Height at the withers: Males 76 cm, Females 71 cm
Average weight: Males 45.5 kg, Females 36.5 kg
A Deerhound is a very large, yet extremely elegant dog that boasts a long, rough coat very reminiscent of that of a rough coated Greyhound. These hounds may be very large, but they are gentle giants and have lovely large heads which are especially broad at a dog’s ears. Their muzzles taper to their nose and dogs have nice level lips. Their heads are long with the top of it being rather flat with dogs having a slight rise over their eyes rather than a stop, and are covered in longish hair which is a lot softer than on the rest of their bodies. Noses are black in colour and slightly aquiline in shape. Dogs have a nice moustache made up of silky hair and they also have a slight beard.
A Deerhound’s eyes are quite full and dark in colour which can either be hazel or dark brown. These dogs always have soft look in their eyes when they are relaxed, but when alert this changes to a very keen expression. Their ears are set high and when relaxed a dog holds them folded back. When excited or alert, they hold their ears raised but the fold remains. Ears are covered in glossy hair and they are soft to the touch. They can be either a dark colour or black. The Deerhound has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
Necks are extremely strong with dogs boasting a long reach although this can often be hidden by a dog’s mane. Their nape is quite prominent but there is no throatiness around their necks. Shoulders are well laid back and set not too far apart. Front legs are straight and broad. A Deerhound’s body is very much like that of a Greyhound only a lot larger and with a lot more bone. Their chest is deep and loins are well arched before dropping down to a dog’s tail.
Hindquarters are broad, and fall away with dogs boasting powerful with hips that are set well apart. Back legs are well bent at the stifle. Their feet are compact being well knuckled and Deerhounds boast having very strong nails. Tails are long and thicker at the root before they taper to the tip. Dogs carry their tails straight down or slightly curved when relaxed, but when alert or moving, they carry them curved higher. Tails are well covered in hair on the upper side it is wiry and thick while underneath, the hair is longer.
When it comes to their coat, the Deerhound boasts a shaggy, thick, close-lying coat that’s rather ragged in appearance and crisp to the touch. The hair on a dog’s body, their neck and their quarters is wiry and harsh whereas on their heads, breasts and bellies the hair is a lot softer to the touch. Deerhounds have a slightly hairy fringe on the inside of their front and back legs. Accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:
- Black & Grey
- Blue Brindle
- Blue Grey
- Dark Brindle
- Dark Grey
- Grey Brindle
When a Deerhound moves, they do so with an elegant, easy gait taking long strides and covering a lot of ground when they do.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog’s overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform. Woolly coats are also considered to be a fault in the breed.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.