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Cead Mile Failte-

Welcome to the Home page of Iron Thistle Deerhounds. We hope you find this site useful in learning more about Scottish Deerhounds, in general, and in getting to know us and our 'clan'.

If you are already familiar with deerhounds, then we don't have to tell you what great animals they are.  They are not without their faults, but Sir Walter Scott once described his deerhound as, 'the most perfect creature of heaven'.

For more detailed information about the breed, we suggest you go to the site for the Scottish Deerhound Club of America -

A Brief Deerhound Primer-

Closely related to the Greyhound, the Scottish Deerhound was once known as the Scotch Greyhound, Rough Greyhound and Highland Deerhound. In Scotland it became a district breed in the 16th and 17th centuries and was given the name Scottish Deerhound, and the rough coat was bred in to adapt to the rough climate.


They were used as deer hunting dogs for Scottish tribes in the Middle Ages. They became known as the royal dog of Scotland and no one ranking below earl was permitted to own one. Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott owned Scottish Deerhounds. With their strict ownership rules the dogs were not very populous in number and took an even harder hit almost to extinction when man invented the gun and the dogs were no longer needed to bring down deer.

Two brothers by the name of Archibald and Duncan McNeill saved the breed in the 1800s when they started a breeding program. Once again in Britain during World War II, like many breeds, the dogs fell very low in numbers. It was very difficult to feed the large dogs, and many people destroyed them for food.


Along with their great sight, the Scottish Deerhound also has a very fine sense of smell. Some of the Deerhound’s talents include: hunting, sighting, tracking, racing, agility and lure coursing.

In general, the Scottish Deerhound is a gentle, well-mannered dog. It is polite and affectionate. Loving, friendly and excellent with children. Very courageous and dignified, devoted and loyal, but it is not a watch or guard dog, for it just loves everyone. These dogs need a firm, consistent, confident pack leader who knows how to display calm, but stern authority over the dog or they will be willful at times and prone to follow their own desires.   Ask them to do something and you can almost see their brain processing, 'hmmm ..., what's in it for me'.  Although typically friendly with other dogs, they should not be trusted with non-canine pets. Scottish Deerhounds are quiet and rarely ever bark.

Steve & Mary Chandler

Iron Thistle Deerhounds

Arvada, CO

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