Photo by © Jenya Campbell
Scottish Deerhound - Breed Profile:
Physical characteristicsThe Scottish Deerhound is a large slim sighthound with a shaggy coat, beard, mustache and mane. The body type resembles that of the Greyhound but of a larger size and bone. The loin is powerful and arched, the abdomen is well tucked up. The long head is broadest at the ears and narrows slightly to the eyes. The teeth should meet in a level bite. The moderately full eyes are usually dark brown, brown or hazel. The eye rims are black. The ears fold back in the Greyhound's manner. When the dog is excited, they are raised above the head. The front legs are strong and quite straight, with the elbows neither in nor out. The long tail reaches to about 1,5 inches below the hocks; it is never lifted out of line of the back.
Scottish Deerhounds weigh 75 to 110 pounds. Their height is about 30 inches. Females tend to me smaller.
TemperamentA very gentle and amiable breed. Quiet, loving and peaceable but dignified at the same time. Courageous and brave when necessary. Usually devoted, loyal and well-behaved. Can be somewhat stubborn with diffident owners. Like all other dogs, the Scottish Deerhound needs proper human leadership and discipline. A lot of physical exercise is also necessary to keep the dog happy. Excellent with considerate children. This breed is incredibly fast and likes to chase everything that runs, including small dogs and cats. Do not let the dog off leash unless in a safe, secure area. Even though the Scottish Deerhound is usually friendly with other dogs, it should not be trusted with non-canine animals. Because of its great size, strength, and speed, the breed requires early socialization.
Coat and groomingThe coat comes in various shades of grey (blue-grey preferred), fawn, or brindle, with dark ears and dark muzzle. A little white is allowed on the chest, feet and tail. The coat texture is harsh and wiry on the body, neck and quarters while much softer on the head, chest and belly. The dog should have a slight fringe on the inside of the forelegs and back legs but nothing similar to the "feather" of the Collie. Extensive grooming is necessary to keep the coat in good condition.
HealthSome individuals are prone to the bloat. It is recommended to feed them 2 or 3 small meals a day rather than one big meal. The lifespan is under 10 years.
Other interesting factsKnown centuries ago as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound and Highland Deerhound, the Scottish Deerhound became a clearly identified breed in the 16th and 17th centuries. It was the best breed for pursuing and killing deer.
Although classified as a sighthound, the Scottish Deerhound also has a very fine sense of smell.
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