Dog Health & More
The original purpose of Scottish Deerhound dog breed was to hunt and bring down the Scottish roe deer, a magnificent beast twice or more their size. Today, if the Scottish Deerhound were writing a personals ad, he'd say that he enjoys long walks, opportunities to run, regular meals, and a nice sofa to nap on.
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Affectionately known as the "Royal Dog of Scotland," it is not difficult to imagine how this breed, with its athletic, well-muscled build, came by the title. The Scottish Deerhound has a romantic past, a noble bearing, and a loving nature, so much so that Sir Walter Scott — himself the owner of deerhound named Maida — described the breed as "the most perfect creature of Heaven."
What is the allure of this large dog, with his wiry coat and greyhound-type build? Much of it can't be answered in words but must be witnessed firsthand. The Scottish Deerhound is affectionate toward everyone — family, friends, and strangers alike. He loves children and usually does well with other dogs, although the larger the better. With his long legs, he enjoys a nice jog with a human companion, but afterward is happy to laze around on the sofa and snooze in a sunny spot.
This gentle dog has an elegant and polite air but is never aloof. While he's undoubtedly loyal and courageous, he doesn't make the best watchdog. His size might be intimidating to someone who doesn't know him, but he's too loving and friendly to pose any threat, and it rarely occurs to him to bark when someone approaches his home. He's highly active as a puppy, but by the time he's 3 to 5 years old he morphs into a couch potato. Nonetheless, he still requires long walks daily to maintain his tall, gangly body.
The Scottish Deerhound is kind enough for people who are inexperienced with dogs, but even a novice should understand that he's not the easiest breed to train. Deerhounds are lazy and approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude. Although they have a reputation for not doing well in obedience or agility competitions, they can succeed in these arenas if their trainers are willing to put in hard work and consistent training. Scottish Deerhounds may also be slower than other breeds when it comes to housetraining, but the same patience and consistency that gives you a well-trained dog will be an asset with this step in training.
Scottish Deerhounds are not recommended for apartment living despite their calm indoor nature. They do best when they have a large yard to run in, and the yard should be fenced to prevent them from chasing "prey" into the street. Underground electronic fencing should not be used with this breed; no shock will stop them once they go into chase mode. They're best suited to homes without cats or other small pets that may trigger their prey drive.
If you can meet the special needs of a giant breed built for speed, the Scottish Deerhound is a devoted companion who will fill your life with all the love his large and dignified heart can give.