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  • Temperament: Gentle, Dignified, Polite
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 154 of 192
  • Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28 inches & up (female)
  • Weight: 85-110 pounds (male), 75-95 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8-11 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Scottish Deerhound leaping through tall green grasses
Scottish Deerhound leaping through tall green grasses
Scottish Deerhound head turned left in three-quarter view
Scottish Deerhound standing sideways facing left, head turned forward
Scottish Deerhound

Find a Puppy: Scottish Deerhound

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APPEARANCE

Should be broadest at the ears, narrowing slightly to the eyes, with the muzzle tapering more decidedly to the nose.The headshould be long, the skull flat rather than round with a very slight rise over the eyes but nothing approaching a stop. Ears: Should be set on high; in repose, folded back like a Greyhound’s, though raised above the head in excitement without losing the fold, and even in some cases semi-erect. A prick ear is bad. Big thick ears hanging flat to the head or heavily coated with long hair are bad faults. The ears should be soft, glossy, like a mouse’s coat to the touch and the smaller the better. There should be no long coat or long fringe, but there is sometimes a silky, silvery coat on the body of the ear and the tip. On all Deerhounds, irrespective of color of coat, the ears should be black or dark colored. Eyes: Should be dark-generally dark brown, brown or hazel. A very light eye is not liked. The eye should be moderately full, with a soft look in repose, but a keen, far away look when the Deerhound is roused. Rims of eyelids should be black.

BODY

General formation is that of a Greyhound of larger size and bone. Chest deep rather than broad but not too narrow or slab-sided. Good girth of chest is indicative of great lung power. The loin well arched and drooping to the tail. A straight back is not desirable, this formation being unsuited for uphill work, and very unsightly. Neck and Shoulders: The neck should be long-of a length befitting the Greyhound character of the dog. Extreme length is neither necessary nor desirable. Deerhounds do not stoop to their work like the Greyhounds. The mane, which every good specimen should have, sometimes detracts from the apparent length of the neck. The neck, however, must be strong as is necessary to hold a stag. The nape of the neck should be very prominent where the head is set on, and the throat clean cut at the angle and prominent. Shoulders should be well sloped; blades well back and not too much width between them. Loaded and straight shoulders are very bad faults.

LEGS & FEET

Legs should be broad and flat, and good broad forearms and elbows are desirable. Forelegs must, of course, be as straight as possible. Feet close and compact, with well-arranged toes. The hindquarters drooping, and as broad and powerful as possible, the hips being set wide apart. A narrow rear denotes lack of power. The stifles should be well bent, with great length from hip to hock, which should be broad and flat. Cowhocks, weak pasterns, straight stifles and splay feet are very bad faults.

COAT

The hair on the body, neck and quarters should be harsh and wiry about 3 or 4 inches long; that on the head, breast and belly much softer. There should be a slight fringe on the inside of the forelegs and hind legs but nothing approaching the “feather” of a Collie. A woolly coat is bad. Some good strains have a mixture of silky coat with the hard which is preferable to a woolly coat. The climate of the United States tends to produce the mixed coat. The ideal coat is a thick, close-lying ragged coat, harsh or crisp to the touch.

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About the Scottish Deerhound

Stand back: You need a little distance to fully appreciate the majesty of this ancient beast. In silhouette we see a noble coursing hound struck from the classic Greyhound template. Deerhounds are, though, much larger and more substantial than Greyhounds—a good-size male can stand 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh 110 pounds. The crisp coat is seen in several colors; breed aficionados prefer the dark blue-gray coat. The tapered head and long neck add extra lift to an already stately hound.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Scottish Deerhound

Find a Puppy: Scottish Deerhound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Scottish Deerhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Scottish Deerhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Because of the risk of bloat, several smaller meals per day are preferable to one large meal, and strenuous exercise is not recommended before or after feeding time.

GROOMING

The Scottish Deerhound’s harsh, somewhat wiry coat is very easy to care for, requiring only an all-over brushing and combing every week or so. He will also need a trim of his nails every few weeks if they aren’t worn down naturally. Grooming tools to have on hand include a slicker brush, a fine-toothed metal dog comb, and an electric nail grinder or a pair of heavy-duty dog nail clippers. A occasional bath will help to reduce any doggy odor. Grooming sessions are a good time to inspect the dog all over for any new lumps or skin problems, and to check that the eyes and ears are healthy and trouble free.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

Deerhound puppies are difficult to raise to their potential without a companion playmate and a large, securely fenced play area. This breed cannot be left crated in the house while the owner is at work all day if it is to develop properly to adulthood, both physically and mentally. Both puppies and adults need to be able to exercise freely on a daily basis and do what Deerhounds were bred to do—run for the sheer joy of running. Destructive puppies are generally not getting enough exercise. Forced exercise, such as running with a bike, should be avoided with immature hounds. Older Deerhounds are hard to pry off your couch, but they do require regular daily exercise regardless. While nutrition and exercise are key to raising a puppy into a fit, well-muscled adult, the secret to a healthy, long-lived Deerhound (in addition to good genes) is being happy and well exercised. This is not a breed that handles stress well, nor is it a breed that will thrive with just a daily leash-walk around the city block. Fitness should be maintained throughout old age.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The most beautiful Deerhound puppy in the world will turn into a wonderful adult only if given lots of gentle human companionship, exercise, and proper nutrition. Deerhounds are sensitive and respond best to positive training methods. They won’t do well in a kennel or left in a crate while their people go to work. While he possesses a quiet and dignified personality in the home, the Scottish Deerhound may try to chase any furry animals that run past him. For that reason, the breed should be exercised on leash or in a fenced area. Although he enjoys his family, his size may be intimidating to smaller children.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

Like other sighthounds, Deerhounds can be dangerously sensitive to anesthesia and certain drugs. Large and deep-chested breeds are susceptible to bloat, a sudden, life-threatening stomach condition. Owners should learn what signs to look out for, and what to do should it occur. Reputable breeders will screen for health conditions such as cardiac disease and Factor VII deficiency. While nutrition and exercise are key to raising a puppy into a fit, well-muscled adult, the secret to a healthy, long-lived Deerhound (in addition to good genes) is being happy and well exercised. This is not a breed that handles stress well. Nor is it a breed that will thrive with just a daily leash walk around the city block. Fitness should be maintained throughout old age. If you have your Deerhound neutered, keep in mind that Deerhounds, like all the large breeds, should never be neutered under the age of a year, preferably after the dog is mature (at least two years of age). Detailed information on breed health can be found on the website of the breed’s parent club, the Scottish Deerhound Club of America.

 

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Factor VII DNA Test
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Bile Acid Test

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Scottish Deerhounds
Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhound

History

The breed is so old, we can’t separate the Deerhound’s true origin from myth and legend. Evidence suggests that large deerstalking hounds were in Scotland before the Scots themselves got there in the ninth century. As far back as anyone knows, clan chieftans used packs of huge, shaggy hounds to pursue and bring down the wild red deer: swift 400-pounders with punishing antlers. The breed’s home turf—the rocky, rain-swept Highlands—was remote, but Deerhound courage became proverbial in all of Britain.

Did You Know?

On October 1 and 2 of 1994 the American Kennel Club made history by holding the inaugural National Lure Coursing Championship at Mt. Holly, NJ. The winner, a 14-month-old Scottish Deerhound, is now known as 1994 National Lure Coursing Champion Chartwell Silver Run of Vale Vue, owned by Ellen Bonacarti and Norma Sellars of Englewood, NJ.
The Scottish Deerhound was first registered by the AKC in 1886, and Bonnie Robin was the name of the first registered dog.
The Scottish Deerhound breed became so prized that exclusive ownership became a priority, imposing breeding privileges. At one point, the breed almost became extinct because of these policies.
Scottish Deerhounds are usually hunted singly or in pairs.
The Scottish Deerhound is so valuable not only because it is rare, but because it possesses a preeminent hunting ability.

The Breed Standard

APPEARANCE

Should be broadest at the ears, narrowing slightly to the eyes, with the muzzle tapering more decidedly to the nose.The headshould be long, the skull flat rather than round with a very slight rise over the eyes but nothing approaching a stop. Ears: Should be set on high; in repose, folded back like a Greyhound’s, though raised above the head in excitement without losing the fold, and even in some cases semi-erect. A prick ear is bad. Big thick ears hanging flat to the head or heavily coated with long hair are bad faults. The ears should be soft, glossy, like a mouse’s coat to the touch and the smaller the better. There should be no long coat or long fringe, but there is sometimes a silky, silvery coat on the body of the ear and the tip. On all Deerhounds, irrespective of color of coat, the ears should be black or dark colored. Eyes: Should be dark-generally dark brown, brown or hazel. A very light eye is not liked. The eye should be moderately full, with a soft look in repose, but a keen, far away look when the Deerhound is roused. Rims of eyelids should be black.

BODY

General formation is that of a Greyhound of larger size and bone. Chest deep rather than broad but not too narrow or slab-sided. Good girth of chest is indicative of great lung power. The loin well arched and drooping to the tail. A straight back is not desirable, this formation being unsuited for uphill work, and very unsightly. Neck and Shoulders: The neck should be long-of a length befitting the Greyhound character of the dog. Extreme length is neither necessary nor desirable. Deerhounds do not stoop to their work like the Greyhounds. The mane, which every good specimen should have, sometimes detracts from the apparent length of the neck. The neck, however, must be strong as is necessary to hold a stag. The nape of the neck should be very prominent where the head is set on, and the throat clean cut at the angle and prominent. Shoulders should be well sloped; blades well back and not too much width between them. Loaded and straight shoulders are very bad faults.

LEGS & FEET

Legs should be broad and flat, and good broad forearms and elbows are desirable. Forelegs must, of course, be as straight as possible. Feet close and compact, with well-arranged toes. The hindquarters drooping, and as broad and powerful as possible, the hips being set wide apart. A narrow rear denotes lack of power. The stifles should be well bent, with great length from hip to hock, which should be broad and flat. Cowhocks, weak pasterns, straight stifles and splay feet are very bad faults.

COAT

The hair on the body, neck and quarters should be harsh and wiry about 3 or 4 inches long; that on the head, breast and belly much softer. There should be a slight fringe on the inside of the forelegs and hind legs but nothing approaching the “feather” of a Collie. A woolly coat is bad. Some good strains have a mixture of silky coat with the hard which is preferable to a woolly coat. The climate of the United States tends to produce the mixed coat. The ideal coat is a thick, close-lying ragged coat, harsh or crisp to the touch.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Blue Gray Check Mark For Standard Color 300
Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 057
Gray Check Mark For Standard Color 100
Gray Brindle Check Mark For Standard Color 107
Black 007
Black Brindle 279
Blue 037

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
White Markings 014

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