Scottish Deerhound

75-95 lbs

The Scottish Deerhound is a likely an ancient breed; there is no definite proof, but most experts believe the breed was introduced to Scotland by Phoenician traders over 3000 years ago. Because of inconsistencies in naming practices, there is no definite history of the breed until the 16th century. This giant breed was originally intended to hunt the Scottish roe deer. The breed was highly sought out by nobility; in fact, a man condemned to death could “buy back” his life by gifting a Scottish Deerhound. At one time, the Deerhound was the Royal Dog of Scotland. It remains a rare breed today.

purpose Purpose
coursing stag
history Date of Origin
middle ages
ancestry Ancestry
sighthound, greyhound

Scottish Deerhound Health

Sketch of Scottish Deerhound
Average Size
Male Scottish Deerhound size stats
Height: 30-32 inches Weight: 85-110 lbs
Female Scottish Deerhound size stats
Height: 26-28 inches Weight: 75-95 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity/Allergy
Minor Concerns
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Allergies
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Hypothyroidism
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Allergy Tests

Scottish Deerhound Breed History

The Scottish Deerhound derives its name from its country of origin, Scotland, and the type of hunting it was utilized for  - hunting deer. The Deerhound, closely related to the Greyhound, was once known as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound or Highland Deerhound. In the 16th century, the Scottish Deerhound was recognized as a distinct breed and given its present name. It was bred so that its rough coat could adapt to the rough climate of Scotland. In the Middle Ages, the breed’s ancestors were used as deer dogs. As time went on, the breed became popular among nobility. In fact, law stated that no one ranking lower than an earl was allowed to own a Scottish Deerhound. The already rare breed almost became extinct with the invention of the gun, which made deer dogs nearly useless. In the 1800s, brothers Archibald and Duncan McNeill began a breeding program which is credited with saving the Scottish Deerhound from extinction. During World War II, many Scottish Deerhounds were slaughtered for food. Even today, the breed is still quite rare.

Scottish Deerhound Breed Appearance

The Scottish Deerhound is tall and slender. He looks like a bigger version of a Greyhound albeit with a rougher coat. His head is flat and broad. He has a black nose that tapers to a point; on blue-fawn Deerhounds, the nose may be blue. The bite is a level one. The eyes are either brown or hazel, and his ears are high and folded back like a Greyhound. The Deerhound has a deep chest, long, straight legs, and a very long tail that nearly touches the ground. Its coarse coat is three to four inches long; the body hair, along with hair on the neck, beard, mustaches, and mane, is long and more wiry than on other parts of the body. The Scottish Deerhound may be a variety of colors including: blue gray, gray, brindle and black, yellow and sandy red, or red fawn. Occasionally a Scottish Deerhound will have some white on his chest. The Scottish Deerhound is strong and fast, a quality that made the Deerhound so successful on the hunting ground.

Appearance of Scottish Deerhound
Eye Color Possibilities
hazel Scottish Deerhound eyes
brown Scottish Deerhound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
blue Scottish Deerhound nose
black Scottish Deerhound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Scottish Deerhound coat
brindle Scottish Deerhound coat
red Scottish Deerhound coat
blue Scottish Deerhound coat
gray Scottish Deerhound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Scottish Deerhound wiry coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Scottish Deerhound Breed Maintenance

The Scottish Deerhound is of the giant breeds of dog; apartment living is not recommended for this big fellow. He needs long walks, always wearing a leash as it is his nature to chase things, but a fenced-in area is perfect for the Scottish Deerhound. He enjoys ample time outside. While the Scottish Deerhound is bred to live outdoors, he is happiest inside with his family. He will need lots of room and sufficient bedding in order to keep from developing calluses. Speaking of fenced-in areas, the fence must be over six feet tall so that the dog will not jump over the fence. Scottish Deerhounds need lots of socialization around children and other animals. The Deerhound requires weekly combing. Stray hairs may need to be cut occasionally, and the coat should be plucked twice yearly. Fortunately, the Scottish Deerhound sheds very little. You may also have to pluck and trim excessive hair from the ears and the pads of the feet. 

Brushes for Scottish Deerhound
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Scottish Deerhound requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Scottish Deerhound Temperament

The Scottish Deerhound is a gentle giant; however, he does require lots of socialization. He does like to run and chase small animals, including cats. Socialization will teach the Deerhound not to terrorize your other pets. He is sensitive to his owner’s emotions, and he needs firm but gentle instruction when in training. This breed can be difficult to housebreak. Reserved around strangers, he is usually friendly once the ice is broken. Keep in mind that the Scottish Deerhound is known to chase unfamiliar animals, so walking him on a leash or keeping him in a fenced-in yard – one with fences taller than six feet – will keep him from antagonizing other animals.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
9 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes
activity minutes

Scottish Deerhound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.8 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$2.75 - $3.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00
food bag monthly cost

Scottish Deerhound Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Scottish Deerhound at six months
Male Scottish Deerhound size stats at six months
Height: 22.5 inches Weight: 45.0 lbs
Female Scottish Deerhound size stats at six months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 37.5 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Scottish Deerhound at 12 months
Male Scottish Deerhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 27.5 inches Weight: 65.0 lbs
Female Scottish Deerhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 25.0 inches Weight: 60.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Scottish Deerhound at 18 months
Male Scottish Deerhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 31.0 inches Weight: 92.5 lbs
Female Scottish Deerhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 27.0 inches Weight: 80.0 lbs

Top Scottish Deerhound Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Scottish Deerhound breeders of 2023.
Top Scottish Deerhound breeder Bruach Deerhounds
Bruach Deerhounds
Bellevue, Michigan
Top Scottish Deerhound breeder Dhu Mohr Deerhounds
Dhu Mohr Deerhounds
Dansville, New York
Top Scottish Deerhound breeder Iron Thistle Deerhounds
Iron Thistle Deerhounds
Westcliffe, Colorado
Top Scottish Deerhound breeder Cù Liath
Cù Liath
Albany, New York

Scottish Deerhound Owner Experiences

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