Thursday, October 6, 2011

Breed Profile: Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound looks very much like a Greyhound with shaggy hair.  As the name suggests, the Deerhound's original use was to hunt deer. The Deerhound is larger of bone and heavier than the Greyhound.  This speed, endurance and strength enabled the Deerhound to catch and pull down a stag.  

Old drawings and photos show that the Deerhound has changed little over centuries.  The Deerhound is 28- 30 inches tall (at the shoulder)  and weighs 80-100 pounds.   Like all sight hounds, he is built to run.  Many Deerhounds excel at Lure Coursing.  At home, it is best to have a fenced in yard, as the Deerhound may take a bead on a squirrel or rabbit and forget about everything else.

The Deerhound's coat is wiry, harsh, shaggy and roughly 3-4 inches long (ideal for a cold damp climate like Scotland).  It is a low maintenance coat requiring no trimming.  A quick brushing once or twice a week and a bath now and then is adequate.  The Deerhound comes in a variety of colors:  black, dark blue-gray, gray, brindle, yellow, sandy-red, and red-fawn with black points.  The most commonly seen colors, however, are the darker ones.

The Scottish Deerhound is a faithful companion to his family.  Toward strangers, his attitude is best described as politely aloof.

Deerhound Manifesto

-I am hardy enough to live outdoors but I'd rather be inside with my family
-if you want a big watchdog, get a German Shepherd or a Tibetan Mastiff
-I love to chase critters but will refrain from chasing those small critters who are members of my family

Next Breed Profile:  Spinone Italiano!

The Scottish Deerhound by E. Weston Bell
Scottish Deerhound Club of America
Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds by D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D.
Dog Breeds  by Juliette Cunliffe 


  1. I've always thought of them as a magnificent dog.

  2. A local newscaster here has one named Sammy. She started a feature on the morning news for viewer's pet photos called "Sammy's Stars" with his face in the logo.