The Deerhound is a very large breed of greyhound type known in Scotland for at least 500 years. It was previously referred to as the Scottish Wolfdog but when wolf population began to vanish, the Deerhound was redeveloped as a Red Deer hunter. This large breed closely resembles a rough-coated Greyhound but larger in size and well-boned. The average weight of a Deerhound is 35-50kgs depending on sex, with males on the heavier side. Male Deerhounds stand between 75-80cm at withers while females stand between 70-75cm at withers. This breed is one of the tallest sighthounds. It is an exceptional combination of speed, stamina and power that is able to pull down a stag at anytime.
It has a long head, broadest at the ears, tapering slightly to the eyes then on the muzzle up to the nose. It has a rather large and long muscular neck which helps the Deerhound when taking down prey. It has dark “rose” ears, a deep chest, well-arched loin, large body with long straight front legs, a drooping, broad and powerful hindquarters with long well-bent hind legs. The tail of the Deerhound is long, almost reaching to the ground, thick at the root then tapers to the end. It is carried dropped perfectly straight down or curved when the dog is moving. The coat is made of thick ragged, shaggy hair, harsh or crisp to the touch, with longer hairs on the neck forming a mane, forequarters, body, and hindquarters of about 8-10cms long, while the hairs on the head, under belly, and breast are much softer. Coat colours ranges from dark blue-grey, darker and lighter grey, brindle and yellow, sandy red or red fawn with black points
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The ancestors of the Deerhound existed way before the recorded history. Like many ancient breeds, the Deerhound’s exact origin is open for discussion. However, what is known is that they were used by the Gaels and Picts in hunting hoofed game as a part of their diet. Roman pottery found in Argyll that dates back to the 1st Century AD depicts deer hunting using large hounds with rough coats. Similar evidence can be found on Pictish stones in the Scottish Higland dating back to the 7th Century AD depicting a hunt using hounds that are similar in appearance to the Deerhound. Before the middle of the 18th century, greyhounds and deerhounds varied considerably in appearance, but by then, there were two distinct strains – the Highland and the Lowland. The Highland strain was taller and stronger with a dense coat than the Lowland. When the rulers of the Highland claimed exclusive ownership of the Deerhound during this period, the Deerhound population greatly declined.
Red deer coursing was popular for taking down the quarry until the 19th century when modern rifles were invented that paved the way for smaller hunting/tracking dogs. As the large Scottish estates were split into smaller estates and the deer population dwindled, so was the need for a fast-running greyhound. Eventually, breed fanciers like the brothers Archibald and Duncan McNeill began meticulous breeding efforts to revive the breed and kept the Deerhound as a show dog.
The Deerhound is friendly, gentle and is well known for its eagerness to please its master. It is naturally well-behaved and is a quiet animal. Consequently, it does not make a good watchdog and will never bark at someone including strangers but will greet anyone with a wagging tail. It is a true sighthound and will be eager to chase small animals like cats and other small dogs if given the chance.
Trainability is on the moderate side. A Deerhound can easily pick up new commands quickly, especially if positive reinforcement training technique is adapted. Praise and food rewards are good motivation for training this breed. However, different dogs have different level of trainability. Some Deerhounds are quite stubborn and can simply ignore commands. Like most other breeds, consistent training from a firm but gentle handler will go a long way in raising a well-balanced Deerhound. In the United States, Deerhounds compete in conformation and lure coursing. They also compete in obedience, dog agility, and flyball, although few Deerhounds excel in these fields meant for smaller dogs.
The harsh coat of the Deerhound requires minimal grooming. Brushing the coat twice or three times a week is advised in order to remove dead hair, as the Deerhound sheds whole year round. Combing should be done, going up to the skin to make sure that tangles are removed. Regular brushing and combing will keep the coat looking great and the skin healthy, as brushing and combing helps promote good blood circulation on the skin. Bathe the Deerhound only when necessary. The ears should also be regularly checked and cleaned when necessary, looking for signs of infection or wax build up. Use a cotton ball and an ear cleanser, making sure that the ears are dry after cleaning because moist ears are breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria. Brushing the teeth once a week helps remove plaque and tartar build up which makes the teeth and gums healthy. The nails should be trimmed occasionally. A good sign when to trim the nails is when you hear them ticking on the floor when the dog is moving.
The Deerhound is generally a healthy breed with a typical lifespan of 8 to 11 years. In the United Kingdom, the median age of the Deerhound is between 8.3 to 8.6 years. Among the health concerns that are known to affect the breed include cardiomyopathy, osteosarcoma, stomach or splene torsion, bloating, allergies, pseudoachondrodysplasia, cystinuria, hereditary factor VII deficiency, hypothyroidism, and pyometra.
The Deerhound is a large breed with a lot of stamina and endurance. It needs considerable exercise as a puppy and as an adult to become a well balanced adult and maintain its health and condition. It is an adaptable breed and can live in any home setting provided that it has access to regular exercise, whether it is a long walk or jog or a session of free running in a fenced yard or in any secured area. Access to nearby parks for lengthy runs and rigorous fetching sessions is even better. A Deerhound puppy has a tendency to display destructive behaviour if it is not given sufficient exercise. However, an adult Deerhound is content to spend most of its time snoozing on the floor or sleeping on the couch. It is a good choice for someone who live an active lifestyle.
The Deerhound is great and amiable with other dogs, although the same cannot be said with anything small that runs including cats and small canines. Although mildly stubborn, the Deerhound can get along with children but it is not a playmate type of dog that can play fetch with kids. It will do best in a home with older children who know how to interact and handle a dog similar to the Deerhound’s temperament. Its sheer size makes it unsuitable to live with small children as it can easily knock them down in a rough play session.