Meet the breed: Scottish Deerhound

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle is the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you are looking for a kind and gentle breed to add to your family, find out everything you need to know about the Scottish Deerhound.

  • Quiet
  • Graceful
  • Friendly
  • Fast
  • Wise


Just like the name suggests, the Scottish Deerhound originated from Scotland and was bred to hunt deer. A descendant of the Greyhound and kept only by high-class individuals in the 16th century, the breed nearly became extinct due to excessive hoarding. In the 1800s it was revived in England and shown in its first dog show. It almost became extinct again during World War I but managed to survive the era. And although there are still not many Scottish Deerhounds around today, the dog is said to stay true to its class and breed.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Hound
  • UKC group: Sighthound
  • Average lifespan: 9-11 years
  • Average size: 75-110 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Wiry and harsh on the body, soft and smooth on the belly
  • Coloration: Brindle and black, blue, blue gray, gray
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Typical body of a Greyhound, smaller face with longer nose; high-set and folded ears; dark, brown or hazel eyes; long legs and low swooping tail
  • Possible alterations: N/A

Is this breed right for you?

A very friendly and pleasing breed, the Scottish Deerhound is a wonderful family dog and companion. Docile and best kept as an inside dog with its own bed, it does well inside of an apartment but will need some space to stretch out and daily exercise. A sensitive dog, it can be shy with strangers but does well with other pets in the home. A natural born hunter, it may chase after animals unknown to it. Requiring weekly grooming, the Scottish Deerhound is prone to calluses.

A dream day-in-the-life

Waking up to a run around the neighborhood, the Scottish Deerhound will then enjoy a nice breakfast with its family. A watchdog, it will keep a good eye on the home while you are away, although it would prefer to stay in your company. After an afternoon nap, it’ll run about the yard and chase after any four-legged visitors. In the evening, it’ll snuggle up at the foot of your bed on its very own pillow.

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