The Scottish Deerhound appears to be a rough-coated Greyhound. He is however, larger in size and bigger in bone. He is a tall and slim sighthound with a shaggy 3-4 inch long coat, beard, mustache and mane. This breed is a average shedder. The Deerhound was once a hound of British nobility in the middle ages. No one ranking below Earl was permitted to own one. Sir Walter Scott who owned the famous Deerhound Maida, called them “ The most perfect creature of heaven”.
The Scottish Deerhound is gentle and gentlemanly dog with elegant ways of polite affection. Quiet, loving, friendly and excellent with children. Very courageous and dignified, devoted and loyal, but they are neither watch or guard dogs, for they just love everyone. They need a firm, consistent, confident pack leader who knows how to display calm, but stern authority over the dog or they will be willful at times and slow to obey commands. Training should be approached without a heavy hand, as is the same with all sighthounds. Although friendly with other dogs, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets.
The Scottish Deerhound is prone to bloat, cardiomyopathy and osteosarcoma. It is wise to feed them 2 or 3 small meals a day rather than one big one. Feeding from an elevated dish is also helpful. Avoid vigorous exercise right after the dog has eaten a meal. As an owner of a Scottish Deerhound, it is imperative to find a Veterinarian that is familiar with the sighthound in the unlikely event that the dog would require anesthesia. Scottish Deerhounds as most of the sighthounds have virtually no body fat. Body weight based anesthesia, could result in death. Barring major medical emergencies, Deerhounds can be expected to live approximately 9-11 years of age.
Scottish Deerhounds are not recommended for apartment life, although mature Deerhounds can do well in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. This active breed needs a great deal of exercise, but should not be left off lead, except in a secure area because they are incredibly fast and like to chase.
It is unlikely to find a Scottish Deerhound as a rescue in a shelter. Responsible breeders will take a dog back regardless of the situation. It would be wise to visit dog shows or lure coursing events to see and ask questions about the Scottish Deerhound.
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