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Deerhound Profile

Other Names: Scottish Deerhound, Royal Dog of Scotland

Country of origin: Great Britain

Dog Group Kennel Club: Hound

General appearance:

These large sized, shaggy coated sighthounds have a very athletic appearance. They are often described as resembling a shaggy coated greyhound. Coats on the Scottish Deerhound should be harsh and wiry. Ragged coated, crisp and thick, hair should lie closely to the body of said dog giving him a shaggy and unkempt appearance. The Scottish Deerhound is a large dog, both heavy and tall. They have a rather long neck, and their heads look rather small in comparison to the body. Deerhounds have long tails, almost reaching the ground. They have dark eyes and a dark nose, and come in colors of dark blue gray, lighter gray, brindle, yellow and fawn. Sometimes they have white on the feet, toes, chest or tail tip. Scottish Deerhounds are a royal breed of majestic looks and noble personality.

Colours: Dark blue gray and lighter grays; brindles and yellow; sandy red or red fawn with black points. They often have white on the toes, chest, and tail tip.


Bitch          71cm (28") 76cm (30")

Dog            76cm (30") 82cm (32")


Bitch          36.5kg (80lbs) 45.5kg (100lbs)

Dog            45.5kg (100lbs) 55kg (121lbs)


The Scottish Deerhound is a large breed that does exceptionally well with other animals and even small children. Tolerable and quiet, this breed makes an excellent child's companion. Socialization as a pup is required for any breed however. Does not do well with smaller animals. This breed can have a lot of energy, but is not over-excited. They are faithful, quiet and dignified. Scottish Deerhounds are good-natured.

Movement: Easy, active and true, with a long stride.

Care and training:

The Wiry coat of the Scottish Deerhound should be brushed occasionally to keep shedding to a minimum. Generally an average shedding breed. Dead hairs should be plucked by professional groomer, as well as trimming.

The Deerhound is an intelligent dog that will learn quickly what is wanted and expected of it. They are obedient and eager to please and will acknowledge gentle and calm commands. It is recommended that obedience classes be started as a pup to prevent later issues.

Overall Exercise: 40 - 60 minutes per day.
As puppies the Deerhound should be restricted in its activities. They do require lots of exercise and need to be fed an adequate diet as a result. They love to run free and several short walks each day are not enough for this athletic hound.

Feeding requirements: Diet should be monitored as this dog grows rapidly as a puppy. The breeder will be able to advise on the correct diet in the correct amounts. It is recommended that the adult dog is feed twice daily, rather than one large meal once a day. They also need an adequate diet as they have high activity levels.

Exercise: Med 

Grooming: Med

Noise: Low

Personal Protection: Low

Suitability As Guard Dog: Low

Level of Aggression: Low

Compatibility With Other Animals: Medium

Suitablity for Children: High

Often docked? No

Average litter: 8 - 9

Life expectancy (yrs): 8 - 11

History: Scottish Deerhounds may have arrived in Scotland over 3000 years ago with the Phoenician traders. Some believe they are closely related to the Irish Wolfhound. There is a statue called the Hilton of Cadboll from the 8th century that depicts two hounds attacking a deer. During this time there were reports in literature about "highland Greyhounds" with long, course hair. Large Greyhounds of the time are thought to have been crossed with a shaggier native breed to create what is the Scottish Deerhound today.The Scottish Deerhound is featured in the writings of novelist Sir Walter Scott who had a female Deerhound named "Maida", whom he called "the most perfect creature of heaven." When his hound died, he buried her under a sculpture that read, "Beneath the sculptured form which late your wore, Sleep soundly, Maida, at your Master's door." They became a favorite among the Scottish Highlanders who used them to hunt wild deer in the glens. During medieval times, there were laws passed that would not allow anyone below the rank of Earl to own a Scottish Deerhound. This could have been to ensure that there were enough deer for the noblemen to hunt with, but it created a method of not over- breeding the Deerhound.


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