Originating from Scotland, the breed was once known by names as the Scotch Greyhound, the Rough Greyhound and the Highland Deerhound. They used to be recognized as the royal dog of Scotland. However, because of strict ownership rules and with the invention of guns that can be used for hunting, the breed dwindled in numbers to near extinction and was saved by a breeding program in the 1800s. The Scottish Deerhound is closely related to the Irish Wolfhound and bears close resemblance to the Greyhound but larger and more heavily boned. They weigh between 75 to 100 pounds and stand between 28 to 32 inches in height. Its head is flat and broad between the ears and the muzzle tapers to a point. It has dark eyes with black rims and ears that are high set and folded back. It has a long tail that is carried low and well covered with hair. Its coat is harsh and wiry but is softer on the head, chest and belly. Colours include shades of blue gray, gray, brindle and black, yellow and sandy red or sometimes with black ears and black muzzle.
The Scottish Deerhound is a versatile hound with talents like hunting, sighting, tracking, racing, agility and lure coursing. As companions they are gentle, affectionate and loyal. Their dignified and calm temperament has made them an early favorite amongst Scottish royalty. They do well with children and are extremely friendly, hence they do not make good watch dogs. They tend to be inactive when kept indoors so make sure they are sufficiently exercised.