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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Scottish Deerhound


Scottish Deerhound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • AKC, UKC
  • Height
  • 28" - 32"
  • Weight
  • 80-100 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Black / Brindle
    • Red-Brindle
    • Blue
    • Fawn
    • Red
    • Silver / Grey
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Royal dog od Scotland, deerhound


The Scottish deerhound originated in Scotland.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the middle ages.


The history of the Scottish deerhound is vague but some believe it comes from the same ancestor as the Irish wolfhound. It was bred to hunt stag and was known as the deerhound during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Only nobility was allowed to own the breed; these restrictions on its ownership almost led to its extinction. Also, the collapse of the clan system in 1746 threatened the breeds existence. A breeding program started by local breeder, Duncan McNeil, resurrected the breeds dwindling numbers.


The Scottish deerhound is a large, heavy dog that is quite similar to the greyhound. It has a long, narrow head with a tapered black muzzle and flat skull. It has dark eyes, a black nose, and small ears that are folded when it is relaxed and semi-erect when alert. There is a long neck and deep chest. The long tail tapers and reaches almost to the ground. The thick medium length coat, mostly wiry, is soft on the chest and belly. The hair on the head is long and soft with a mustache and beard and sometimes silky, silvery hair at the tips of the ears. The coat is often a dark blue gray but may be yellow, red, or fawn. There may be a white chest, toes, and tail tip.


The Scottish deerhound is an intelligent and strong willed dog that is very attached to its people. It is courageous and keen in the field but charming and gentle in the home.


This breed is a dog of royalty used for hunting and as a companion.

Health Concerns

Allergies, anesthesia sensitivity, bloat, cardiomyopathy, osteosarcoma.

Additional Information

The Scottish deerhound does best with an active owner in a rural setting.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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