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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. 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 nothing is threatening about him. This is one of the most excellent, 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 past. He is big, powerful, and solid, yet so gentlemanly in his conduct. Yes, he acts like a joker at times and loves fooling around. He brings happiness and joy wherever he goes.

However, 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 necessary with this dog, and it should begin right from when 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 much in common with the Doodles such as the English Goldendoodles, Irish Doodle, Labradoodle, Poodle, Standard Poodle Mastiff, and Scottish Terrier regarding temperament and personality.

He is similar in appearance to the Irish Setter. He is as big, if not more significant than the English Mastiff, Bull Mastiff, and 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 the rough Scotch Greyhound. He is the Royal Dog of Scotland.

Would you be able to bring him home?

Yes, why not!


There are a few things to consider, such as where to get the Scottish Deerhound Puppies for Sale. Always get the puppy from a reputable breeder who follows an ethical dog breeding program, or 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.  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 angry 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.  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 served the Deerhound poorly, and the breed became almost extinct by 1769. The breed was saved from extinction by Archibald and Duncan McNeill, who restored their population in the early 19th century.

This is when…

He became a famous 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 “Best in Show” prize 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 giant breeds. He reaches 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 a prominent beard. He has a long, tapering tail, large, floppy ears, folded back, and hazel or dark brown eyes.


His coat is coarse, wiry, and rugged enough to protect him against harsh weather conditions, such as in the Scottish Highlands. The skin 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 sheds a lot, so 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 no dull 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 susceptible 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. 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.

Potential Health Problems

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

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, but they can become quite expensive, 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 suitable 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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