Scottish Deerhound vs Irish Wolfhound - Breed Comparison

Scottish Deerhound vs Irish WolfhoundScottish Deerhound is originated from United Kingdom but Irish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland. Both Scottish Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound are having almost same height. Both Scottish Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound are having almost same weight. Both Scottish Deerhound and Irish Wolfhound has almost same life span. Scottish Deerhound may have more litter size than Irish Wolfhound. Scottish Deerhound requires Low maintenance. But Irish Wolfhound requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Hound dog
Origin:
United Kingdom
Ireland
Height Male:
76 - 81 cm
29 - 32 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Height Female:
71 - 76 cm
27 - 30 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Weight Male:
39 - 50 kg
85 - 111 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Weight Female:
34 - 43 kg
74 - 95 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 9 Years
6 - 10 Years
Litter Size:
14 - 15
3 - 4
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Deerhound
None
Colors Available:
gray, brindle, red, Blue, fawn, yellow
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
Coat:
wiry
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Docile, Friendly, Gentle, Sweet
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Moderate
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

scottish deerhoundThe Scottish Deerhound is considered the Royal Dog of Scotland. It is a sighthound that is large and bred to hunt large Red Deer. They are similar in appearance to the Greyhound, but they are bigger and heavier. Closely related to the Irish Wolfhound, they were used in creating it. The Scottish Deerhound is an ancient breed that is now very rare. It can trace its lineage to the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Deerhound was a favorite of hunting nobility and could not be kept by any person or household that did not have at least the rank of earl. Despite this history the Scottish Deerhound was not considered separate from the Highland Greyhound and other staghounds until the 19th century. They were bred to stalk or “course” the red deer and were used extensively for this purpose until the beginning of the 20th century. At that time there was a need for smaller, slower deer tracking dogs.

At the start of the 20th century, the land for deer hunting had grown smaller and so had the deer. Also, the invention of the rifle made the fast Deerhounds who could cover large tracks of ground in minutes, no longer a necessity for successful hunting. As the clan systems fell and the nobility rose, the Deerhounds became the dog for nobility and landowners. There were a few non-nobilities who also kept them and hunted with them. As they were less needed for hunting a few households kept them as show dogs.

In the United States and Canada, both the Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound were used for hunting wolves and deer. In Australia, the Kangaroo Dog – a deerhound crossbreed, and Deerhounds were used to hunt wild boar, emu and kangaroos. The Deerhound is one of the oldest of the breeds that are Greyhound-like. The Deerhound is not as fast as the Greyhound if they are running on a smooth surface. Get them on a rough surface and the will out that Greyhound. They appear to be larger and rougher than they really are. This gives them an advantage over the lighter, smaller Greyhound.

The Deerhound was a contributor to development of the Irish Wolfhound toward the end of the 19th century.

irish wolfhoundIt is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed and that it was brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.

These dogs were bred as hunting dogs as well as guard dogs. There was a time when these huge canines were only allowed to be owned by the nobility. The breed died out somewhat, but Scotsman Captain George Augustus Graham made efforts to restore the breed’s numbers.

Captain Graham devoted his life to making sure the Irish Wolfhound’s numbers were built up, and the breeding program included Great Danes, Borzois, English Mastiffs and Scottish Deerhounds.

Description

scottish deerhound puppyThe Scottish Deerhound looks a lot like the Greyhound, except it is heavily boned and larger in size. The Deerhound is also different in several other ways. Instead of the Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound is more closely related to the Irish Wolfhound than the Deerhound. The Deerhound is a large, rough coated breed. It is a very tall breed; in fact, it is the tallest of all sighthounds.

The Deerhound has a long head with a flat skull and a muzzle that tapers at the end. They have dark eyes and a scissor bite with a tail that can be either curved or straight. The hair on their tails almost touches the ground. The rest of its coat is wiry and harsh with a beard, mustache and mane. The ears are soft and can be either held semi erect or folded against their head. Their coat is gray or grey-blue today but in the past, it might have been brindle, red fawn or yellow.

irish wolfhound puppyThe tallest of the sighthounds, the Irish Wolfhound looks like a large Greyhound, only he has a rough, wiry type of coat.

He is also gracefully built and known as a gentle giant. The double coat which can be fawn, red, white, grey, black or brindle is straight to wavy.

He stands at about 81 to 86cm and weighs roughly 48 to 54kg. This is one of the few dog breeds that you can’t really call social. He loves his own human family, and becomes unhappy and ‘down-in-the-dumps’ when separated from his family members for too long. He is a quiet dog who tends to be somewhat introverted and reserved, while being highly intelligent.

He will require being trained and socialized to make him obedient as he is an independent dog. He takes his role as family protector seriously and even though he is quiet, he is ready to take on anyone who threatens his property.

Temperament:

The Irish Wolfhound is a gentle, quiet, soft-natured, easy-going dog and even though it is such a large dog, it doesn’t throw it’s weight around but is calm and patient around the elderly and children in the home. It can tend to be aggressive with animals he isn’t familiar with.

He is an intelligent dog, but even so he may be quite resistant to training as he is strong-willed and determined to have his own way. These dogs need to be trained and socialized otherwise they just do their own thing.

Health Problems

scottish deerhound dogThe Scottish Deerhound does face some serious challenges on the health front. These include:

  • Cardiomyopathy – heart disease.
  • Osteosarcoma – Bone cancer.

• Cystinuria – recessive disorder that causes an inability for cystine to be filtered from the urine.

• Gastric Dilatation Volvulus – otherwise known as bloat and it can be life threatening if not treated quickly.

  • Hypothyroidism – easily treated with medication.
  • Neck pain – if no serious condition – medication can be taken.
  • Factor VII deficiency.
  • Stress is not handled well in this breed.

irish wolfhound dogOne wonders why breeders seem so bent on breeding such large dogs when they have health issues and they don't live particularly long. Not only do they cost a fortune to feed, but large dogs like this are more prone to illnesses and won’t live as long as small dog breeds. This big dog can live up to 10 years of age or so.

For starters, just because he is a deep chested dog, bloat or gastric torsion can be a threat. Other illnesses to look out for are dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

This is a disease of the heart muscle where the enlarged heart won’t function properly. The upper- and lower chambers of the heart are enlarged and the heart isn’t able to pump blood out properly. When the heart’s ventricle doesn’t pump enough blood into the lungs, fluid accumulates in the lungs and this ultimately leads to congestive heart failure.

Older dogs battle more with this heart disease and it is also more common in some dog breeds of which the Irish Wolfhound is one. Your dog will have shortness of breath, coughing and abdominal distension. He will need to get to the vet for medical tests.

Bone Cancer:

Bone cancer can strike any dog, but you’ll find in more commonly with larger dog breeds. It can spread quickly and the long term prognosis isn’t good. It’s not easy to pick the disease up and it can mean joint pain for your pet and even lameness.

Your dog will be tired too. Your vet will do X-rays and other tests, but unfortunately the prognosis isn’t usually good. Big-dog breeders should take this into consideration.

Caring The Pet

scottish deerhound puppies1.Feeding the puppy – Feed a high quality large or x large puppy dogfood at least 3-4 times a day. Do not overfeed.

2.Feeding the adult – Feed a high-quality adult large or x large dog food once or twice a day. Do not overfeed.

3.Points for Good Health - Stamina and speed.

4. Games and Exercises – The Deerhound needs plenty of exercise in a safe place where they have plenty of room to run. A small yard or life on a leash are not enough for this energetic breed. Play fetch, course running, Like the Greyhound they will be couch potatoes if you let them but that will hurt their health. Lure Coursing or hare coursing are good. Coyote hunting. Find space where they can run for the joy of running. Never force them to run – like along a bicycle

Exercise:

irish wolfhound puppiesThis isn’t a particularly energetic dog and he can tend to become lazy. Don’t allow this as becoming unfit and overweight can be very bad for such large dog. Being so large already puts stress on the dog’s body, and the dog is already susceptible to cardiac and skeletal problems. Allowing him to become lazy and overweight will be a death sentence for this large dog. It is imperative to make sure you take him on walks and play games with him.

Grooming:

The coat of your dog is thick and medium length and he will require being brushed at least twice a week. You may want to also trim the longer hair you find around his face and legs.

When it comes to his ears, you can moisten some cotton wool and wipe the inside of his ears to remove dirt and excess wax. Remember not to probe too deeply to avoid damaging the ear. If you’re uncertain how to do this, your vet can explain to you how its done.

Check his teeth regularly as dental disease can affect other areas of the body too. Don’t allow his nails to get too long as they can cause paw problems and the nails can hook onto things and cause injury.

Diet:

Because this is a giant breed, the puppy will grow for a long time. Speak to your vet about how to ensure you feed your puppy in such a way that he doesn’t grow too quickly.

If you feed your dog a commercially manufactured food, make sure its one of the top quality brands. Include home-made cooked food such as chicken, rice and vegetables into his kibble from time to time, and also try to feed him some raw meat occasionally.

Fresh, cool water must be available to your Irish Wolfhound around the clock.

Characteristics

1.Children friendliness – yes but watch out for little ones.

2.Special talents - speed and distance.

3.Adaptability - some but needs space to run.

scottish deerhound dogs4.Learning ability – intelligent but hunting and running instincts overcome all else.

irish wolfhound dogsThe most notable aspect of the Irish Wolfhound is his amazing height. The legs are long, the body narrow. He is gentle and easy-going but because he is a sighthound he loves to give chase after animals.

He is capable of living in the city or countryside, but your home will need to cater to his size. He isn’t particularly energetic, enjoying a quiet life but he will absolutely need to be exercised.

Provide your gentle giant with everything needed to make him content, and you’ll have a faithful, loving friend for about 10 years.

Comparison with other breeds

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