Breed Type: Hound (Sight)
Country of Origin: Scotland
Males: Height 76-80cm, Weight 40 to 50kg
Females: Height 70-75cm Weight: 35 to 43kg
Exercise Requirements: high
Average Lifespan: 9 years
As with all sight hounds they were bred to chase and takedown prey that in the case of the hounds their targets were large game such as deer.
The coat is harsh around 10 cm long and males and 2 miles both sport a beard and moustache. The hair on their underbelly is more wispy and softer. They have small dark which they can pick up when excited. Coat is usually a shaded grey with blue grey being preferred. In days gone by the codes were shorter and more wiry when they were used more often as hunters but these days as they are more often seen in the show ring or as family pets decade is longer and silkier if still somewhat rough.
White on the chest and white toes are okay of the whites of the tale or white on the head or collar is not acceptable. They have a long head, the top of the scale is flat with an almost indiscernible stock and tapering muzzle. Eyes are dark brown to Hazel in colour. Tail as long, it may be straight or slightly curved and is well furred.
Temperament and Exercise
whilst bred as a site hound them modern day Scottish deerhound is a gentle and docile giant. They are very friendly and affectionate dogs and other site hounds they are one of the most intelligent and trainable. As with all sight hounds however all train goes out the window if they spot a fleeing prey so though they require plenty of off lead exercise finding a safe area to do this in a city may prove impossible. The exercise they require is more vigourous than you can supply on lead unless you are a jogger or a biker that this could prove dangerous as they are so powerful and fast. They are far better suited to someone with a very large yard where they can tear around and access to a property where they can run around safely.
They grow very quickly and is youngsters this can cause problems with their skeletal development if they are exercised too vigourously. Don’t let them jump from great heights or over exert themselves until they reach their full height.
They are hound dogs and they prefer a company. Yours is fine – but that of another deerhound is even better so if you are considering a deerhound considered two. Regardless of their size and high athleticism they generally good as indoor dogs once they have reached adulthood as they are dignified rather than silly and understand that between periods of exercising outside its better if they lie resplendent as the Kings and Queens of the site hound dog world.
This there are an extremely ancient breed with archaeological evidence showing that they have been bred for at least 2000 years as hunters. Whilst the site hounds of Africa were bred with the shortest of fur the Scottish deerhound coming from a much colder climate was bred to have short but seek further capable of keeping a warm as it tasted prey was not being so long as to inhibit its movement through rough territory and undergrowth. They have an obvious similarity in appearance with Irish wolfhound and the modern version of that breed as a lot of its genetic material to the Scottish deerhound.
With the invention of the firearm they lost popularity as hunters instead used smaller sent hounds to run their prey until exhausted with the Hunter themselves finishing off to kill with a gunshot. Indeed towards the end of the 1800s seemed the breed may well disappear into oblivion as they are not traditionally been kept as pets note though are no longer in favour as a working breed the numbers plummeted.
They were recreated as a family pets in the 20th century and are now rarely seen as hunting dogs though they are still used by some hunters in Australia to takedown kangaroo.
Care and grooming
As discussed in exercise requirements above young dog should not be over exercised as they can damage soft growing joints which will certainly cause them problems in adulthood. Obedience training in socialisation from early on is required. The coat is relatively low maintenance a good brushing once a week should be fine though more often will be required in spring as they lose their winter coat.
This the coat requires particular attention and stripping if you intend to show them, your breeder can show you how this is done. The toe nails of the Scottish deerhound grow very quickly and it is unlikely any amount of exercise can keep them from acquiring clipping every 10 days or so.
Most working breeds of dogs are almost without breed specific genetic problems in the case of the Scottish deerhound numbers dropped too far that is to be the case since they have been recreated with the show ring or families backyard as their likely home. That is not to say they are a sickly breed – they aren’t – they are a fairly sturdy breed with few genetic problems but the incidence of these problems whilst uncommon are not as uncommon as seen in most working breed dogs
The breed suffers from a number of potential hereditary blood and circuitry system disorders and problems with bladder stones. They have a higher than average incidence of osteosarcoma – a type of bone cancer.
As with all large dogs they can suffer problems with bloat and torsion salts important not to feed them directly before after exercise and always ensure they are not excited when they eat gulping down their food and water.
Is important to talk to your breeder about any of these issues existing in the history of their breed dogs.
Suitability as a Pet
sight hounds are not everyone that lovers of sight hounds the Scottish deerhound would make an excellent choice as a pet. They are extremely affectionate and loyal without having the silliness often seen in the smaller scent hounds. They are best suited to active families with a large yard big enough for two rather than one Scottish deerhound who also have access to a large open space where the dogs can exercise without fear of being run over by a car or getting lost.