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Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

One of the Largest Dog Breeds!

There are large breeds and there are large breeds. But few like this gentle giant: the Scottish Deerhound. Have a good look at this enormous sighthound, almost as big as the Great Dane, if not bigger.

But beyond all that…

There is something noble and heroic about the Deerhound – much like William Wallace, the legendary 13th century Scottish warrior played by Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

He may be big…

But there is nothing threatening about him. This is one of the nicest, gentlest and most relaxed dogs you will see. He is not the sort to get aggressive or start barking at people in a threatening manner.

There is something…

Noble about this guy….almost like a Knight from the days gone by. He is big, powerful and very strong, yet so gentlemanly in the way he conducts himself. Yes, he acts like a joker at times and loves fooling around. He brings happiness and joy wherever he goes.


Scottish Deerhound puppies can be hilariously chaotic. They are easily excitable, always on a high, and always in a rush to get somewhere, to run about the house. They are like a much bigger version of the Goldendoodle Puppies.

This is why…

Early socialization and training are a must with this dog, and it should begin right from the time he is only a puppy. This is to ensure that he doesn’t jump around people. He doesn’t mean any harm, but he is a big guy and you don’t want any accidents.


The Scottish Deerhound shares a lot in common with the Doodles such as the English Goldendoodles, Irish Doodle, Labradoodle, Poodle, the Standard Poodle Mastiff and the Scottish Terrier in terms of temperament and personality.

He is similar in appearance to the Irish Setter. In terms of size, he is as big, if not bigger than the English Mastiff, Bull Mastiff and the Great Dane. He is a hound like his cousin the Greyhound and shares similar characteristics.

He is also called…

The Rough Greyhound, the Highland Deerhound and Rough the Scotch Greyhound. He is the Royal Dog of Scotland.

Should you bring him home?

Yes, why not!


There are a few things to consider, such as where you get the Scottish Deerhound Puppies for Sale from. Always get the puppy from a reputable breeder who follows an ethical dog breeding program.


You could bring home a rescue dog from an animal shelter run by a Non-Profit Organization. That would be such a wonderful thing to do.

Just one thing….

The Scottish Deerhound is a large breed and like all large breeds, he has a relatively short life expectancy.

You see…

He has a life span of 8 to 11 years, which is higher than that of other large breeds such as the Great Dane and Saint Bernard, but still heartbreakingly short. Dogs in general have much shorter life spans than humans. This is just the way it is.

Prepare your children for this inevitability when you bring a Deerhound puppy home. They should not get too emotionally perturbed when it is time for him to go. This is very important!

Scottish Deerhound Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Scotland (UK)

Original Purpose:  Coursing stag

Height: 28 to 32 inches

Weight: 70 to 130 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group

Life Span: 8 to 10 years

Origin of the Scottish Deerhound Dog Breed

This noble beast is from Scotland. He is a type of Greyhound that has been around in Scotland for hundreds of years. The first mention of this dog was made in a 16th century book called “Of Englishe Dogges” by Johannes Caius.

Early on…

Deerhounds were considered to be highly valuable.  In fact, only the rich and the powerful could afford to own such large dogs. He was a favorite of the Scottish nobility.

Now unfortunately…

This exclusivity did not serve the Deerhound well and the breed became almost extinct by 1769. The breed was saved from extinction by two men, Archibald and Duncan McNeill, who restored their population in the early 19th century.

This is when…

He became a popular hunting dog and was brought to the United States in the late 19th century. The Deerhound was great at hunting rabbits, coyotes and even wolves. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized this large breed in 1886

One of the most famous Scottish Deerhounds is one called Foxcliffe Hickory Wind, a female Deerhound that lived from 2005 to 2017.

Hickory won the prize “Best in Show” at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. – the first Deerhound to win this prestigious title. You can see her videos on Hulu Spotify and YouTube.

Physical Characteristics


The Scottish Deerhound is a big dog – one of the largest breeds out there. He reaches to a height of 32 inches and weighs 130 pounds. He is, in fact, the second tallest dog breed after the Irish Wolfhound.


The Deerhound is big, strong and very muscular. He is a warrior of a dog. This breed has a long head, tapering muzzle, black nose, silky mustache and prominent beard. He has a long, tapering tail, large, floppy ears, folded back and hazel or dark brown eyes.


His coat is somewhat coarse and wiry and rugged enough to protect him against harsh weather conditions, such as in the Scottish Highlands. The coat is usually of a dark blue-grey color. It can also be of other colors such as red fawn, yellow, sandy red, brindle, light gray and dark gray. He does shed a lot, which means you have to give his coat a good brush 2 or 3 times a week.

 Personality and Temperament

The Deerhound who loves three things in life….

  • Watching your favorite TV shows with you
  • Running at full speed in vast open spaces
  • Playing with the kids

He is a loving affectionate dog that makes everyone around him happy. There’s not a single boring moment in the house when this enormous Deerhound is around.

He is also…

A very loyal dog. He forms a strong bond or emotional connection with his owner and with all members of his human family. He is protective of the kids and very sensitive to the feelings of the adults in the house.

Some say…

He can even sense when you’re upset about something or a bit down in life. He does everything he can to cheer you up and does not give up until he gets a smile from you.

That’s the sort of dog he is.

Health Problems

Like all large breeds, the Scottish Deerhound has a relatively short life expectancy of 8 to 11 years. They are big and strong dogs, but vulnerable to certain health concerns such as…

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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