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Adopt a Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


sighthound, Southern (sighthound)

Area of origin:


Original function:

coursing stag

Average size of male:

Ht: 30-32, Wt: 85-110

Average size of female:

Ht: >28, Wt: 75-95

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Scottish Deerhound Dog Temperament

The Scottish Deerhound is mellow, low-key and easygoing, a gracious and well-mannered addition to the home. Outdoors, he loves to run and chase anything that moves. Indoors, he needs plenty of room to stretch on a soft surface. The Deerhound is independent but willing to please; he is extremely sensitive. The Deerhound is amiable toward, but often reserved with, strangers. This breed is good with children, other dogs and usually other pets, although he may give chase to strange animals.

Scottish Deerhound Dog Care

The Deerhound needs a good amount of daily exercise, either a long walk or a romp in a safe area. He prefers to live inside with his family and needs human companionship. Regardless, he needs soft bedding to avoid callouses. The crisp coat needs combing one or two times weekly. Some scissoring is optional to neaten up straggling hair, plus minimal stripping around the face and ears.

Scottish Deerhound Dog Health

Major concerns: gastric torsion, osteosarcoma
Minor concerns: cardiomyopathy
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: cardiac
Life span: 8-11 years
Note: sensitive to anesthesia

Interested in the history of the Scottish Deerhound dog breed?

Among the most aristocratic of breeds, the Scottish Deerhound has been valued by nobility for his prowess in running down deer at least since the 16th century. Confusion regarding names makes tracing his exact history before that time difficult, but he is probably a very ancient breed, deriving from ancestral greyhound roots. Like his smooth-coated Greyhound relative, the rough-coated Deerhound could not be kept by anyone ranked lower than an Earl during the age of chivalry. As the stag population declined in England, the larger, rough-coated dogs suited for hunting stag became concentrated where the stag remained plentiful, namely, the Scottish Highlands, where they were valued and hoarded by Highland chieftains. This hoarding resulted in the decline of the breed in the mid-1700s following the collapse of the clan system of Culloden. Further decline occurred with the advent of breech-loading rifles in the 1800s, because hunting deer with guns supplanted coursing in popularity. By the mid-1800s, however, a concerted effort to restore the breed had proved successful, and although its numbers were never great, the quality of the dogs was high. The first deerhound club was formed in England in the 1860s, around the same time the first deerhounds were exhibited in dog shows. The First World War again decimated the breed's numbers because most of the dogs had been the property of a limited number of large estates, most of which did not survive the war intact. Since then, the Deerhound has remained low in number but high in quality, a classic in every sense.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Scottish Deerhound Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Scottish Deerhounds ready for adoption:

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