10 Things You Didn’t Know about the Scottish Deerhound

There is at least one reason why this breed of dog almost went into extinction, a reason that you will find in this list of things you didn’t know about the Scottish Deerhound. Many people have not even heard of the breed, but it can be said with authority that it is not one of the new designer dog breeds. Read on further to discover some wonderful things about this type of dog and why you might consider them to be an addition to your family.

1. The breed’s heritage can be traced all the way back to the Third century.

One very interesting fact about this dog is that it has changed very little over the past 300 years. Many breeds have been interbred to achieve some type of new genetic strain that would minimize some of the less desirable characteristics, but with the Scottish Deerhound this apparently has not been necessary.

2. This dog is not for people who feed their dog table scraps.

We know owners should never feed their dog table scraps, but the reference here is to the scraps part. The average Scottish Deerhound fits into the large size of breeds, weighing in at between 85 and 100 pounds. Table scraps are simply a doggie treat, and people who can’t afford to keep their stomachs full will find an unruly pet on their hands.

3. They almost became extinct because their owners had to have royal blood.

Instead of the dog having royal blood, no one under the title of Earl could rightfully own a Scottish Deerhound. That meant that the few of nobility ranking would have to responsibly breed the dog in order to ensure its survival, something that went overlooked for a long period of time. It wasn’t until the 1800’s that an actual breeding program was started and gave the breed a fighting chance.

4. Potential owners need to be sure to have a large yard or property for their new friend to roam on.

The dog’s history has been one of hunter, and at 100 pounds it will need to have plenty of room to stretch out on. Forget about cooping it up in even a large apartment – it was bred for the outdoors. That means owners will have to be as active as they are.

5. They are not good watchdogs.

This is something that requires a bit of an explanation. Watchdogs, regardless of their size, tend to be noisy creatures, barking at strange sounds or noises and alerting us that something is afoot. While a potential intruder may have a heart attack at meeting one of these in the dark, they likely won’t be making any noise unless absolutely necessary. For an owner, this can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on your purpose. But if it is a noisemaker you are looking for, pass this breed up and move on.

6. The size of the yard is not the only outdoor consideration.

The recommended fence size (yes, a fence is highly recommended) for your yard is no less than 6 feet. This means that the Scottish Deerhound can easily jump over a 6 foot fence, as it normally stands almost 3 feet at the shoulder. If you are 6 feet tall its shoulder will be near your waist when it stands next to you.

7. Their coat is low maintenance.

This is an ideal quality for a dog whose total body area can be considerable when thinking about brushing and grooming. A simple daily brushing should do the job, and even if you miss a day or two you can get things straightened out fairly quickly. Literally. Don’t be fooled by the wiry coat because it is only there to intimidate the groomers.

8. They are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Unlike a German Shepherd, this breed is slow to learn, which makes it difficult for owners of Scottish Deerhound puppies since the puppies tend to be very active. The result is a litter of puppies who are running around and difficult to train. Remember that the Deerhound was used for hunting and killing deer, a task that doesn’t require much intelligence or adaptability.

9. They love to go on car rides.

If you have a car and want to bring your Scottish Deerhound along, be sure to have an SUV or other substantial vehicle. The breed is very affectionate, so much so they like to go everywhere you go in the car. However, it is not recommended you take them grocery shopping with you and leave them in the car alone with the groceries. They are more likely to try them out than to guard them.

10. The most significant downside is a specific health condition.

Gastric torsion is a stomach ailment that often accompanies bloating. Learn about the condition and its warning signs because the condition requires immediate medical attention. To be direct, it can kill them. One way to significantly reduce the possibility of gastric torsion is to feed them 2 or 3 small meals a day instead of letting them have at it with a big bowl of food. After they eat, slow things down for an hour or so and let their food digest.


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