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Scottish Deerhound

Country/Date of Origin: Scotland/800s

The Scottish Deerhound shares a history with the Irish Wolfhound - at least until the 800s. Then Celtsmen wanting a lighter boned dog to chase deer up and down the mountains of Scotland, began to breed an animal that diverged from the heavier wolfhound. It originally came in all the colors appearing in the wolfhound today but only gray animals have been seen in the last few decades. Deerhounds were founding stock when the American Kennel Club was organized.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Hound

Breed Club: Scottish Deerhound Club of America

Rescue Club: Scottish Deerhound Club of America Rescue and Placement

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Body Type:

  • A rough coursing hound similar to the Irish Wolfhound but with a more slender build
  • Height: 28-30 inches
  • Weight: 80-100 pounds
  • Rose ears are not altered and are kept folded tightly against the neck
  • Long tail is not altered


  • Very dignified and reserved; almost regal
  • A one family dog
  • Merely tolerates strangers
  • Quiet and not protective enough to be a good watchdog
  • Likes children


  • Coat is shaggy and wiry in texture
  • A pronounced mane protects the neck
  • Hair is softer on the underparts of the body and on the head, especially in the long beard
  • Several colors are allowed but only gray is seen at the present time
  • Low maintenance
  • The coat does not mat

Health Concerns:

  • Cardiac diseases
  • Bone cancer
  • Bloat, although not as prone to it as its sister breed, the Irish Wolfhound
  • Not very long lived
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • A dog named Maida, the favorite of Sir Walter Scott, prompted him to include Deerhounds in many of his novels
  • Relative rarity of the breed may make puppies hard to find in some parts of the country. Also expensive to purchase
  • Two deerhounds, the hunting companions of Gen. George Custer, were with him at the Battle of the Little Big Horn

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