Deerhound

  • Deerhound in the UK
  • Deerhound Dogs
  • Deerhounds in Great Britain
  • Deerhounds
  • Deerhound in Great Britain
  • Deerhounds in the UK

Hound Group

Size:
Grooming:
Exercise Level:
Trainability:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Affectionate:
Protective:
Height: 71 - 81cm M | 71 - 81cm F
Weight: 34 - 49kg M | 34 - 49kg F
Life Expectancy: 8 - 11 Years

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The Deerhound is a large hound dog with origins in Scotland. It weighs 75 to 110 pounds and stands 71 to 76 centimetres at the withers. It is well-muscled and athletic looking but also graceful-looking. Its coat is thick, harsh and wiry that is at least 3 inches long. The Deerhound's harsh coat is meant to protect it from the unfriendly elements through the rough terrain. The Deerhound was known as the Royal dog of Scotland because of its chivalrous, strong and dignified personality. As a family pet, it is very protective but also gentle, friendly and laid-back.


book icon History

The actual origins of the Deerhound are unclear, although records suggest that they existed around 1st century AD as they are depicted in a Roman pottery found in Argyll, Scotland. The pottery showcases a deer hunt using large rough hounds. It is obvious how the name Deerhound came to be as this dog breed was utilised to hunt red deer until the end of the 19th century.

Deerhounds were highly valued for their courage and dignity. They became known to be the Royal Dog of Scotland, not only for their qualities but also because only a nobleman can own and claim a Deerhound. The restrictions on ownership meant only a few Deerhounds were bred, which did not bode well for its survival.

It was in the late 1700s that Deerhounds were nearly brought to extinction when the clan system of the nobility collapsed after the battle of Culloden in 1745. This is also the period when the Deerhound was stripped off its status as a dog for nobility. There were attempts to revive the breed in the 1820s by Archibald and Duncan McNeil. The breed was brought to America and was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Today, the Deerhound is still a rare breed. With the advent of modern rifles and a preference for slower tracking dogs for hunting, the Deerhounds went out of employment. Nevertheless, the Deerhound is a good family pet due to its affinity with children.


comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Deerhound is a large, elegant-looking hound dog that weighs 75 to 110 pounds. It is known to be among the tallest sighthounds standing 71 to 76 centimetres at the withers. It has a large, long head that is broad especially at the ears. It has small ears that are dark, soft to touch and is folded back against the head. It has muzzles that taper toward the nose, nice level lips and strong haw with the perfect scissor bite. The Deerhound's eyes are dark, which can be hazel or dark brown in colour.

When it comes to the coat, Deerhounds sport a thick and long wiry coat that is harsh to the touch. Their coat is meant to protect them from the rough terrain in the Scotland Highlands. However, the texture and quality of their coat change depending on the climate of where they are raised. For instance, Deerhounds in America usually have a mix of silky and wiry coats. Coat colours range from dark blue-grey, dark grey, brindle, light grey, red, fawn, yellow, and sandy red.

Deerhounds shed throughout the year. Brushing with a wire slicker at least twice a week will suffice to remove dead hairs and maintain its natural oils. Baths are as needed to remove dust and the doggy odour. Other grooming requirement includes dental and nail care. Brush the Deerhound's teeth at least twice a week to prevent decay and gum disease. Nails must be trimmed to keep it in good condition. Deerhounds have floppy ears that are prone to infection, so make sure they are cleaned regularly.


bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

A typical Deerhound is quiet, dignified but boasts of a laid-back approach in life. In contrast to its large size, this dog breed is a gentle giant at heart. Deerhounds like nothing more than to be surrounded by its family and being loved. Their large size makes them a little clumsy around the house, especially around small children. They are not the best choice for families with no background in handling a large dog and have small children at home.

Deerhounds require adequate space for their large size, long strides and powerful gallops. They are ideal for people who live in the countryside and are able to dedicate time to its training and exercises. This dog breed is smart and is a people-pleaser, which means training will be easy. However, it is best to start its training and socialisation when it's young.

The Deerhound is aloof and polite to strangers. When it comes to other household pets, Deerhounds get along well with cats and other dogs but will not hesitate to chase any small furry creature that runs.


food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Deerhound is 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day. The amount of food to serve your dog will largely depend on its size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Like humans, each dog has different nutritional requirement. When in doubt about what to feed and how much to feed a Deerhound, consult with a veterinarian.

Typical calorie needs of adult Deerhound per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 1,810 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 2,040 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 2,265 calories daily

The Deerhound should be given high-quality food formulated for large and active dogs. This dog breed will need food that is high in protein but low in carbs. Feed your Deerhound a raw meaty bone diet and/or whole carcasses, minced chicken with bone, turkey necks and wings, lamb ribs, beef, and bison stripe.


stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

The average lifespan of Deerhounds is 8 to 9 years. They are generally healthy when properly cared for but predisposed to health problems. This includes Liver Shunt, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Cystinuria, Osteosarcoma, Gastric Torsion or Bloat, Hypothyroidism and some allergies. Consult a veterinarian, if you find any abnormalities in your Deerhound.

Deerhounds need to have adequate space to run and gallop, so a safe and enclosed area at home is ideal. They need at least two hours of exercise daily to keep them happy and healthy. The Deerhound is not the type of dog that will adapt easily to a life in a city, and it is definitely not ideal for city apartments.


pound icon Cost of Ownership

The Deerhound is an expensive dog costing no less than £1,000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Contributing to its high price is the fact that it is rare and only a few puppies are registered per year. This ultimately means you will need to be patient on a waitlist.

Other than the price to purchase a Deerhound puppy, there are a few things that will prove to be financial roadblocks if you're not prepared. Let's start with pet insurance. Pet insurance will cost you around £70 to £130 a month, depending on the level of coverage you avail. Then there's the veterinary expense. The cost for initial vaccinations, boosters, neutering (at the right time) and routine checks will quickly add up to £2,000 a year.

When it comes to food, buy high-quality dog food, which is around £60 to £70 a month for a large dog like the Deerhound. On average including the necessities such as dog supplies, you will be shelling out roughly around £140 to £210 a month.


Is a Deerhound Right for You?

  • The Deerhound is a large scenthound and is among the tallest.
  • It is dignified, friendly and gentle despite its size.
  • It sports a thick and long wiry coat that sheds throughout the year.
  • It's not the best choice for fist-time dog owners.
  • Deerhounds need a lot of space and will not do well to city living.

Are you sure the Deerhound is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

Do you feel like the Deerhound is a challenging breed? Find other dog breeds that match your lifestyle through our Pet Finder.

Disclaimer:
The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.
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