An elegant and noble figure from days gone by, the Scotch Greyhound is a rare and wonderful dog. Prized for his loyalty, his grace and his uncanny hunting ability, it was decreed that no one with a title lesser than that of an Earl could own a Scottish Deerhound. Fortunately, today’s rules aren’t quite so strict!
Scottish Deerhound History
As with many breeds of dog, the true origins of the Scottish Deerhound are cloaked in mystery. Many believe that, with his close appearance to the famous Irish wolfhound, the two were originally one in the same. While the Irish wolfhound was bred for the size and strength needed to protect the families and hunt wolves and bear, it’s often suggested that the Scottish Deerhound were simply lighter specimens, developed for the purpose of hunting stag. Regardless of how he originally came to be however, the Scottish Deerhound is recognized as one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world, and he is prized not only for his rarity, but also for his superior hunting ability.
The Scottish Deerhound was unsurpassed as a sighthound; usually hunted in pairs, they were fleet of foot and fully capable of running down the majestic stag. In fact, his hunting ability was so prized that it was decreed that no one with a rank lesser than that of an Earl would be allowed to own one of these magnificent dogs. While this was designed to preserve the purity of this breed, the restricted gene pool allowed for limited breeding and almost caused the Scottish Deerhounds’ extinction.
Credit goes to Archibald and Duncan McNeill for the restoration and preservation of the magnificent Scottish Deerhound. Due to their work, started around 1825, today’s Scottish Deerhound closely resembles documented records of the Scottish Deerhounds from the 18th and 19th centuries, in regards to personality, coloration, size and type. The Scottish Deerhound was finally registered with the AKC in 1886. The rest, as they say, is history.
Scottish Deerhound Appearance
The Scottish Deerhound is a romantic figure; lithely built and possessing a noble bearing, he is often said to resemble a more refined and graceful version of the Irish wolfhound. Standing no less than 28 inches at the shoulder, and weighing no less than 75 pounds, the Scottish Deerhound possesses an athletic frame that was built to run.
The Scottish Deerhound comes in many solid colors, though a dark blue-gray is the preferred shade. They can also be found in both light and dark gray, red fawn, sandy red, yellow or brindle, was limited white markings. White dogs are not accepted, nor are dogs sporting a white blaze on the face or a white collar.
Scottish Deerhound Temperament
The Scottish Deerhound is a very noble figure- possessing an almost a regal bearing, he’s quiet and dignified, often independent and sometimes a little aloof. While not an aggressive dog, they’re said to have an amazing amount of heart (courage) and nearly unshakable persistence.
Known for his loyalty, the Scottish Deerhound is a good family pet though his desire for alone time may prove daunting for children. Usually good about the other dogs and pets, these dogs are notorious for running deer and should always be kept on a leash or in a confined yard for their own safety.
Scottish Deerhound Exercise Info
The Scottish Deerhound was bred for the purpose of hunting deer and, for this reason, he was bred to run. When considering buying a Scottish Deerhound puppy, one must always take into consideration the amount of time and exercise that these dogs require. A fenced yard is a must as the Scottish Deerhound, puppy or adult, requires daily exercise.
Scottish Deerhound Grooming Info
The Scottish Deerhound does not require a daily brushing, though his coat this require weekly attention. Brushing your dog once a week gives him valuable one on one time with you, as well as granting you insight as to his well being. Additionally, a weekly brushing will help to remove dead skin and dead hair from his coat, leaving less stray hair that will stick to your clothing or furniture.
Scottish Deerhound Training Info
Training the Scottish Deerhound requires a gentle hand and a lot of patience. While keenly intelligent and quick to learn new tricks, the Scottish Deerhound is often difficult to train due to his independent nature. Additionally, these magnificent dogs have a tendency to sulk and act a little belligerent, if they feel you are asking too much.
Scottish Deerhound Health Info
Despite their rarity and limited gene pool, the Scottish Deerhound is a surprisingly healthy breed of dog. Usually living about 10 years, their most common health concerns include, but are not limited to, the following:
Scottish Deerhound Right Breed Info
The Scottish Deerhound is a very loyal and dignified companion for the family, though his size can be somewhat intimidating and he should always be supervised with small children- not necessarily due to aggression, but because an excited Deerhound can accidentally knock a small child down. Additionally, these wonderful dogs do require a fair amount of exercise and, if this is not provided, can often prove destructive in the home.
More Information about the Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed