Scottish Deerhound (Hound Group)
Scottish Deerhounds are one of the friendliest members of the Hound Group, both towards strangers and other dogs. They are amiable with just about any house pet. These dogs are the perfect addition to any family looking for a hound that makes a loving companion, is excellent around children, and well-mannered inside the house. Scottish Deerhounds are somewhat mellow in nature but once outside will chase anything that moves.
A Brief History Of The Scottish Deerhound
With Scotland being the area of origin of the Scottish Deerhound breed, this dog was a respected deer hunter as early as the 16th century. Researchers estimate that it is an ancient breed, one with deep roots tied to the Greyhound.
Owned exclusively by the nobility during this period, the exact bloodline of how the breed came to be is still up for debate. At one point, during the Age of Chivalry, no person that was below the rank of an Earl could own a Deerhound. They were used to hunt stag but eventually the stag population declined and so did the usefulness of the Deerhound dog.
During the 1700s and into the 1800s, the breed was all but extinct due to the invention of guns and rifles, which had become the primary hunting tools among deer hunters. The mid 1800s proved to be a rebirth in popularity of the breed when a concerted effort was made to bring the Deerhound back. The project worked and the first Deerhound club was created in England during the 1860s. Today the breed still remains low in numbers but always a classic.
Upkeep Requirements For The Scottish Deerhound
Like all members of the Hound Group, the Scottish Deerhound must have plenty of daily exercise to stay fit and keep up with their high energy levels. Several long walks on the leash and a few runs outside in a large field would be ideal. These dogs especially love to chase small animals so be prepared to have your Deerhound trained to stop when called.
This breed has moderate tolerance to hot temperatures but more so with cool weather. They can live outdoors if need be but like all loving canine family members it is best to have your Scottish Deerhound inside at night, sleeping with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements call for a thorough brushing about two times weekly with the occasional scissoring to keep the dog’s straggling hair neat.
Health Concerns The average lifespan of the Scottish Deerhound is between seven and nine years. Major Health Concerns that run common in the breed include osteosarcoma, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. Minor health problems include allergies and cystinuria. Rarely seen is neck pain and hypothyroidism. Veterinarians suggest that Scottish Deerhounds get specifically tested for potential cystinuria and cardiac problems.