The history of Scottish Deerhound is quite mysterious, but we can trace it back to the Scottish Highlands. They are related to Irish Wolfhounds and Greyhounds with rough coats, that were well established in Scotland in Middle Ages. The Scottish Deerhound was finally recognized as a separate breed in 16th century.
The Scottish Deerhound name is very descriptive. They are from Scotland and their original purpose was to hunt deer. They were hunting by coursing and so called deer stalking which is basicly a stealthy pursuit of the deer.
Since the 1700s, it was forbidden to ordinary people to own a Scottish Deerhound and only royalty owned them. Even the royalty used them for hunting purposes, but with the invention of guns, these dogs were not needed that much anymore and they almost went extinct. The breed was reestablished by Archibald and Duncan Mcneil, but during the world war II, many of them were slaughtered for food. Today, Scottish Deerhounds are not extinct, but they are still very rare.
The Scottish Deerhound is not as big as the Irish Wolfhound, but they are still giant dogs. Their average height is between 28-32 inches, which is 70-80 cm and weight between 75-110 pounds, which is 35-50 kg. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
5) Gentle dogs
Not only that they are giants, they are the definition of a gentle giant. They are also extremely friendly, docile and eager to please. This combined with their high intelligence, makes them highly trainable dogs. But they want to have a reason to train, so prepare a lot of treats and always praise them, when they are doing a good job.
6) Living with
Scottish Deerhounds are social animals. They create strong bond with their owner and family and they crave for attention. They just love companionship and even though they are very big, they make good partners for kids, mostly thanks to their gentle temperament. Normally they have no problems in other dogs in the family as well, but they are sighthounds, so it is likely that they would chase cats or other small household pets.
This is an athletic breed and they do require regular daily walks and some playtime. They will prefer to live in a home with big yard where they can stretch their long legs. Daily exercise is essential, so the dog does not become bored. Also their muscles can atrophy. But with enough exercise, they can live calmly and peacefully with you indoors.
8) Cold lovers
The Scottish Deerhounds love low temperatures and they are pretty active when it is colder outside. They often times enjoy lying on cold and hard surface. You should let them do it from time to time, but it can cause calluses that are not easy to heal.
Scottish Deerhounds were developed in harsh mountanious climate of Scotland, so they must have a coat that will protect them in such weather. The thick wiry coat is around 3-4 inches long. But the coat is not wiry everywhere, when you touch them on their head, breat or stomach, the coat is pretty soft on those places. You can typically find them in dark blue – gray color, but according to their breed standard you can also find them in these colors: brindle, light and dark grey, red fawn, yellow or sandy red.
Sadly, the Scottish Deerhound does not have long lifespan, only between 8-11 years. Just like all sighthounds they are very sensitive to anesthesia and they are prone to allergies. They also commonly suffer from gastric torsion, Cardiomyopathy and bloating.