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The Scottish Deerhound is tall and slim, appearing to be a rough-coated Greyhound, but larger and bigger boned. Closely related to the Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound was once known as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound and Highland Deerhound. The noble Scottish Deerhound is a giant breed who loves to run and equally loves spending time with his owner. Scottish Deerhound GCH Foxcliffe Hickory Wind made history in 2011 by becoming the first of her breed to win Best in Show at Westminster. The Deerhound has two great joys in life: running after things for great distances at enormous speed, and lying next to you on the sofa, head in lap, great dark eyes gazing into yours with equal parts love and laughter. Other names by which the Deerhound has been called include Highland Deerhound, Rough Greyhound, and Scotch Greyhound.
When you look at a Deerhound, you see a dog whose long head is broadest at the ears, with the muzzle tapering to the black nose, and adorned with a mustache of silky hair and a fair beard. Known even then as Deerhounds, used to pursue and bring down the great Highland stag, they were highly valued. It is after adolescence, when they are two or three years old, that Deerhounds become the quiet, dignified dogs they are always said to be. For a giant breed, Scottish Deerhounds are reasonably healthy, but they can suffer from certain health problems, including a higher incidence of some forms of cancer, heart disease, bone problems, hypothyroidism, and a liver condition called portosystemic shunt. Scottish Deerhounds suffer from a higher rate of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) compared with some other breeds.
Like the Greyhound, Scottish Deerhounds may have an abnormal response to certain anesthetic drugs, or to the stress of hospitalization.
Scottish Deerhounds can be plagued by bone problems, including panosteitis (a painful condition in puppies and growing dogs), hypertrophic osteodystrophy, and osteochondrosis.
Scottish Deerhounds (mostly males) can also suffer from cystinuria, a genetic kidney defect that leads to the formation of bladder stones. The Scottish Deerhound Club of America participates in the Canine Health Information Center, a health database.
The very best breeders will also have OFA certification of thyroid health and the results of at least one normal urine test for cystinuria, done by the University of Pennsylvania.


Careful breeders screen their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens, but sometimes Mother Nature has other ideas and a puppy develops one of these diseases despite good breeding practices. Look for more information about the Scottish Deerhound and start your search for a good breeder at the website of the Scottish Deerhound Club of America. Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Scottish Deerhound might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Scottish Deerhound. The great thing about breed rescue groups is that they tend to be very upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. Wherever you acquire your Scottish Deerhound, make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In Scotland it became a district breed in the 16th and 17th centuries and was given the name Scottish Deerhound, and the rough coat was bred in to adapt to the rough climate.
Deerhound puppies will take you on a wild ride before they reach a gentle and laidback adulthood. They remain alert throughout their lives, but only to what interests them, making them a poor choice for anyone in hope of a watchdog. Before individual Deerhounds can be issued a CHIC number, breeders must submit a heart evaluation that includes an echocardiogram from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and test results for blood diseases that occur in the breed. Keeping a Deerhound at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Scottish Deerhounds available on Petfinder across the country). Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed so that your entire community can be your eyes and ears.
They also often offer fostering opportunities so, with training, you could bring a Deerhound home with you to see what the experience is like. If they are taken for walks they can live without a yard, but they do best with a large, fenced yard.


Whatever you want from an Scottish Deerhound, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood. There may be no advance signs that the dog is forming cystine stones, and urinary blockage is a life-threatening veterinary emergency. And Scottish Deerhounds are more likely than many breeds to bloat, a condition in which the stomach distends with gas and can twist on itself (called gastric torsion), cutting off blood flow. Introduce your Deerhound to grooming early in life so that he learns to accept it willingly and patiently. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations. Very courageous and dignified, devoted and loyal, but it is not a watch or guard dog, for it just loves everyone.
But with the disappearance of large game and the destruction of the Scottish clan system after the failed invasion of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the population of Deerhounds dwindled to a dangerously low level by 1769.
That said, dogwalkers who specialize in taking dogs running or hiking rejoice when a busy person acquires a Deerhound. Nor should any Deerhound be bred without a comprehensive heart examination by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist and OFA certification in the previous year.
Watch for symptoms like restlessness and pacing, drooling, pale gums, lip licking, trying unsuccessfully to vomit, and signs of pain.
But new Deerhound owners need to realize that he can wreak considerable havoc as a puppy and adolescent, given his high spirits and great size, not to mention a desire for activity that seems as if it will never end.
In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
Never let your Deerhound develop a habit of jumping on people, no matter how cute it is when he's a puppy.



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