Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound At-a-Glance

The history of Scottish Deerhounds goes all the way back to the 16th century. As you may have guessed from the name, they originated in Scotland and were bred for hunting deer. Known as the “Royal Dog of Scotland”, they were once exclusive to Scottish nobility and were prized for their hunting ability and dignified appearance.

Today, they are best known as friendly and beloved companions, even though their impressive hunting instincts remain. They are an excellent example of yet another of our “gentle giants”.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 85-110
Female: 75-95
Height (inches)
Male: 30-32
Female: 28-30
an (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

Neutral Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Likes to Play
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Along
  • Good General Health
  • High Intelligence

General Overview

As is true of over 90% of the 53 large breed dogs we rate here at Large Breed Dog World, the Scottish Deerhound is an outstanding family dog. They are affectionate, loyal, and are particularly known for their laid-back temperaments. These regal dogs are devoted to their family members and make excellent companions.

Their gentle nature also means they are generally very good with children and are quite affectionate with the little ones. However, these are big dogs and might not appreciate rough play or tail-pulling as much as the other gentle breeds.

As with all large breeds, supervision is necessary when Deerhounds and children play together so that their large size doesn’t result in unintentional accidents.

Scottish Deerhounds generally fare pretty well with strangers. They are somewhat cautious at first, and may even growl a little to show they’re unsure of that person. But Deerhounds are not aggressive and are unlikely to attack. They may not always be warm and welcoming, but they will usually be polite to those they don’t know.

With their low level of aggressiveness and non-confrontational demeanor, they are not known as a highly protective breed. While they might step up to protect their family if they sense immediate and urgent danger, they are not a good choice if home protection is high on your list of desired characteristics.

Their calm and laid-back manner also means they don’t bark much, another reason why they aren’t excellent watchdogs.

With other dogs, they can be somewhat restrained and may not rush to meet or play with them. However, they are typically well-behaved and non-aggressive towards dogs they don’t know and can easily live peacefully in a multi-dog household.

On the maintenance front, Scottish Deerhounds aren’t much trouble. They shed moderately, but their short hair is much less messy than other breeds. And being very light droolers, you won’t have to clean up much slobber around the house.

However, as is true with almost all of the large breeds, their affection for and love of their family means they suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods.

If you live in an apartment or a house with a small yard, think twice before getting a Scottish Deerhound. These are big, tall dogs that need room to stretch and run around and do not do well when confined to smaller spaces.

Even though their energy level is moderate, their hunting background means they want to run, not lay around the apartment on a couch. They need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise and play per day.

If you’re a novice dog owner, at first glance the Scottish Deerhound may seem like a good choice. After all, these are affectionate dogs with a very laid-back personality.

That said, they can be stubborn and independent at times, which makes training a challenge for those new to dog ownership. This, along with their size and exercise requirements, means you should do research and prepare well before welcoming a Scottish Deerhound into your home.

If you do, you’ll likely find them to be a great companion and addition to your family.

When talking about health, Scottish Deerhounds are prone to the issues common to most large breeds. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, and heart conditions.

A couple of health concerns that are more common in Deerhounds than other large breeds are cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart muscle and can lead to heart failure, and Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Regular veterinary visits will help with early detection and treatment.

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