All About the Breed Scottish Deerhound

Have you recently fallen for the Scottish Deerhound or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

Also known simply as the Deerhound, the Scottish Deerhound is a friendly and gentle breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Scottish Deerhound can be traced back to 16th century Scotland, where the breed was owned exclusively be nobles and royalty.

Throughout its history, the Scottish Deerhound has been most commonly kept as a herding and companion breed. The nobles and royalty whom owned the breed actually threatened complete extinction of the dogs, due to their desire for no one of lower rank to be allowed to own or breed the Scottish Deerhound. Credited for saving the breed are enthusiasts named Archibald and Duncan McNeill, who worked endlessly to restore the Scottish Deerhound to the stable numbers it remains at currently.

In 1886, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Today, while the Scottish Deerhound has attained an underground popularity as a companion dog, the breed remains rather rare world wide.

Personality Traits

Best known for its friendly and outgoing nature, the Scottish Deerhound is a sweet tempered and gentle dog. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trainable. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable human relationships and enjoy time spent outdoors and playing games such as fetch. As a pet, the Scottish Deerhound is loyal, obedient, loving, and affectionate.


Due to its need for human relationships and intelligent, the Scottish Deerhound generally responds well to basic training and commands. These bright dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Scottish Deerhound. This breed can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and responds best to a stern yet gentle approach and positive reinforcement.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Scottish Deerhound, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These bright dogs are easily trainable and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Scottish Deerhound gets along well with children and other pets, known for its gentle and protective approach to small children. This breed is loyal, obedient, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Scottish Deerhound. This athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play, especially when young. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A Scottish Deerhound not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Scottish Deerhound has a strong instinct to herd and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed is very quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Scottish Deerhound must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

As previously mentioned, the Scottish Deerhound remains rather rare world wide and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Scottish Deerhound is generally known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: cardiomyopathy - deterioration of the function of the heart muscle, likeliness to develop bone cancer, sensitivity to anesthesia, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Scottish Deerhound? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.