Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed

The Scottish Deerhound is subdued and easy-going, a great breed for indoor or outdoor activities.
By: PawCulture Editors
Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed

About the Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed 

A rare breed with a great deal of class, the Scottish Deerhound is one of the oldest Greyhound-like breeds.

Scottish Deerhound Physical Characteristics

Although it resembles the Greyhound in build, Scottish Deerhounds are more big-boned. Additionally, these dogs have an easy but speedy gait.


The breed is generally seen in a blue-gray color.


Its coarse hair is about three to four inches in length and is weatherproof, which helps them in harsh conditions.

Scottish Deerhound Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Scottish Deerhound has a pleasing personality. A subdued and easy-going breed, it makes for a great indoor pet; however, it also enjoys going outdoors.

Things to Consider

Some Scottish Deerhound may chase strangers but it usually behaves politely with other dogs and pets and plays nicely with children.

Scottish Deerhound Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Scottish Deerhound breed loves to spend time inside the home with its human family. Nevertheless, the dog can adapt to living outdoors in warm or cool climate. Routine exercise is essential for the breed, ideally in the form of a long walk or running in an enclosed area.

Special Requirements

The hair should be clipped on occasion to prevent it from tangling; combing, meanwhile, will help remove any dead hair. Additionally, the hair around the dog’s face and ears should be stripped.

Scottish Deerhound Health

The Scottish Deerhound, which has an average lifespan of 7 to 9 years, is susceptible to major health issues such as cardiomyopathy, gastric torsion and osteosarcoma. To identify some of the issues early, a veterinarian may recommend regular cystinuria and cardiac exams for this breed of dog.

Scottish Deerhound History and Background

The Scottish Deerhound is a rare and old breed. It bears a resemblance to the Greyhound, but experts are not quite sure why. It is, however, assumed that the breed has existed as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. The nobles of that time, especially those who were avid deer hunters, were very fond of the breed. In fact, a Scottish Deerhound could not be acquired by anyone lower than the rank of earl during the Age of Chivalry.

The decline of the deer population in England caused a concentration of the breed in the Scottish Highlands, where deer still existed in large numbers. Highland chieftains looked after this breed, but with the fall of the clan system after the Battle of Culloden, Scottish Deerhounds lost their popularity by the middle of 18th century. The arrival of breech-loading rifles in the 19th century further aggravated their decline as deer were much easier to hunt. It was early in 1860s that the first Deerhound club was established in England. They were also displayed at dog shows from that time.

It was not until about 1825, when Archibald and Duncan McNeill undertook a restoration of the breed, that the Scottish Deerhound regained his former glory. And though the destruction of World War I greatly reduced the breed’s numbers throughout Europe, the Scottish Deerhound of today closely conforms to the original standard established in the 18th and 19th centuries.