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Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound
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Origin / History The Scottish Deerhound is a breed that is actually a version of the Greyhound. The Greyhound has been existing in the British Isles for several centuries. In Scotland, the Greyhound developed into a distinctive dog and later on took on the name of Scottish Deerhound. Scottish Deerhounds were bred as hunting dogs during the Middle Ages. These dogs gained strength and size, and because of the harsh weather conditions in which these dogs lived, they also developed a rough protective coat. At one point, these dogs were so popular with the members of the Scottish nobility that the breed was hailed as the royal dog of Scotland. During that time, only Earls and those with higher rankings were allowed to own dogs of this breed.

The advent of gun hunting, the fall of the Scottish clan system, and the creation of fenced agriculture led to the decline in number of the Scottish Deerhound. The breed nearly became extinct. Fortunately, interest in these dogs was brought back during the 1800s. Two brothers, Duncan and Archibald McNeill, are credited with re-establishing the breed. Queen Victoria liked this breed, and it is said that Sir Walter Scott also owned a Scottish Deerhound. During the Second World War, many people had a hard time feeding these dogs, but some dedicated owners chose to save their dogs. Today, Scottish Deerhounds are used mainly as companion dogs, although they can also be used for racing, lure coursing, sighting, tracking, hunting, and agility games.

Appearance Scottish Deerhounds look like rough-coated Greyhounds. Scottish Deerhounds, however, are bigger-boned and are larger in size than Greyhounds. These dogs are tall and slim, with a small, round head. They have a long and narrow muzzle leading to a large black nose. The eyes of these dogs are small and round, and they have little ears that are set back on their head. Their teeth meet in a scissors bite. Scottish Deerhounds have a narrow neck, a sunken stomach, and broad shoulders. The long, narrow tail of these dogs has a curl near the tip. 

Colours The acceptable coat colours for this breed include different shades of gray, brindle, or fawn, with a tapering dark muzzle and dark ears. They can also have white markings on their feet, tail, and chest.

Temperament Scottish Deerhounds are gentle, quiet, and loving. These dogs are affectionate, and they get along excellently with children. They can get along well with other canines too, but they shouldn't be trusted with other pets because these dogs have a strong hunting instinct. These dogs are loyal, dignified, and courageous. They should not, however, be used as watchdogs or guard dogs because they tend to warm up to everyone.

Height and Weight The height of Scottish Deerhounds ranges from 28 to 32 inches, and their weight falls between 75 and 110 pounds.

Common Health Problems These dogs have a tendency to bloat. They should be fed 2 to 3 small meals each day rather than just one big meal. They should also avoid vigorous exercise right after they've eaten a large meal.

Living Conditions It's not advisable for these dogs to be kept inside apartments. These dogs tend to be relatively inactive when indoors, and they should have at least a large yard where they can get the exercise they need. 

Exercise Requirements These dogs should be given much exercise, but they should only be left off the leash when in a secure area, because they are very fast and they like to chase. These dogs make excellent jogging companions, and they should be taken out for a long, daily walk.

Training Requirements It's important for these dogs to have owners that can be consistent and firm pack leaders. Scottish Deerhounds should receive obedience training and proper socialization at an early age.

Life Expectancy The average life span of these dogs is only under 10 years.

Grooming The coat of these dogs needs much grooming. Unlike many breeds that only need brushing, Scottish Deerhounds need stripping and trimming as well.

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