The Scottish Deerhound.

The Scottish deerhound is a fine and impressive looking dog. Not just endowed with good looks, however, these lovely hounds also make lovely family pets. Read our Holidays4Dogs article to find out more about these striking dogs.

These impressive dogs originated in Scotland where they were used to hunt deer on large estates. They are not terribly common as pets in the UK, but there are several dedicated breeders around. The numbers of entries to shows in the UK are reasonably healthy.

Two majestic Scottish deerhounds appeared in the film ‘Out of Africa‘ which aired on the big screen in 1985. The dogs belonged to breeders and enthusiasts Celia and Edward Arnold, from the United States. During their time breeding and showing these hounds, they made up twenty-five champions.

As a large breed of dog the Scottish deerhound might put many prospective owners off. However, despite their history of hunting dogs, they are a fairly undemanding breed and can make lovely family companions.


The Scottish deerhound is a gentle and calm breed of dog. Much like other sight hounds, such as greyhounds, they enjoy short bursts of activity after which, they are happy to curl up on the best couch in the house!

However, like many other breeds in the hound group, they can be prone to chasing anything that moves. As a result, deerhounds need safe open spaces to exercise, well away from temptation such as wildlife, or livestock.

They can get on with smaller household pets, as long as introductions are carefully arranged, ideally when the deerhound is a youngster.

Scottish deerhounds are generally regarded as sweet-natured dogs, usually being very polite with people and other dogs.

They rarely bark and are not known for their guarding abilities. They are more likely to remain snoozing, whenever anyone knocks on the door.

Some people may describe them as rather aloof. They are certainly nothing like a Labrador, or a collie, for example, who will crave your attention a lot of the time.


Unfortunately, there are few health issues in the breed – the main one being a particularly aggressive type of bone cancer.

They are also prone to inherited liver and eye diseases. Therefore, it is important to purchase a puppy from health tested parents.


The Scottish deerhound is an undemanding fellow, in the main. Aiming to please isn’t really at the top of their agenda.

That said, they are also loving, sensitive dogs. Willing to respond – just perhaps in their own time.