Scottish deerhound

Scottish deerhound Breed description: Character & Co

Scottish deerhound

Life expectancy
9 - 12

The Deerhound or Scottish Deerhound is an ancient British hunting dog breed.

The origin of the Scottish Deerhound

The roots of the Deerhound lie in the ancient Celtic & even older Oriental greyhounds. They came to the island with the trade and migrations. In the harsh north of Scotland this unique shaggy sighthound type was formed.

Traditionally, the Deerhound was used to hunt game. It drove deer out of the undergrowth into clearings where archers could shoot on sight. Later, when firearms became common, this dog's job was "deer stalking", tracking game alongside the hunter.

According to tradition, the Deerhound was nearly extinct by 1830. Thanks to the efforts of brothers Archibald McNeill and Lord Colonsay, the beautiful Highland hound was preserved. The McNeill-Colonsay line is considered the basis of all Deerhound breeding today. In 1886 the British Deerhound Club was founded, which formulates the breed standards until today.

The breed characteristics of the Deerhound

The trademark of this dog is the silver-grey, rough coat. In Great Britain, Deerhounds are still regarded as loyal companions of noble gentlemen and ladies. Also with us there are more and more people who would like to buy a Deerhound. The dog is considered to be a very likeable dog and a perfect family dog. The German name for this dog is "schottischer Hirschund".

The Deerhound is a breed recognized by the FCI and is listed under Standard No. 164, Group 10: Sighthounds and Section 2: Rough-coated Sighthounds.

  • rough-coated sighthound from Scotland
  • very elegant dog breed
  • as companion for active individuals or families
Banner: Shutterstock / Eric Isselee
Scottish Deerhound puppy, small grey puppy, rough coat dog, giant dog breed Scottish dog breed, dog similar to greyhound, sighthound, grey large dog, dog with rough hair, Irish wolfhound similar, Deerhound Rough Dog Breed, Big Grey Dog, Giant Dog, Large Dog Breed, Dog Similar to Irish Wolfhound, Deerhound, Scottish Dog Scottish Deerhound, Scottish Dog Breed, Giant Dog Breed, Rough Haired Dog
Alternate Name Scottish deerhound
Origin Scotland
Life expectancy 9 - 12 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group Rough-haired Sighthounds
AKC group Hound Group
KC group Hound Group

The typical character traits of the Deerhound

The Deerhound has long since found his place as a dear family dog. It is, like all sighthounds, very affectionate, sensitive and cuddly.

You can keep it in a large apartment or better in a house with a property. The hunting instinct is only moderately pronounced and with good training you can control it well. As a sighthound it should be allowed to run regularly. Sighthounds have a very special organism and metabolism. If they cannot live out their urge to move, these animals suffer dumbly or develop behavioral problems.

  1. Sighthound with moderate temperament
  2. must run regularly
  3. intelligent, sensitive and obedient
large dog breed, giant dog, Scottish Deerhound, Scottish dog breed with medium length coat. rough coat

Breed-typical diseases of the Deerhound

With lack of exercise, these dogs can develop heart problems and other organic disorders. Occasionally bone tumors occur.

Breeding, acquisition and keeping of the Deerhound

The Deerhound is also offered in German-speaking countries by selected breeders. You have to reckon with 1200 to 1500 Euro for a healthy Deerhound puppy with papers. At the animal protection this dog is to be found rather rarely.

Scottish Deerhound, big dog with rough coat, grey big dog, greyhound

The Deerhound is an exceptionally elegant yet robust appearance. It is high legged, graceful, and moves with the typical bobbing gait of the greyhound. The coat is of medium length and feels rough on the surface. Only the undercoat, which is denser in winter, has a soft feel. Most frequently this dog occurs in various shades of grey. Rather rare are the colours yellow, red sand and reddish brown.

Because of its coat, it appears more stable than most other sighthound species. The slender yet muscular torso of this animal remains hidden under its coat. Two small rose ears sit on its dainty head, which it raises high above its head when excited or tense. The harmonious body shapes run out in a very long and evenly hairy tail.

  • medium long rough coat
  • mostly grey, more rarely in yellow or reddish brown
  • harmonious, elegant and robust

Size, weight and life expectancy of the Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound belongs to the very large dogs. The bitches remain somewhat more petite and lighter than the males.

  • Height at withers males from 76 cm
  • Height at withers bitches from 71 cm
  • Weight males 38 to 45 kg
  • Weight bitch 33 to 36 kg
  • Life expectancy 9 to 12 years
Fur length medium
Fur rough-haired
Ear shape Triangle
Tail lang
Anatomy slim
Size ♀ 71 - 78 cm
Weight ♀ 33 - 36 kg
Size ♂ 76 - 85 cm
Weight ♂ 38 - 46 kg
Suitable For -


Rough Dog Breed, Big Grey Dog, Giant Dog, Large Dog Breed, Dog Similar to Irish Wolfhound, Deerhound, Scottish Dog
Scottish Deerhound, Scottish Dog Breed, Giant Dog Breed, Rough Haired Dog
large dog breed, giant dog, Scottish Deerhound, Scottish dog breed with medium length coat. rough coat
  • Bone Cancer

    May occur with age.

  • Heart disease

    Can occur frequently in dogs and can sometimes be treated with medication.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 06.04.2023

E. Winston Bell (2013). The Scottish Deerhound with Notes on Its Origin and Characteristics. Read Books Limited.


Accessed on 06.04.2023


Accessed on 06.04.2023

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