Scottish Deerhound

  • Overview

    This large dog is the strong, sensitive type. He is quiet but alert and loyal to his family. Scottish Deerhounds should never be aggressive or overly timid. Scottish Deerhounds are dignified dogs who behave chivalrously toward friends and strangers. They enjoy running fast in large spaces and spending time sprawled out with their family indoors.

  • Personality

    These dogs are peaceful in their daily lives .They can be extremely gentle and easy going with strangers and children, despite their intimidating size. They are generally quite friendly and polite. Scottish Deerhounds are very fast runners and courageous hunters. Their hunting instinct is strong, and they will question the presence of smaller pets by treating them like prey, so get them used to socializing with smaller dogs and animals to prevent tragedy. Even though they love to run in wide open spaces with plenty of room for them to reach top speeds, they also have a tendency to be lazy and enjoy loafing around with their families on the couch. They might need some encouragement to exercise and play outdoors, but once they do, they will enthusiastically play.

    They are sometimes hesitant to obey commands, so very thorough, consistent training works best with them. Scottish Deerhounds can be difficult to housebreak. Once trained, they are naturally well-behaved and loyal to their family.

  • Coat Care

    The Deerhound's coat is about 3-4 inches long with short fringes behind the legs. The coat should be harsh or crisp to the touch with a ragged appearance. Deerhounds have bushy eyebrows and beards on their faces, which gives them a friendly expression. Their coat comes in shades of gray including light gray, sandy fawn, brindle and most preferably, dark blue gray.

Scottish Deerhound
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The coarse coat needs combing with a sturdy metal comb. Deerhounds appreciate being brushed or combed several times a week, because their coat has a tendency to become sloppy.

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With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but wire-coated dogs can be done with greater frequency, often within a four-to-six week range. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. The coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.

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Hair Clipping

Your Deerhound will occasionally appreciate some hand-stripping around his face and ears to help his coat stay clean and grow properly. You can also trim up scraggily hairs around the Deerhound's body.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Wire coated dogs have sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. West Highland Terriers and other small terriers with white coats are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.