Scottish Deerhound


A large sized Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhound Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)28-32in (71-81cm)
Weight75-110lbs (34-50kg)
Hair Colour(s)Grey, red
Lifespan8-11 years
Energy Level
Litter size8-9
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftMedium

The Scottish Deerhound is a large dog similar in appearance to a Greyhound. The body is svelte yet sturdy, with a deep chest, straight forelegs, arched loins and a long tail that almost reaches the ground. The long head has a long muzzle, dark eyes, hanging ears that frame the face and a dark nose. The coat is rough and shaggy, and the colouring varies but includes shades of grey, red and brindle.


Scottish Deerhounds are sweet-natured, laid back and gentle dogs, with a temperament that matches their dignified appearance. Although puppies can be boisterous and energetic, these dogs tend to calm with age and are a docile and loving breed that make devoted companions and family pets. Having great agility and speed, they need plenty of space to exercise and run around in, but they do not tend to be overly demanding in terms of walks nor are they too clingy. Despite this, they will not appreciate being neglected because they thrive on affection from their owners and families. Early socialization is important with this breed to promote stable attitudes and temperaments. These are sensitive dogs but they can also be stubborn and so are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training, rather than novices. Scottish Deerhounds tend to get along well with older, more considerate children, and also with other household dogs, but they may give chase to smaller pets thanks to their hunting instincts. They are normally polite around strangers and are not ideal guard or watchdogs because they are simply too friendly.

History & Skills

Scottish Deerhounds originate from Scotland and enjoy a long history that some think may stretch back 3000 years. Developed by Scottish chieftains during the Middle Ages, they were used as hunting dogs for deer and so their size and strenghth were developed, along with a protective coat, to handle the harsh weather conditions of the mountains. Once regarded as the Royal dog of Scotland, they became the preferred breed of Scottish nobles, and in fact the lowest ranking nobleman permitted to own one was an Earl. These days they are known for their keen sense of smell, and also for their talent in hunting, sighting, tracking and racing.

Breed Specific Ailments

Scottish Deerhounds tend to live between 8-11 years, and some of the health problems noted in this breed include bloat, heart problems, OCD, bone cancer, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs.


Scottish Deerhounds are medium shedder and so are not be best suited to those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are moderate and the shaggy coat will simply need brushing once or twice a weekly. Excess hair on the ears and the pads of the feet should be trimmed or stripped ocassionally too, and any stray hairs should be cut or plucked at least twice a year.

Exercise & Environment

Scottish Deerhounds are active dogs and are not suited to small homes as they need plenty of space. They require a fair amount of exercise and will need a daily walk or run, plus access to a yard or garden area for play, and the larger these areas the better because they love to roam, run and chase. These areas need secure fencing as these dogs are good jumpers. When properly trained, these dogs can make good jogging companions.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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