The Scottish Deerhound is a lean, tall sighthound that sports a shaggy coat and a distinctive beard, mustache and mane. The neck is long, strong and graceful. The head is broadest at the ears, narrowing slightly to the eyes, and the muzzle tapes slightly toward the nose. The nose should be black, but a blue nose on blue dogs is permissible. Thee hair on the head should be slightly long and softer than the rest of the coat. Light dogs should have a dark muzzle. The eyes are either chestnut or hazel in color. The ears are set high atop the head and are folded back, like a Greyhound. The crisp coat is 3 to 4 inches long and and comes in shades of gray, blue-gray, brindle or fawn. The tail of the Deerhound is long and may be straight or slightly curved.
Size and Weight
Male Scottish Deerhounds should ideally stand from 30 to 32 inches at the shoulder and females should stand 28 inches or taller. Males are heavier, tipping the scales from 85 to 110 pounds. Females generally weigh from 75 to 95 pounds.
Coat and Color
The Scottish Deerhound sports a harsh, wiry coat that is crisp to the touch and designed to protect the dog against the hash terrain of the Scottish Highlands. The hair on the head, chest and belly is much softer and there is fringe on the back of the legs. The hair is typically 3 to 4 inches in length.
Deerhounds are usually a dark blue-gray color, but may also come in dark gray, light gray, brindle, red fawn, sandy red or yellow, though these colors are very rare. Dark Deerhounds may have white on the chest or toes, which is permissible, but too much can lead to bad marks in the show ring.
A Scottish Deerhound will need to be brushed two to three times per week to remove dead hair, as this breed sheds year round. After brushing, a comb should be run over the coat to ensure all tangles have been removed, and a comb should be used on the face. Show dogs will require plucking of any light colored hair from the ears, as they should always be black. Regular brushing and combing ensures that the Scottish Deerhound will only need bathing a few times per year.
Bathing will temporarily alter the texture of the coat, making it feel softer than normal. In less than a week, the wiry texture will return on its own, but a Scottish Deerhound should not be bathed too close to a show day.
Check the Deerhound's ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and prevent gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally.