The Scottish deerhound is a large-sized sighthound, initially bred to hunt the deer through coursing, a technique where dogs caught their prey by running and sight rather than scent. These game dogs have a muscular built, longish head, flat skull, small, high set, soft and glossy ears folded to the back that might get semi-erect if the dog is excited, dark eyes and a hairy tail that is straight or curved, touching the ground.
|Coat||Long, wiry, harsh, silvery|
|Color||Blue, fawn, brindle, red, yellow, gray|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||8 to 9 years|
|Height||Male: 30-32 inches
Female: 28 inches
|Weight||Male: 85-110 pounds
Female: 75-95 pounds
|Litter size||4 – 15 puppies|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Polite, quiet, dignified, gentle, friendly, intelligent|
|Good with children||Yes, though needs to be supervised when with younger ones|
|Climate compatibility||Adapts to warm or cold climate|
|Barking||Minimal ( only when needed)|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Seasonal|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, ANKC, AKC, KC, CKC, NZKC, UKC|
The ancestors of the Scottish Deerhound were present long back before history was even recorded. Hence, its relation with the Irish Wolfhound at one point in time seems to be majorly unclear, though they are different in several aspects. Bred for hunting red deer through the methods of cursing and stalking, it mostly worked on the rough terrains of the Scottish Highlands. Their popularity gradually reduced with the decline of the clan system. Though attempts were made in reviving them, their numbers never increased. They are used in Australia to hunt wild boars and kangaroo, while in the United States they are used to retrieve games like coyotes, wolves as well as rabbits.
It attained recognition by the AKC in the year 1886, ranking 141st among the breeds which have been registered by it.
The Scottish Deerhound is noted for its gentle, docile, friendly and dignified nature, which is indeed a complete contrast to its game hunting lineage. Being extremely loyal and devoted, it bonds well with its kith and kin, emerging as loving companions. Hence, they do not get along well in homes where they are left to themselves most of the time. Though they are good with children, older ones are more suitable than kids, mainly because of its large size.
Their sweet disposition, as well as beautiful appearance, makes them a delight to have, though these giant hounds would require ample space to stretch itself, something that they enjoy doing. Though they have an initial wariness towards strangers, once they get acquainted with the unknown face, the Deerhound would meet them amicably by a gentle wag of their tail, a trait that does not make them a suitable guard dog.
It has an unusual knack for food, being eager to check the contents on your plate, attempting to grab onto it at the slightest available opportunity. Though they get along well with other dogs, particularly if socialized with them, their chasing instinct might trigger when kept along with smaller pets. They enjoy cold weather, loving to lie on cold or hard surfaces, which might result in calluses on the skin, taking a lot of time to heal.
Though loving and gentle, training them might be a little challenging as they are lazy as well as laid back, also not eager to please their masters. They are more interested in doing things according to their interest, thus needing a firm and tactful taskmaster to impart consistent training since their puppy days. Ensure to incorporate new training techniques now and then since they get bored quite easily.
Obedience: It is essential to give it obedience training since its puppy days. Teach it to follow commands like “Stop,” “Come” and “Go” so that you may be able to control it when it is chasing an animal it spotted on the road or doing something that you do not approve. Finding it a possible reward is a little confusing, so you can take morsels of its favorite food and offer it whenever it does a good deed.
Leash: Since they have a reputation of chasing animals and not returning on being called, leash training is of utmost importance.
These giant breeds require 4-5 cups dry dog food on a routine basis. You can even add a host of vegetables and meat to their diet to meet their daily requirements.