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Scottish Deerhound

 

Scottish Deerhounds look like someone crossed a Greyhound with your grandpa. (Hairy ears and all!) It's not hard to picture these stately beasts galumphing across the Highland's misty moors in times of yore. But this dog also shares your grandpa's wacky sense of humor — though a Scottish Deerhound's idea of a joke is less “pull my finger” and more “huh, I don't know how those teeth marks got on your slippers. I bet the cat did it. Let's find her and suggest she take a good long look at herself and her choices.”

Originally from — you guessed it — Scotland, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 75-110 pounds and lives an average of 8-11 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.

 

AKC RecognizedY
Breed's original pastimeCoursing
OriginScotland
Breed groupHound
Average lifespan8-11 years
SizeExtra large
Bark factorModerate
AKC Ranking127
FamilySighthound
Date of originMiddle ages
Original function Coursing hares
Today's functionLure coursing
Average size of maleHeight: 30-32 Weight: 85-110
Average size of femaleHeight: >28 Weight: 75-95

 

Other nameNone
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Not very playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangersFriendly
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability Low
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Moderate maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Low tolerance

BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS A SCOTTISH DEERHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

Scottish Deerhounds are gentle, dignified, and polite dogs when they're not getting into mischief. They're nuzzle-y and nappish when at home with you, and love to be in a full-out gallop outdoors. This breed doesn't mind well-mannered children, but they're not especially playful, and should be supervised around little ones. Unlike that other famous Highlander (of which there could be only one), the Scottish Deerhound does best in a home with canine playmates to keep her company.

WHAT IS SCOTTISH DEERHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?

Your Scottish Deerhound wants to chase after any and all cats, squirrels, and (of course) deer who cross her path. Equal parts acceleration and poor impulse control, this dog is all about bursts of incredible speed over long distances and extended snuggly naps with you after. You'll need a lot of fenced-in space to make sure this active breed has enough room to run and roam. This is not a dog you can crate all day while you're at work.

Deerhound puppies play “ruff,” and are sometimes a bit overly exuberant for dog parks.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A SCOTTISH DEERHOUND?

This breed definitely knows her own mind, so training can be a bit of a challenge. They are smart and perceptive, though — it just requires patience and consistency on your part. It's especially important to discourage your Scottish Deerhound from jumping up on folks — these dogs are just behind Irish Wolfhounds in height. Face kisses are adorable when they're little, but six feet of affectionate adult canine in your face is going to be a lot.

Scottish Deerhounds never outgrow their prey drive; yours will never be too old to think she should find out where that chipmunk is going at top speed. For this reason, this breed is not a good candidate for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area. And we mean well fenced: a Scottish Deerhound will dash right through an underground electronic barrier before you can say “haudyerwheest.”

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO SCOTTISH DEERHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

A Scottish Deerhound's crisp, wiry coat sheds seasonally. Brush and bathe this easy keeper as needed.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SCOTTISH DEERHOUNDS HAVE?

As a breed, Scottish Deerhounds are generally healthy. Some are prone to cardiac disease or blood-clotting disorders. This breed is also sometimes sensitive to certain drugs or anesthesia and may have serious issues with bloat, neck pain, allergies, and cystinuria.

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