Scottish Deerhound Description
The Scottish Deerhound is a giant dog with long legs, a svelte yet sturdy build, and an intelligent expression. This is a dog that carries himself with grace and elegance. He has a shaggy but not abundant cost, which is rough in texture. Coloring of the Scottish Deerhound includes blue gray, lighter gray, dark gray, red fawn, sandy red, and brindle. He has a long muzzle, and ears that hang down to frame the face. The height of the Scottish Deerhound is 28-32 inches for females and 30-33 inches for males. These dogs weigh in at 75-95 pounds for females and 85-100 pounds for males.
The Scottish Deerhound is a giant of a dog, with a certain regal charm, elegance, and dignity about him. Very loyal and devoted, the Scottish Deerhound is a docile and loving breed, and is a bad choice for those looking for a watchdog or guard dog! These dogs have great agility and speed, and need plenty of space to run around and exercise, although they are not demanding in terms of walks and accompanied exercise. However, that is not to say that he will appreciate being neglected, as he does thrive on the affection and devotion of his owner and family. A fenced and secure area for the Scottish Deerhound to exercise and run is essential for his own safety, as he can be up, off, and away in next to no time. Although Scottish Deerhound puppies can be boisterous and energetic, these dogs tend to be very calm when they are older, and do enjoy their creature comforts.
The Scottish Deerhound is sensitive and sweet natured, but can sometimes be stubborn. He is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. Early socialization is important with this breed to promote a stable attitude and temperament. The Scottish Deerhound gets along well with children, and is usually polite around strangers. He may give chase to small animals such as little dogs and cats, but tends to get along okay with household dogs. The Scottish Deerhound is not a demanding breed, and his quiet, calm dignity and grace makes him ideal for those that want a solid, dependable companion who is not clingy. However, it is essential that those considering a Scottish Deerhound as a family pet have the necessary space, both indoors and outdoors, to accommodate this gentle giant.
The grooming requirements for the Scottish Deerhound are not excessive, and these dogs require brushing around twice a week. Owners should also trim hair from the ears and the pads of the feet. The Scottish Deerhound is a medium shedder and may therefore not be best suited to those with severe allergies.
It is believed that the Scottish Deerhound has been in existence for centuries. In fact, they have been around for so long that it is unclear as to whether they are descended from the Irish Wolfdog or from the Hounds of the Picts. In early years, dogs were named mostly for the function they performed, which is where names like Scottish Deerhound and Irish Wolfdog came from. The Scottish Deerhound, therefore was a dog bred especially for deer hunting in . They had to be of a size that allowed them to successfully take down a buck. In addition, they had to be able to run faster than the deer they were hunting. The Scottish Deerhound was likely bred from Greyhound like ancestors. However, the soft silky hair of the Greyhound would have been unsuitable for the harsh weather of the Scottish highlands. So, the dogs were likely bred to have a wirier and more durable coat as the years went on.
It is certain that breeds identified solely for the purposes of hunting deer were in existence in the 16th and 17th century. Many years ago, it was considered very prestigious to own such a dog. At one point, the Scottish Deerhound was considered the "royal dog of", and no one below the rank of an earl was allowed to own one. The breed was held by so few people at one time that it was threatened to become extinct. During the late 1700's the breed found in extremely low numbers. By 1825, breeders had taken on the task of restoring the deerhound's numbers and the breed rebounded.
The methods of deer hunting that the Scottish Deerhounds were trained for were called coursing and stalking. In deer coursing, one or two deerhounds would be brought by the hunter as close to the deer as possible and then slipped out to run the deer down. In deer stalking, the deer was first shot, and then the deer hound was sent out to take the deer down in the event that the shot did not totally take the deer down. Scottish Deerhounds and other deerhounds were trained to do their hunting very quickly. When coursing a deer, the Deerhound can typically take down the deer in well under four minutes. For this reason, the Deerhound must be an extremely fast runner.
The Scottish Deerhound is a calm and gentle dog, but there are some special training considerations that you must understand with them.
First of all, they can be stubborn and slow to obey. They are loving dogs, but are less concerned with pleasing their masters than many other breeds. For this reason, they must be trained early and consistently. They should be crate trained for housebreaking, as they can be a bit slow to house train. Do not allow you Scottish Deerhound to roam the house unsupervised until he is completely housetrained. Keep him in his crate unless you are actively engaged with him and give him plenty of opportunity to go to the bathroom in the appropriate spot. It typically takes 4-6 months to fully house train a Scottish Deerhound.
Scottish Deerhounds can be sensitive. They do not function well in households that are very stressful and noisy. They need to live in a very happy and calm household They also do not handle a change in schedule well; so this is not the dog for the frequent traveler.
The Scottish Deerhound requires socialization. They can be somewhat timid and standoffish with strangers. Early and consistent socialization will help them feel more comfortable around all types of people. This is particularly important if your family entertains regularly and there are often new people in your home.
It is highly recommended that your Scottish Deerhound be enrolled in agility training or lure coursing. Lure coursing allows the dog to chase a mechanized lure around a track or across an open field. These types of activities help keep your Scottish Deerhound healthy and allow him the running opportunity he needs.
It's important to understand that these dogs have an innate desire to chase and hunt. They will, therefore, consider any small outdoor animal to be game. If your dog is left alone off leash, he will chase the neighbor's cat and all squirrels and chipmunks he comes across. This tendency is extremely difficult to break. It's best to keep your Scottish Deerhound confined outdoors if he is apt to come across other creatures he might see as a fair chase.
The life expectancy of the Scottish Deerhound is around 8-11 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes heart problems, bloat, OCD, bone cancer, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. The parents of the Scottish Deerhound puppy should have OFA certificates.