The Deerhound (sometimes called the Scottish Deerhound) once hunted deer in the Scottish Highlands. He is very large, but not bulky in size. He is usually dignified, affectionate and loyal but his sheer size makes him unsuited for a family pet unless his house and garden can easily accommodate him. He should live close to open countryside and have at least two hours exercise every day, including plenty of opportunities for free running. His unkempt looking coat will need grooming regularly. The average lifespan of a Deerhound is 8-9 years.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 12.7 - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS60.04
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
Gastic dilatation volvulus (Bloat/Torsion (stomach fills with air and can twist – serious and life threatening) due to deep chested conformation.
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Factor V11 deficiency ( a mild bleeding disease).
- Von Willebrands Disease (vWD) Type 1
- Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Litters to be screened for Liver shunt prior to being sold.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Heart disease: Dilated cardiomyopathy (degeneration of heart msucles)
- Congenital portosystemic shunt (abnormality of the blood circulation, resulting in blood from the heart bypassing the liver and entering the general circulation)
- Arthrosis of cervical articular facet joints (degenerative disease of neck bones)
- Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)
- Urolithiasis (stone and crystal formation in urine)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: