Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound - Origin, Traits and Care

Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Scottish greyhound, or Scottish deerhound, is...

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The Scottish deerhound, or Scottish deerhound, is a giant-sized dog, similar to the sighthound but larger and stronger. He has a long, rough coat. Although it is not one of the best-known dog breeds, both for its beauty and for its character, it is an absolutely exceptional breed.

Scottish deerhounds were once used to hunt deer and today they retain their hunting instincts. So, although they are very friendly with other dogs and humans, they tend to want to catch other dogs or smaller animals, like cats.

So, if you are interested and/or wish to adopt a Scottish greyhound or a deerhound, do not miss this breed sheet from PlanèteAnimal in which you will find all the information relating to this type of dog.


  • Europe
  • United Kingdom

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group X

Physical Characteristics

  • End


  • Giant


  • 70-80

Adult Weight

  • 45-100

Life expectancy

  • 8-10

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Society
  • Very loyal
  • Affectionate
  • Quiet

Ideal for

  • Children
  • Apartment
  • House
  • Walking

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Long
  • Hard
  • Big

Origin of the Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound

Although the origin of the Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound is not exactly known, the breed is often associated with the Greyhound due to their morphological similarities. It is believed that the same line of sighthounds that gave rise to the sighthound in England gave rise to the deerhound in Scotland.The colder climate of the Scottish Highlands would have favored the evolution of a larger, more robust breed with a long, rough coat.

" In the Middle Ages, this giant dog was used for deer hunting. Hence the name Deerhound. At that time, it was the favorite dog of Scottish chieftains and was even considered the royal dog of Scotland."

The development of guns and agricultural fencing has destroyed deer hunting as it was practiced until then. This, together with the collapse of the Scottish clan system, led to the near extinction of the hunting dog. Fortunately, interest in the breed revived in the 1800s and the Scottish Greyhound was saved thanks to a few enthusiasts.

Today the dog is almost exclusively used as a companion and show dog, but it retains its hunting characteristics and instincts.

Physical characteristics of the Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound

The Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound is a giant dog with long legs and a slender body. He has an elegant and distinguished bearing and an intelligent expression. Male greyhounds should measure about 76 centimeters at the withers for a weight that is around 45.5 kilograms. The standard dictated by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) does not indicate a maximum size. On the other hand, bitches should reach a height at the withers of at least 71 centimeters and weigh around 36.5 kilograms.

The Scottish Greyhound's head is elongated and proportionate to the body. The muzzle is also long and has strong teeth that close like a scissor. The eyes of the deerhound are moderately rounded and dark brown or hazel in color. The ears are set high and dark in color. When the hunting dog is at rest, the ears are folded back, but when it is active, its ears stick up on top of the head.The tail of this dog is long, thick at the base and tapering towards the end. The tip almost reaches the ground when fully relaxed.

Scottish Greyhound Colors

The Scottish Greyhound has a harsh, shaggy coat that is 7 to 10 centimeters long. It is usually bluish gray, varying shades of gray, fawn, yellow, sand red, or flame red. Also, the coat forms a mane, mustache and beard.

Scottish Greyhound Puppy

As with any other large breed, the growth of Deerhound breed puppies is prolonged over time. It can be maintained even up to 18-24 months of life, the first year being the period when it will be the fastest. This must be taken into account in order to offer them a diet adapted to their needs and thus avoid developmental problems.

Character of Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound

This dog is a calm, affectionate, sociable and gentle dog. However, he should be socialized from an early age to reduce any possibility of aggressive behavior or shyness, as he is a very large and fast dog.

Although this dog is loyal and courageous, it is not suitable as a guard and defense dog because it tends to befriend everyone. When well socialized, Greyhounds make excellent companions for children. However, it should be taken into account that adult hunting dogs are not as active as puppies and need their own space where they will not be disturbed.

This dog breed is generally social with other dogs, so it's a good choice if you plan on having more than one dog. However, their hunting instincts make it difficult for them to get along with small animals, including cats and dwarf breeds

Scottish Deerhound Care

The Scottish Greyhound is not suitable for apartment living as it is very large and needs a lot of exercise. To thrive, this dog needs daily exercise and play, so it's best if they live in a house.Like most dogs, he also needs companionship and affection. He must therefore live with his family and not in an isolated kennel in the garden. It would only make the animal unhappy. Also, as he is prone to calluses and sores on his paws, it is necessary to provide him with a cushioned place to sleep.

If the dog is taken for a walk in a field or wood, it should be checked for fleas, ticks or other insects. The rough, shaggy coat of these dogs requires more care than that of other sighthounds. They should be brushed regularly - about every other day - and more frequently if shedding, and taken to the groomer for occasional trimming and waxing. Only wash your Scottish Greyhound when he really needs to.

Training and education of the Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound

Dog training is essential for this breed because, as they are such large and fast dogs, they need to be well controlled.However, Scottish Deerhounds are easy to train. They respond well to positive training methods, but less well to traditional methods, because punishment-based training ends up stressing them out and scaring them.

To start his education, we can teach him the basic commands of the dog and, little by little, increase the difficulty of the commands that we teach him. In addition, an element that will be very useful if we want to train it is the clicker training. If you want information on this type of training, do not miss our article on clicker training for dogs.

Scottish Deerhound He alth

If we take good care of our Deerhound, it can live up to 10 years. But, despite everything, this breed is prone to some diseases common in large breed dogs, such as:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Gastric Torsion.
  • Bone cancer.

Gastric torsion is very common in this breed, so it is recommended to give the adult Scottish Greyhound three small servings of food per day, rather than one or two large servings. It's also good to give them their water and food in raised bowls so they don't have to lower their heads to the ground. Also, they should not do intense physical exercise right after eating. Additionally, as mentioned above, this dog is also prone to sores or calluses on his paw pads.

How to adopt a Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound?

It's not particularly easy to adopt a deerhound and it will be even more complicated if you want to adopt a puppy. You can try kennels and shelters in your area or on the internet, as some send animals out of their province or even country.Another option is to research and contact associations specializing in the rescue and recovery of greyhounds.

If you can't find a Scottish Greyhound, you may fall in love with another dog. Unfortunately, in France, it is not so easy to find this type of dog, but you don't forget that there are many dogs waiting for a loving family.

Pictures of Scottish Deerhound or Scottish Greyhound

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