Scottish Deerhound Overview
The Scottish Deerhound is of aristocratic background and his exact origin is still unknown. The breed was originally thought to be a type of greyhound that was larger and stronger to chase down heavier prey. Their longer coat helped them to withstand harsher conditions than the greyhound. In the 1500s, the breed was first labelled as a Deerhound and became a prized pet of royalty.
Scottish Deerhound Characteristicsa
The Deerhound looks very much like a cross between the larger and bulkier Irish Wolfhound and the more slender and lithe Greyhound. The Deerhound features the same wiry coat for protection from the elements but features a much more narrow chest, longer legs and slender body profile, similar to the Greyhound. This gives the Deerhound attributes of both breeds, allowing it to be fast and hardy.
Scottish Deerhound Temperament
Characterized as kind-hearted, polite and gentle, the Deerhound makes a great pet and companion. They, however, do poorly as guard dogs due to their sweet nature and trust of everyone. While active as a hunter, they are couch potatoes when indoors and get along very well with family members, especially young children.
Scottish Deerhound Care
Due to the large size of the breed, the average lifespan of the Deerhound is only 8 to 11 years. Health concerns include allergies, urinary crystals, heart problems, osteosarcoma, blood clotting disorders and hypothyroidism. Bloat and pyometra (uterine infection) are also common, however, pyometra can be prevented by spaying non-breeding pets.
Scottish Deerhound Coat
The coat of the Deerhound is easy to care for and only requires minimal grooming. Weekly brushing or combing will help keep the coat clean and tangle free. However, skin allergies are common in the breed, so care should be taken to inspect the skin for any signs of allergy.
Scottish Deerhound Training
Deerhounds may be slow to respond and easily bored with training. Short, fast periods of training combined with patience are key to getting the Deerhound to respond and preventing frustration. At learning hunting techniques, however, they are a natural.
Scottish Deerhound Activity
While a couch potato indoors, the Deerhound does benefit from daily exercise. Leashed walks or runs in a securely enclosed space are preferred as their sight-hound nature can cause a Deerhound to wander off if left unattended.