What's the Difference Between the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound?
The Scottish Deerhound
Resembling a larger, coated Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound is a keen and alert sight hound. One of the oldest breeds, the Deerhound possesses a preeminent hunting ability, and is often seen at lure coursing events. The hair on the body and neck is harsh and wiry, while the coat on the head, breast and belly is much softer.
Known centuries ago as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound and Highland Deerhound, the Scottish Deerhound became a clearly identified breed in the 16th and 17th centuries. He was the best breed to use for the pursuit and killing of deer, and at the time, could be owned by no one of rank lower than an earl. While he possesses a quiet and dignified personality in the home, the Scottish Deerhound may try to chase any furry animals that run past him. For that reason, the breed should be exercised on leash or in a fenced area. The breed’s crisp, somewhat wiry coat, however, is exceptionally easy-care, requiring only brushing and occasional bathing.
• Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1886 • Ranging in size from 75 to 110 pounds • Deer hunter
The Irish Wolfhound
An Irish Wolfhound must be of great size and commanding appearance. He has a large, muscular greyhound-like shape, and he is the tallest of dogs, but not the heaviest. A superb athlete and an endurance runner, an old Irish proverb describes him perfectly: “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.”
One of the earliest recorded references to Irish Wolfhounds is in Roman records dating to 391 A.D. Often used as royal gifts, they hunted with their masters, fought beside them in battle, guarded their castles, played with their children, and lay quietly by the fire as family friends. They were fierce hunters of wolves and the oversized Irish elk, so good in fact that their prey disappeared from Ireland and the hounds fell upon hard times. By the 19th Century there were few Irish Wolfhounds left in Ireland. Although now primarily a family companion, the Irish Wolfhound will still instinctively give chase to fleeing prey. His large size commands more room, more exercise, and a bigger car. The breed’s harsh, natural coat requires regular brushing.
• Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1897 • Ideal size ranges from 30 to 34 inches tall at the shoulder • Irish elk/wolf hunter, family companion