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Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Deerhound's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

The Scottish Deerhound enjoys a history and present as the cherished companion and, at least, historically, a talented hunter.  While ancient times note that the dog was only to be kept by royalty, modern times find that those who live with the Scottish Deerhounds feel as blest as royals.  The exquisite charming and gentle nature of these hounds, combined with their exception playful, devoted and dignified personalities make them unique companions and wonderful choices for many families.

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General Information
Group(s): HoundsSighthound Height: minimum 28-30 inches
Weight: minimum 80-100 pounds Longevity: usually under 10 years
Colors: shades of gray, brindle, yellow or red with minimal white if at all Coat type: thick, close lying and ragged, harsh and crisp to the touch, not wooly or excessive
Recognized Registries: NCA, UKC, CKC, AKC, ANKC, TKC, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: Rather reminiscent of a large greyhound with a shaggier coat. While the lines of the Scottish Deerhound are not as overdone in their curves, there is distinct similarity with the Scottish Deerhound also being larger.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: low to moderate
General Nature: quiet, gentle, docile, friendly, high eagerness to please, devoted
  with Children: Generally good but its gentle, tolerant nature means that the children must be supervised to be sure the dog is not mistreated.
  with other pets: Variable as the dog is developed as a sighthound
  with dogs: Generally very good
Socialization requirements: moderate: the gentle nature of the Scottish Deerhound leaves them inclined to shyness and nervousnss if not properly reared.
Ideal home characteristics: One that is prepared for the challenges of a giant breed including increased costs for supplies and care, need for larger furniture, and shortened lifespan. Otherwise a pleasant companion with few demands.
Temperament Notes: Friendly, quietly dignified, relatively low energy (any quiet moment is good for a nap).
Training requirement: minimal: socialization and basic manners.
Trainer notes: Training sessions are typically more effective if kept short.  For the Scottish Deerhound (and most sighthounds) this is a necessity. Woe be to the trainer that bores one of these dogs, as the dog will disengage much like someone tired of a conversation.  Additionally, while the Scottish Deerhound is exceptionally intelligent and has a high desire to please, they do lack a certain agility enjoyed by other breeds (if only due to their size). While they are capable of great excitement and stamina, this is typically reserved for lure-coursing and similar activities (like chasing the wind in the backyard) and difficult to harness in a "training situation".  Thus, keeping the sessions short and upbeat helps serve to build the motivation of the Scottish Deerhound as well as preventing the shutdown that often comes with long sessions.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: Older than the 16th century but by then names and type seem to be reasonably well defined.
Country of Origin: Scotland
Original Function: sighthound, hunter of hart and deer
History: Prized by the royalty of Scotland as a hunter and companion to the degree that one could pay the fine of giving up a Scottish Deerhound for reprieve if condemned to death. Such exclusivity nearly made the breed extinct in earlier eras.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: bloat, bone cancer, heart problems, hypothyroidism, anal gland infections
Health Testing: Thyroid panel, heart evaluation, CERF and OFA
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for

  • How long have you had Scottish Deerhounds?
  • Why do you have Scottish Deerhounds (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Scottish Deerhound?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Scottish Deerhound?
  • How would you describe the ideal Scottish Deerhound home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Scottish Deerhound?
  • How do you assist or help Scottish Deerhounds in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - National Scottish Deerhound Rescue

    Also check for sighthound rescue with your favorite search engine

    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - Standard of the Scottish Deerhound Club of America - The Kennel Club (UK) Standard for the Scottish Deerhound

    Breeder Ethics: - Ethical Guidelines for the Scottish Deerhound Club of America

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