The Scottish Deerhound: A Big Dog with a Big Heart

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scottish dog breeds scottish deerhound playing with rugThe rugged, romantic wilderness that is Scotland is enough to make the most hard-hearted of travelers fall in love. But did you know that there’s an extra special hound that hails from this magical place? Forget haggis, the Loch Ness monster and Hogwarts – Scotland has a new export, the larger than life Scottish Deerhound!

This gentle giant is a sweet, placid pooch that only wants your love…and your sofa!

A Brief History of this Scottish Dog Breed 

This is a super old breed, so old in fact that it’s almost impossible to verify what’s fact and what’s myth and legend! It is said that before the Scots arrived, clan chieftains used descendants of the Scottish Deerhound to track and hunt the wild red deer that were native to the Scottish highlands.

Red deer were incredibly strong and had huge fierce antlers that were a force to be reckoned with, but these ancient doggos were cut out for the job.

When the rambling Scottish estates began to be divided into smaller lots at the beginning of the 19th century, hunting using Deerhounds went out of fashion, and the breed was almost lost. Luckily, it was kept alive through a small group of enthusiasts, who took the breeding of this sweet pupper into their own hands.

Later, Scottish Deerhounds, with their excellent athletic skills, were used to participate in lure coursing by their owners for fun and recreation. This stunning breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

The Appearance of this Regal Breed

The Scottish Deerhound dog is graceful and commanding in its appearance, resembling a shaggy-coated Greyhound, due to its belonging to the sighthound sub-group of dogs.

The Scottish Deerhound is a tall breed, with long slim legs leading up to a sleek body. From head to tail, this breed’s back slopes downward, with hindquarters set slightly lower than the front.

The head of the Scottish Deerhound is widest at the ears, narrows toward the eyes, and is narrowest at its nose. The ears of this breed should sit folded on the head, similar to a Greyhound’s and keep a fold when the dog raises them in a state of alertness.

Scottish Deerhounds have black or dark brown eyes. The rough coat of this loveable breed ranges from blue-gray, brindle and gray, to gray brindle.

scottish deerhound dog walking on beach

Average Weight and Size of These Giant Doggos

If you’ve chosen a Scottish Deerhound to share your life with, we hope you are ready to invest in a lot of dog food! While this is not the world’s largest dog (the honor of the tallest dog goes to the Great Dane dog breed and the heaviest to the English Mastiff), it is certainly classified as a large or giant breed of dog.

The average height of these beauties is around 30-32 inches for males and upwards of 28 inches for females. These lithe athletes have a weight of 85 – 110 pounds for males and 75 – 95 pounds for females.

Scottish Deerhound vs Irish Wolfhound: What’s the Difference?

Although they are both giant breeds, these two woofers are actually quite different in appearance and temperament. Scottish Deerhounds are thinner and more delicately built, whereas Irish Wolfhounds are taller, more muscular and are all-around heavier animals.

Scottish Deerhounds are more sensitive in nature, while Irish Wolfhounds are hardier in their personalities.

Lost in Translation: It’s Not Called a Scottish Wolfhound

Despite the fact that they are really rather different in many ways, these dogs are often confused by the world, with some even going so far as to mix together their names!

The Scottish Deerhound breed was created for deer hunting, rather than wolf hunting, and so it should definitely not be known as a Scottish Wolfhound!

Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!

Although Scottish Deerhounds are one of the largest dog breeds, these pups are truly gentle giants. Adult Scottish Deerhounds are calm, undemanding but affectionate dogs that make perfect family pets.

These dogs are very quiet – which is excellent for families that are after companions rather than watchdogs. Deerhounds are polite and friendly to all strangers that cross their paths, making them an excellent choice for those that have a busy, social home.

Scottish Deerhounds get on fantastically well with medium to large dogs, so if you have other furry children at home, this polite breed is a great choice. Unfortunately, small dogs and cats do not fare so well with Deerhounds.

True to their sighthound nature, this fast dog can sometimes find the temptation to chase small animals too strong, leading to dangerous situations for other pets of a small stature. These dogs require a moderate amount of exercise to keep them relaxed at home, too little and they can be chewers.

They love to be jogging partners, so if you are a runner this breed could suit you well. Another trait to keep in mind is that as with all sighthounds, they must be exercised on leash or in an enclosed area so that they do not become distracted and disappear from their owner.

Scottish Deerhounds are receptive to training, although some can be resistant. Regardless, being the placid sweeties that they are, this will likely take the form of laziness rather than outright disobedience!

Toilet training can sometimes be an issue, but it is possible to buy your puppy already housebroken from breeders. Overall Scottish Deerhounds are an excellent choice for first-time dog-owners due to their low maintenance nature.

These Affectionate Dogs Make Great ESAs! 

Due to their gentle, calm and easy going nature, this breed makes an excellent choice for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Scottish Deerhounds are impeccably polite, friendly and loyal, so they are excellent for those that need support.

scottish deerhound puppies black puppy with flowers

Coat and Colors Explained! 

The Scottish Deerhound’s coat is a rough natural coat that has softer patches on the head, breast and neck area.

This unique coat gives them a cute, shaggy dog appearance which is just adorable. The coat of the Scottish Deerhound is found in a few different varieties, including:

  • Blue-Gray: The most common color variety. Gray with a tinge of blue.
  • Brindle: A mix of dark brown, light brown and white.
  • Gray: Plain grey colored coat.
  • Gray Brindle: A mix of gray and white.

What Are Their Grooming Requirements?

The rough coat of the Scottish Deerhound looks best with short, daily grooming sessions.

How Long do These Doggos Live? 

The Scottish Deerhound breed, like other large dog breeds, has a shorter life expectancy than its smaller doggo cousins. You can expect your Scottish pup to live between 8 – 11 years.

Potential Health Issues to Be Aware of! 

Another thing many large dog breeds have in common is some shared potential health issues. Some of those to look out for in the Scottish Deerhound are:

  • Heart Disease: Heart problems affect up to 8% of all Scottish Deerhounds.
  • Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer): This cancer is prevalent mostly in females.
  • Bloat: Common in deep-chested breeds, this has a high mortality rate, so should be checked out by a vet if suspected.
  • Liver shunt: This damaging condition can be avoided through responsible breeding, so ensure you choose a reputable breeder.

Scottish Deerhound Puppies for Sale! 

Scottish Deerhound puppies are some of the most adorable little guys you will ever meet. When looking for a Scottish Deerhound breeder, ensure that you do your research well, so that you can be sure you’re buying a happy, healthy pup.

Breeders should be open and honest about answering any questions you may have. They should also allow you to come to their breeding location, rather than meeting you somewhere in public.

scottish deerhound vs irish wolfhound dogs playing on the beach

How Much Does a Scottish Deerhound Puppy Cost?

Scottish Deerhound puppies are just gorgeous, but the price is, well….not so gorgeous! For a Scottish Deerhound Puppy from a reputable breeder, you can expect to pay a cool $1000 – 1200.

What’s in a Name? 10 Popular Old Scottish Names for Scottish Dog Breeds! 

If you’re scoping out dog names for your new Scottish Deerhound pup, why not go with a traditional Scottish name? Often used with other well-known Scottish breeds, such as Scottish Terriers and Collies, these names will honor your proud woofers heritage!

For females:

  • Bonnie
  • Isla
  • Lassie
  • Gala
  • Kenna

For males:

  • Fergus
  • Dougal
  • Finlay
  • Lennox
  • Magnus

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Scottish Deerhound Rescue Group! 

A great alternative to buying from a breeder is adopting from a non-profit organization to give an adult dog another chance at life. Scottish Deerhounds are available in shelters from time to time, so contact your local rescue to see if you can find a truly worthy pooch to share your life with!

Scottish Deerhounds are an excellent first-time dog that will bring joy and sweet companionship to your household. Don’t be fooled by its tall imposing stature, this softie is a sweet, calm puppy dog at heart!

Common Questions on the Scottish Deerhound

What type of personality does a Scottish Deerhound have?

Do Scottish Deerhounds need much exercise?

Do Scottish Deerhounds have lots of health problems? 

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