by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 3, 2009)
Truly a dog of the nobility, for years possessed by no one of less rank than an earl, the calm demeanor and characteristic faraway expression of the Deerhound seems to recall those olden, golden days. Extremely rugged in appearance, yet remarkably graceful, the dog's stately carriage denotes aristocracy in every line.
Early writings on the breed are somewhat confusing, as the reader is often unable to determine whether the passage refers to the Deerhound or to the Irish Wolfhound. Many names were used to describe the breed, principal of which are Rough Highland Greyhound, Highland Greyhound, Wolfdog and Staghound. The breed is known to have existed in Scotland and elsewhere before A.D. 1526. Both Rough and Smooth Greyhounds are mentioned in early writings."
The Deerhound has always been held in high value. His worth in the chase of the large Scottish deer was long established. In addition he was a splendid guard and companion for the Highland Chieftains, and while he is essentially a hunting dog, he has a well-grounded love of human companionship. At one time he was held in such high esteem that a nobleman condemned to die could buy his freedom with a leash of these hounds. He has fine powers of scent and is a good tracker. In disposition, he is friendly, tractable and easily trained, possessing devotion and loyalty to his master.
The dark blue-grey color is most preferred, with other colors coming in from the darker and lighter greys or brindles. Still the darkest is generally preferred. The coat is usually 3 or 4 inches long with somewhat of a mixture of a silky coat and a woolly coat. In the United States the coat tends to be that of a mixed coat.
The male Scottish Deerhound weighs from 85 to 110 pounds the height of males is thirty to thirty-two inches. The female weighs from 75 to 91 pounds with a height from twenty-eight inches upwards.
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