Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): Deerhound, Scottish Greyhound
The Scottish Deerhound enjoys a noble history lost in the mists of time. Developed to pursue and bring down deer, they were so greatly valued in medieval times that no one below the rank of an earl was allowed to keep them. When the clan system collapsed after 1745, the dog lost their noble patrons and went into decline. However, this dignified and widely admired hunting companion wasn't going to stay down for long.
Although deer are not hunted with dogs in modern America, this breed was recognized as early as 1886 by the American Kennel Club, and it has proved an admirable companion in pursuit of rabbit, coyote, and even wolves.
Also called the Scottish Greyhound, this breed offers the Greyhound temperament-- the willingness to hunt by sight in a fast sprint and the ability to chill at home when the hunt is over. They are big, fast dogs that require proper socialization, but they can make a surprisingly relaxed family pet for the right owner.
Appearance / health:
Similar in appearance to Greyhounds, Scottish Deerhounds are large athletic dogs with long graceful legs. The head is long with a flat skull. The muzzle is pointed. The nose is black or blue. The ears are set on high and are folded. The eyes are brown or hazel.
The Scottish Deerhound is an average shedder. Bathing and shampooing is done when required. Grooming is done regularly and consists of brushing and plucking to remove excess hair from the ears. Plucking is normally done twice a year.
They require high amounts of exercise. An hour of walking, running, and jogging is ideal for an adult Deerhound.
Deerhounds are prone to certain health problem that include heart disease, bone cancer, and bloat/torsion. They are sensitive to anesthetics and many drugs, particularly sulfa drugs such as tribrissen, so extreme care should be taken whenever drugs are prescribed.
Behavior / temperament:
Scottish Deerhounds love to chase cars and smaller animals especially cats. They do not enjoy being chained up in a kennel and require attention from their owners. They are inactive indoors but are energetic outdoors. Most Deerhounds can spend their time sleeping in their favorite place at home. They do not make good watchdogs. They are not territorial.
They are fast learners requiring less effort on obedience and other training than other dogs. Motivating them to work hard may be difficult for owners. It is important to know what motivates these dogs.
They are not noisy.
amazing beautiful breed, striking looks, family dogs, elegant nobility
giant breed, extreme weather conditions, couch potatoes indoors, wolfhound type coat
The saddest thing about owning a Scottish Deerhound
With their striking looks and an air of elegant nobility I can’t resist introducing myself to any Scottish Deerhound that I meet. Deerhound owners are accustomed to admiring glances and lots of questions from inquisitive dog lovers.
We brought our Deerhound, Kelpie, with us when we moved up to Northumberland. The local farmers and gamekeepers weren’t particularly welcoming at first. This changed after a year or two, and most of the farmers allowed us to give her a run around the edges of their fields.
In their prime, from about two to seven years old, Deerhounds really do need some open space for running. They’re built for a single burst of speed, so a couple of long walks or runs each day will keep them very content. For the rest of the time they’ll curl up on a comfortable chair or sofa dreaming the days away.
Being of a slightly larger and heavier build than a Greyhound, they are cheaper to feed than other large breeds. They’re also tougher than the Greyhound. They take the knocks and scrapes of country life in their stride.
The saddest thing about owning a Deerhound is losing such a loyal, devoted companion after only nine or ten years.
"The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long...
...and you have burned so very, very brightly…".
From SteveM Apr 6 2014 9:59AM
Couch + Speed = Deerhound
Deerhounds are very large, but lean dogs that are built for speed with tails that serve as rudders. You can think of them as larger greyhounds with a wolfhound type coat that was designed to protect them from extreme weather conditions in the Scottish highlands. They can sprint up and down mountains and run down anything that moves. They are very sweet with every human they meet. They like to lean on humans and collect pets. Right now we own our 4th deerhound and she is 6 months old and 67 lbs right now. Most deerhounds are couch potatoes indoors and are content to sleep all day, but when they get outside they love to run!!!! Therefore, they need to go on long walks daily or have some open space to run. Our deerhounds would chase deer in pairs, but alone they wouln't. The largest deerhound we owned was a male who was about 34" at the shoulders and weighed 110 lbs in his prime. He lived for 13 years, which is a long time for a deerhound. Our other two lived 10 and 11 years. None of our deerhounds that we had around cats seemed interested, but if the cat bolts the deerhound will probably run it down. They do not bark. However, the puppy that we have right now does! IT is very odd, but she will probably grow out of it. These are not easy dogs to train at all. But one of our dogs did become an obedience champ. They are great with other dogs. Unless that dog tries to bite them. Then, the other dog has a large angry grey problem. Deerhounds are very odd dogs that seem to be in their own little world. They often look like they are staring off into space and act very noble. I have not met a gentler breed of dog. They truly live up to the phrase "gentle giant." This makes them the worst possible guard dog/watch dog on the planet. They will welcome any stranger into your home and will allow them to walk out with your tv. Most "bad guys" don't know what a deerhound is and will probably stay away from the house with the biggest dog on the block, so in that respect they may have some "guard dog"capabilities in them. They are large dogs that come with typical large dog expenses like food. Unlike most breeds, they won't overeat. Its impossible to overfeed a deerhound because they stop eating when they've had enough. Therefore, you won't ever see an overweight deerhound. .
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