dark blue gray, dark and light gray, brindles, yellow, sandy red and fawn colors. They should have black ears and muzzles
From 85 to 115 lbs
28 inches and up
may be 75 to 95 lbs
Scottish Deerhounds are large dogs. However, they can live in an apartment so long as they are given plenty of exercise. When they are indoors, they are docile and quiet, due to their elegant and polite nature. So, you're not likely to find them underfoot, even if you live in a small place. However, it is critical for their health and happiness that they be given lots of exercise outdoors. The ideal place for a Scottish Deerhound would be a farm with acres and acres free for roaming and tracking, completely out of danger from traffic.
The Scottish Deerhound is a fairly unfamiliar breed to most Americans. In fact, the American Kennel Club places this dog breed near the very bottom of the list in terms of numbers of dogs registered in the This is a large and graceful dog that is gentle and sweet. These dogs make wonderful hunting dogs or family pets, but they must be given plenty of exercise. They are very intelligent dogs and can learn coursing and agility exercises quite easily. These dogs do very well with children, particularly when the dog is older. Young Scottish Deerhounds often do not know their strength and size and may inadvertently hurt a little one. They bark very little, and have a somewhat unusual howl sound.
The Scottish Deerhound can spend lots of time running around outside and needs to be able to run off energy. In fact, younger Deerhounds may be destructive if they don't get a sufficient amount of exercise. They are fast runners with an agile gait and can run quite a fair distance. It's important to watch your Scottish Deerhound whenever he's running off leash, as he may become interested in his run and stray too far.
The Scottish Deerhound is built very much like the Greyhound, only larger in size and bone structure. They should have a chest that is deep rather than broad. The Scottish Deerhound's head should be broadest at the ears and narrow slightly around the eyes. The muzzle should be pointed, with level lips and teeth. The head should be long with a flat skull. The nose should generally be black and the dog should have a mustache of silky hair and a beard. Their ears should be high set and fold back like those of a greyhound. The ears should be soft, glossy, small and dark in color, regardless of the color of the rest of the body. The Deerhound's tail should be long enough to reach within 1 1/2 inches of the ground and should be well covered in hair. Their eyes should be dark with black rims.
The Deerhound's legs should be broad and flat with very straight forelegs. Their feet should be close and compact, and their hindquarters broad and drooping.
The Scottish Deerhound's coat is designed to be ragged in appearance. The hair on the body, neck and quarters should be harsh and wiry and about 3 or 4 inches long. However, the hair on the head and belly will be much softer, and have a silky texture. The dog will have a slight fringe on the inside of the fore and hind legs. The ideal coat is thick, close lying and ragged. It should be somewhat harsh to the touch. A wooly coat is not desirable.
The Scottish Deerhound comes in several colors, but the dark blue gray is most preferred. The dogs have darker coats as puppies than they do as adults. Other dark and light gray or brindles come next, along with yellow and sandy red or fawn colors. They should have black ears and muzzles. White is allowed only on the chest and toes-and even on these areas, the less white, the better. The oldest known purebred Scottish Deerhounds were the McNeil and Chesthill Menzies. These dogs were typically sandy or red fawn with black muzzles and ears. This coloring is still considered one of the best combinations.
It is believed that the Scottish Deerhound has been in existence for centuries. In fact, they have been around for so long that it is unclear as to whether they are descended from the Irish Wolfdog or from the Hounds of the Picts. In early years, dogs were named mostly for the function they performed, which is where names like Scottish Deerhound and Irish Wolfdog came from. The Scottish Deerhound, therefore was a dog bred especially for deer hunting in . They had to be of a size that allowed them to successfully take down a buck. In addition, they had to be able to run faster than the deer they were hunting. The Scottish Deerhound was likely bred from Greyhound like ancestors. However, the soft silky hair of the Greyhound would have been unsuitable for the harsh weather of the Scottish highlands. So, the dogs were likely bred to have a wirier and more durable coat as the years went on.
It is certain that breeds identified solely for the purposes of hunting deer were in existence in the 16th and 17th century. Many years ago, it was considered very prestigious to own such a dog. At one point, the Scottish Deerhound was considered the "royal dog of", and no one below the rank of an earl was allowed to own one. The breed was held by so few people at one time that it was threatened to become extinct. During the late 1700's the breed found in extremely low numbers. By 1825, breeders had taken on the task of restoring the deerhound's numbers and the breed rebounded.
The methods of deer hunting that the Scottish Deerhounds were trained for were called coursing and stalking. In deer coursing, one or two deerhounds would be brought by the hunter as close to the deer as possible and then slipped out to run the deer down. In deer stalking, the deer was first shot, and then the deer hound was sent out to take the deer down in the event that the shot did not totally take the deer down. Scottish Deerhounds and other deerhounds were trained to do their hunting very quickly. When coursing a deer, the Deerhound can typically take down the deer in well under four minutes. For this reason, the Deerhound must be an extremely fast runner.
The Scottish Deerhound is a very brave and persistent dog, which is what makes him such a great hunter. With people, however, these dogs are regal and quiet, but very friendly and patient. The Scottish Deerhound is likely one of the most polite dogs by nature that you'll ever meet. They are not designed to be watchdogs, as they are too loving to everyone they meet. In fact, many will sleep right through the ringing of your doorbell. However, they can be shy with strangers, and should be socialized early on to avoid them being uncomfortable with visitors in your home. They can become easily stressed and are not happy in homes that are overly noisy or chaotic.
They get along quite well with other dogs, but do not do well with other types of pets, because they may have the tendency to chase them. Often, a Scottish Deerhound will behave quite well with a pet cat while the both of them are indoors. However, if both are let outdoors, the cat may immediately become the object of a chase.
They can be a bit stubborn and a little slow to obey commands if they are not appropriately trained. It is important to give them a great deal of positive reinforcement during training to instill in them the importance of obeying their master.
This breed is particularly susceptible to Bloat, especially if they are fed one large meal each day. For this reason, it's best to feed them 2 or 3 small meals each day and to avoid Exercise right after a meal. They should also get plenty of water. If the bloating problem is not properly managed, it can be life threatening. The breed is also prone to cardiomyopathy and bone cancer. In recent years, veterinarians have seen this breed dying at an early age more and more often from Heart disease and bone cancer.
Scottish Deerhounds have a very wiry coat that is extremely low maintenance. Regular brushing in the direction of the hair growth with a slicker brush will keep the coat in great condition. Some stripping will be required if the dog will be shown. The Scottish Deerhound can also be bathed fairly regularly. Bathing will make the coat somewhat softer than desirable for a short period of time, but will help keep it clean and shiny and ensure that the dog has no dog smell. This dog is an average shedder.
These dogs need lots of exercise. They love to run and are quite fast. This is the perfect breed for the human runner who wants a companion. A large yard will provide some good exercise opportunities for the Scottish Deerhound, but a good long run on occasion is what this dog really needs. However, he loves the run so much, that he is likely to wander too far. In addition, he may be likely to chase other animals. Though the type of hunting a Scottish Deerhound was bred for is illegal in then, they make good dogs for other types of hunting. They are classified as a sight hound, but have a keen sense of smell, as well. They can be trained as hunting dogs of the type Americans are used to.
This is also a great dog for agility activities and racing. Their natural energy level and need for exercise makes them naturals for these activities and they will truly love them.
The Scottish Deerhound is a calm and gentle dog, but there are some special training considerations that you must understand with them.
First of all, they can be stubborn and slow to obey. They are loving dogs, but are less concerned with pleasing their masters than many other breeds. For this reason, they must be trained early and consistently. They should be crate trained for housebreaking, as they can be a bit slow to house train. Do not allow you Scottish Deerhound to roam the house unsupervised until he is completely housetrained. Keep him in his crate unless you are actively engaged with him and give him plenty of opportunity to go to the bathroom in the appropriate spot. It typically takes 4-6 months to fully house train a Scottish Deerhound.
Scottish Deerhounds can be sensitive. They do not function well in households that are very stressful and noisy. They need to live in a very happy and calm household They also do not handle a change in schedule well; so this is not the dog for the frequent traveler.
The Scottish Deerhound requires socialization. They can be somewhat timid and standoffish with strangers. Early and consistent socialization will help them feel more comfortable around all types of people. This is particularly important if your family entertains regularly and there are often new people in your home.
It is highly recommended that your Scottish Deerhound be enrolled in agility training or lure coursing. Lure coursing allows the dog to chase a mechanized lure around a track or across an open field. These types of activities help keep your Scottish Deerhound healthy and allow him the running opportunity he needs.
It's important to understand that these dogs have an innate desire to chase and hunt. They will, therefore, consider any small outdoor animal to be game. If your dog is left alone off leash, he will chase the neighbor's cat and all squirrels and chipmunks he comes across. This tendency is extremely difficult to break. It's best to keep your Scottish Deerhound confined outdoors if he is apt to come across other creatures he might see as a fair chase.