Online club entry service now available! See News section for details.

I Accept

United Kennel Club (UKC) is an international dog registry celebrating bonds, rewarding ability, and preserving the value of a pedigree. We use cookies to capture information such as IP addresses and tailor the website to our clients' needs. We also use this information to target and measure promotional material. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Skip to main content
Facebook Instagram Subscribe to E-news YouTube

Scottish Deerhound

Sighthound & Pariah Dog Group

The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Once known as the "Royal Dog of Scotland,” the Scottish Deerhound was permitted to be owned only by those people holding the rank of Earl or above. The breed was highly regarded for its courage and tenacity as a stag hunter and its loyalty to the clan chieftain and his kin.

The Scottish Deerhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1949.

General Appearance

The Scottish Deerhound possesses the general body formation that is found in the Greyhound, though they are larger in size, heavier in bone and rough coated. Their build suggests the combination of speed, power and endurance necessary to bring down a stag, but their general bearing is one of gentle dignity.


The breed is obedient, friendly and docile. They are willing and easy to train. Scottish Deerhounds should never be suspicious, aggressive or nervous.



The long head is broadest at the ears, and narrows slightly to the eyes. The flat skull has a very slight rise over the eyes, but nothing approaching a stop.


The pointed muzzle tapers towards the nose. A black muzzle is preferred in lighter-colored dogs. The lips are level.


A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite.


The eyes are dark brown or hazel in color. The moderately full eye has a soft look when the dog is in repose and a keen, faraway look when the dog is aroused. Eyelid rims are black.

Serious Fault: Very light-colored eyes.


The slightly aquiline nose is black.


The ears are set on high. The smaller the ear, the better. When the dog is in repose, the ears are folded back like a Greyhound’s. When the dog is excited, the ears are raised above the head and, in some cases, may be semi-erect. The coat on the ears is soft and glossy, like that of a mouse's coat. Sometimes there is a silky, silvery coat on the body and tip of the ear. The ears should be black or dark-colored on all Deerhounds, regardless of coat color.

Very Serious Faults: Prick ears. Big thick ears hanging flat to the head. Ears heavily coated with long hair.


Although the long neck befits the Greyhound character of the Deerhound, it is not to be excessively long as the Deerhounds do not stoop to their work as the Greyhounds do. The mane may detract from the apparent length of the neck. The neck is as strong as is necessary to hold a stag. The nape, where the head is set on, is very prominent. The throat is clean and prominent.


The shoulders are well-sloped, with the blades well back, with not too much distance between them.


The forelegs are straight and broad with flattened bone.

Very Serious Fault: Weak pasterns.
Serious Faults: Loaded shoulders. Straight shoulders.


The chest is deep rather than broad, but is not too narrow or slab-sided. Great lung power is indicated by a good chest girth. The loin is well arched and the croup is broad, powerful and drooping to the tail. A flat topline is undesirable.


The hips are set wide apart.


There is great length from the hip to the hock. The stifles are well bent. The bone is broad and flat.

Very Serious Faults: A narrow rear, which indicates a lack of power. Cowhocks. Weak pasterns. Straight stifles.


Compact and well knuckled, with strong nails.


The long, tapering tail reaches nearly to the ground. When the dog is still, the tail is dropped perfectly down or curved. When the dog is in motion or excited, the tail is curved, but is never lifted over the line of the back.

Very Serious Fault: Curl or ring tail.


The ideal hair coat is one that is thick, close lying, ragged, and harsh or crisp to the touch. The hair on the body, neck and quarters is harsh, wiry and approximately 3 to 4 inches in length. The hair on the breast and belly is much softer. The hair on the skull is moderately long and softer than the rest of the coat. There is a good mustache of rather silky hair and a fair beard. There is a slight, but not excessive (as in a Collie), fringe on the insides of the forelegs and hind legs. The tail is well covered with thick, wiry hair on the inside. It is longer on the underside and a slight fringe toward the end is acceptable.

Very Serious Fault: Woolly coat.


Dark blue-grey, darker and lighter greys or brindles and yellows, sandy-red or red fawns with black points. A white chest, white toes and a slight white tip to stern are permissible but the less white the better, since it is a self-coloured dog.

Disqualifications: A white blaze on the head, or a white collar.

Height & Weight

Minimum desirable height for males is 30 inches. For females, it is 28 inches. Approximate weight is 100 pounds for males, 80 pounds for females.


(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
A white blaze on the head.
A white collar.

UKC Breed Standards: Scottish Deerhound

Looking for a Dog?

Find a dog that will fit your family.

Note: The breeders on this list are not endorsed by UKC.

Official UKC Breed Standard

Revised May 1, 2008

©Copyright 1992, United Kennel Club