s no two ways about it - the Scottish Deerhound is a big dog! It’s sometimes described as a small horse due to is long, thin legs and lengthy neck. Despite their size, their height and lean, athletic appearance make for a very elegant pooch.
The head is widest from ear to ear and thins out towards the muzzle and nose, which is black. The ears are set high and turned back, while the eyes are full and dark. This breed also boasts a charming moustache and beard which definitely adds to their character.
Good to know
During the Age of Chivalry, nobody of lower status than an earl was allowed to own a Scottish Deerhound - yep, these pups were highly valued!
You won’t find a friendlier dog than the Scottish Deerhound. They quickly make friends with everyone they come across - even complete strangers! This is a loyal and affectionate dog who will give you plenty of love and cuddles.
The Scottish Deerhound is playful as a puppy - in fact, they can be quite boisterous in their young years. However, as they grow older, they’re known to be a little lazy and sometimes prefer chilling out on the sofa than playing games. Overall, not the most playful breed in the book but they’ll happily join in for half an hour.
This breed is known to be calm, undemanding and gentle. However, this naturally quiet nature means they need a stress-free, peaceful home as they are super sensitive to stress.
While the Scottish Deerhound isn’t exactly renowned for its intelligence, they are generally fairly smart, cooperative and pick things up easily.
We’ve bragged about how calm the Scottish Deerhound is, but there is one exception to that rule. Whenever this pooch spots a small animal (including cats and small dogs), they’ll run like the wind to chase it. This can be dangerous to other animals, meaning it’s essential to keep them on a lead when potential prey are around.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is a fairly sociable greyhound, compared to others, but he is still wary of foreigners and does not trust easily.
Unfortunately, the Scottish Deerhound can be rather stubborn and independent at times - especially when it comes to training. However, with persistent and careful training, they usually grow into highly obedient dogs.
Behaviour of the Deerhound
A well-trained Scottish Deerhound can usually be left alone for a few hours with no issues. However, they can be prone to separation anxiety when suddenly left alone with no experience of solitude.
It’s best to start leaving this breed alone for short periods of time as a puppy, and slowly increasing the time alone as they get older. Ideally, it should never be more than a few hours.
Easy to train / obedience
The Scottish Deerhound falls right in the middle in terms of training - it’s not impossible, but it’s certainly not easy! They have a stubborn streak and short attention span which can make training tricky.
Plenty of praise and tasty treats are the best motivation for the Deerhound - without it, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. Do bear in mind that this breed is very sensitive and will take harsh correction or criticism to heart.
This friendly and calm breed rarely barks. If you’re looking for a quiet dog, they’re a fantastic choice.
Tendency to run away
Although the Scottish Deerhound won’t run away for the sake of it, their prey drive can cause problems. They will try to jolt off unexpectedly, which can be extremely dangerous around busy roads. It’s essential to buy a top quality harness and lead to restrain them in these situations.