Scottish Deerhound

Breed History

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound is a large size sighthound with a rough coat and big bones. Tales of two different personalities that shows a lazy couch potato at the house and a dog that loves chasing prey down.

Coming from Scotland they have been in the area longer than the people themselves who would arrive in the ninth century. Furthermore, most of the data on this ancient breed has no record because no one was writing in these areas like in other parts of the world.

First part of their name comes from their region of Scotland. Second part of their name comes from their job in the area. Hunting down Deer in packs of hound dogs gave them this distinctive name.

Another dog that looks similar in appearance but known as a wolfhound got most of their characteristics from the Scottish Deerhound. They were much later in history around the 19th century.

Ability to hunt made them special because of their size and the endless stamina they show to run down prey. Times have changed a lot and now the Deerhound would enter a new phase in history.

When guns were the preferred method for hunting down prey the didn’t need dogs to hunt down and catch prey. New methods would show the hunter shooting the prey and then scent hounds following them up they fell on the ground.

Still in use for dog shows and as a pet their time as the go to hunting down has come to an end. Amazing size, strength, and intelligence still makes them a unique and important dog in Scotland’s history.


In 1886, they would receive official recognition from the American Kennel Club. Making them one of the oldest dogs in the club only younger than the first wave in the 1870’s.

Top 150 in popularity they are still in rare form and not one of the most popular dogs in the country. There is a great chance they can fall further behind in the pack due to new breeds entering the club.

Hound Group is the category every major kennel club puts them into. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards for this dog.


Male Height: 30-32 inches

Female Height: 28-30 inches

Male Weight: 90-110 pounds

Female Weight: 70-90 pounds

Litter Size

8 puppies is the average litter size for a Scottish Deerhound. There have been reports of smaller litters and high double-digit litters so breeders should be prepared for anything that can happen. Mothers can push out their litter without interference but always visit the local vet for guidance.


  • Blue Gray
  • Brindle Gray
  • Gray Brindle
  • Brindle
  • White Markings

White on the head or color is unacceptable and an automatic disqualification.


$1,000-$2,000 is the average price for a Scottish Deerhound. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand and other factors.

Registration will show the dogs bloodline from their homeland in Scotland until they reach the country you are in with your local kennel club.

Without papers dogs will most likely be because one, or both, parents were unable to get papers due to crossbreeding. Understand the breed standards before choosing a dog without papers.


Take the dog on a long walk or run, about an hour, before starting any grooming session. Best way to begin the process and continue to use this over and over to get your dog in the right state of mind. Using a leash will help in communicating that you want them to standstill the entire time.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat at least one time per week and make sure the brush can reach the skin. During shedding season getting a brush that can remove excess hair quicker is the best tool.

Combing should happen at least once per and the comb should be able to reach the skin as well. Coat will benefit from weekly combing during shedding season because it can help remove a lot of loose fur.

Bathe the dog after a long exercise session and the dog will be more than ready to relax the entire time.

Clean the ears once per week to avoid getting an ear infection. Whenever the dog is shaking their heads a lot, scratching, and developing an odor they most likely have an ear infection.

Trimming the nails should happen when giving daily exercise, which we recommend. If you don’t give daily exercise, which we don’t recommend, take the time to cut them with clippers.

Professional is a recommendation.

Life Span

8-10 years is the average lifespan for a Scottish Deerhound. That’s an average lifespan for a large size dog like this one. Decent adoption choice but you will own an adult dog for a few years before they reach an old age for their breed size.

Health Issues

Bile Acid Test – will make sure that the dog’s liver is working properly. Damage and defective liver production is something that affects this breed a lot and their kennel club recommends getting this test to be safe.

Factor VII – high levels of bleeding will occur with some dogs who carry this disease. Whenever they get a cut or injury, they will continue bleeding and the blood will not clot in a normal manner.

Echocardiogram – letting a professional look at the heart with an ultrasound is also a recommendation. Larger than normal blood vessels and the heartbeat will be of a focus during the examination.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Hound Group and they fall into the sighthound category due to them not having a strong nose like a Bloodhound. These dogs were all important for helping the human hunt down wild animals for meat back in the days.

Now they have taken a different role where people like to hunt for recreational purposes and not for survival. Due to farms locking in animals they have a hard time being in use for the same reasons.

Here are some of the dogs in the Hound Group

Exercise Needs

Scottish Deerhound needs a lot of exercise. They are calm and have a sense of natural relaxation, but they will need to get outside and release a lot of energy every day.

Large dogs like this are in danger of causing too much damage with a negligent owner. Destructive behavior from a dog of this size would be much different from a smaller counterpart.

Learning the connection between a bored dog and bad behavior is one of the best things to understand. When a dog is not getting enough exercise, you are going to see behavior that is good in nature.

Digging, barking excessively, biting, nipping, and other behaviors that you wish would stop. Once you start giving them exercise daily everything will start to melt away.

Here is a basic recommendation we would give a client

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Young dogs need a lot of exercise consisting of running every morning and night. That’s a lot of work for the owner and it will pay with dividends in the future. Anywhere from one to two hours a day will be the sweet spot.

Adult dogs will start to decline in energy when they get around 3 years of age or older. One session a day will start to become all they need and that will start to free up more of your time. Around an hour will be all they need.

Senior dogs don’t need a lot of exercise, but you should always use the same principle. Older dogs show excitement whenever you don’t give them any exercise, but you should get them out for at least a walk around the corner for 20-30 minutes.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every house should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than a daily exercise program. We can use common sense with a quick example of how you can make a significant difference with a small amount of exercise every day. One hour per day will change your dog’s life if they never get any exercise. For example, 365 hours of exercise or 730 hours of exercise for two hours per day will make your dog go into a state of recovery while at home and in the backyard.

Commands training is important to get control when they are off leash. Repetition is the best way to teach your dog how to do a command. Remember dogs will first learn from your body language and the verbal connection will come later.

Socialize your dog after a long exercise session. Doing this every time will accelerate your training program and get the dog under control in public. Before vet visits, car rides, parks, dog parks, dog beaches and any other activity take the dog on a long run or walk beforehand.

Correcting the dog should happen verbally, on or off leash. None of this matters unless you understand timing and follow through. What happens before and after the correct is the most important. Prevention of the entire behavior is the best timing. After the correction make sure they sit or lay every time and you can master correcting the dog on or off leash.

Difference Between Scottish Deerhound and Irish Deerhound?

Irish wolfhound – bigger, younger, long and curly tail.

Scottish Deerhound – smaller, older, long tail.

They have similarities than differences because the Scottish Deerhound was used to create the Irish Wolfhound.

Additional Resources