Deerhound FCI Standard
The Deerhound is a truly ancient breed, which main quarry changed several times throughout its history. Nevertheless it’s almost certain that the breed was bred to hunt the magnificent stags of the Scottish Highlands since the XVI century. The strong probability holds that its immediate forebear was the Greyhound though the Scottish Deerhound differs from it with a rougher coat, which is particularly useful in harsh climate of Scotland.
The elegant Deerhound was of a great value for its outstanding hunting skills and reserved dignity. Actually it can be described as a royal dog since everyone who ranks below earl was prohibited to own one. This ban can also be explained by such an obvious fact that common people couldn’t afford to feed such a giant dog. Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott were among the most renowned fanciers of this dog. Due to the scarce number the Deerhounds has been on the brink of extinction multiple times and nearly died out when the Scottish clan system collapsed after the unsuccessful invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie. By 1769 the number of Deerhounds fell dramatically. This breed got it second chance in the 20s of the XIX century thanks to Archibald and Duncan McNeill. At the same time it arrived to America and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognised it in 1886. This dog was once again threatened by full extinction during World War I when many Scottish and English estates were levelled to the ground.
This tenacious dog did survive but it remains exceedingly rare outside its homeland. A few avid hunters still hunt with one or several Deerhounds. There are two ways of deer hunting that this breed was trained for. In deer coursing, the hunter with his Deerhound should steal up as close to the quarry as possible and then dogs are released to pursue and put it down. In deer stalking, the wounded stag should be run down and killed by one or two dogs. The breed is impressively swift in its pursue so it’s able to catch up with the deer in well under four minutes. Moreover along with its excellent sight, it also possesses exceptionally good nose. The Scottish Deerhound also has a notable potential of becoming a wonderful family pet, even-tempered and affectionate.
The Deerhound expresses its friendly nature with unfamiliar people. Some specimens can become overly shy in the presence of strange people but it’s rather an exception than a rule. This dog may be peacefully taking a nap when you door bell is ringing so it won’t become a reasonable watchdog. It also wouldn’t be wise to make it a guard dog since it will more likely warmly greet the intruder than show any signs of aggression.
The Deerhound was occasionally used for pack hunting so it’s quite accepting of other canines. This breed would like to share its life with one or more dogs preferably of the same size. It has really strong hunting drive so almost every animal in its vicinity will be under the threat of a quick death. A home pet (including a home cat) and the dog will live in harmony if they have been brought up together. It’s worth to consider that a running animal will induce in the Deerhound a powerful urge to chase even if it treats it respectfully indoors.
• gastric torsion;
• portosystemic shunt;
• inhalant allergies.
Bathe your dog just a few times a year and only when it’s absolutely necessary. The breed sheds moderately and more frequent brushing during shedding periods will help to reduce the amount of hair in your house.
The rough-housing is by no means acceptable in a work with the Scottish Deerhound since offended and thus uncontrollable animal of its size can become a real problem.
The Deerhound should always be kept on a leash because of its tendency to chase everything that moves. It would be optimal if you have a big, safely enclosed yard where the dog will be able to run to its heart content.