Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound

Breed Fact

Country of Origin: Scotland
Hypoallergenic: No
Height: 28-32 inches (71-81 cm)
Weight: Male: 39–50 kg, Female: 34–43 kg
Color: Brindle, Fawn, Red Fawn, Blue, Grey, Yellow
Life Expectancy: 7 – 11 years
Temperament: Docile, Gentle, Dignified, Friendly
Litter Size: 5 - 10 puppies
Health Problems: Prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy and eye problems.

Brief info: Closely related to the Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound was once known as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound and Highland Deerhound. In Scotland it became a district breed in the 16th and 17th centuries and was given the name Scottish Deerhound, and the rough coat was bred in to adapt to the rough climate.

They were used as deer hunting dogs for Scottish tribes in the Middle Ages. They became known as the royal dog of Scotland and no one ranking below earl was permitted to own one. Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott owned Scottish Deerhounds.

With their strict ownership rules the dogs were not very populous in number and took an even harder hit almost to extinction when man invented the gun and the dogs were no longer needed to bring down deer.

Two brothers by the name of Archibald and Duncan McNeill saved the breed in the 1800s when they started a breeding program. Once again in Britain during World War II, like many breeds, the dogs fell very low in numbers. It was very difficult to feed the large dogs, and many people destroyed them for food.

The Scottish Deerhound is tall and slim, appearing to be a rough-coated Greyhound, but larger and bigger boned. The head is flat and broad between the ears, with a muzzle that tapers to a point at the nose. The nose is black and sometimes blue on blue-fawn dogs. The teeth meet in a level bite.

The eyes are dark, either brown or hazel, with black eye rims. The ears are high set, folded back like a Greyhound. When the dog gets excited the ears are half-perked. The chest is deep, not broad but not too narrow. The front legs are straight. The tail is long, carried low, almost touching the ground. The wiry coat is 3-4 inches (7-10 cm), and longer and harsher on the body, neck, beard, mustache and mane, and is shorter and softer on the head, chest and belly.

Coat colors include shades of blue gray, gray, brindle and black, yellow and sandy red or red fawn, sometimes with black ears and muzzle. There is sometimes a little white on the chest, feet and tail.