The Scottish Deerhound


The Scottish Deerhound was identified as a breed during the 16th century. Before that he was known as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound, and Highland Deerhound. He was bred to hunt deer. Ownership of the Deerhound was so exclusive that the breed almost went extinct before being revived in the early 1800s.

The Scottish Deerhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 75 to 130 lbs.
  • Height: 28 to 32 inches
  • Coat: Long, harsh, wiry
  • Color: Various shades of gray, brindle, yellow, or red fawn
  • Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years

What’s the Scottish Deerhound like?

The Scottish Deerhound loves human companionship and won’t do well in a home where he is left alone for a significant amount of time. 

For the most part he does what he wants to when he wants to and whatever is appealing at the time. He can be an alert dog but that doesn’t automatically make him into a suitable watchdog. He’ll become alert only if something interests him so don’t put all your faith in him to warn you about intruders. 

The Deerhound needs to have a lot of exercise. They would love to go jogging, hiking, biking, or even just to be taken on a nice long walk.

The Scottish Deerhound is very easy to train with the right motivation. Use positive reinforcement along with praise and treats. Because they stand as tall as your average table don’t be surprised if you look down at your plate and see most of your food missing. You can avoid this behavior by training your deerhound before he develops any such habits; teach him not to beg. Once you throw him a piece of steak from the dinner table you can lose control quickly.

Grooming your Scottish Deerhound can be very easy. Deerhounds with longer coats do tend to get their hair tangled, but a good brushing with a pin brush twice a week should keep grooming at a relatively low maintenance level. 


The Scottish Deerhound is generally healthy but can suffer from the following:

Takeaway points

  • The Scottish Deerhound is not always ideal for a city apartment.
  • The Scottish Deerhound is fairly easy to groom.
  • The Scottish Deerhound should have access to securely fenced yard so he can get regular exercise.
  • The Scottish Deerhound may not be the right breed for you if you work long hours.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.