Scottish Deerhound vs. Irish Wolfhound: What’s The Difference?

It is important to note that the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound are extremely similar dogs with just some minor differences that separate them apart. However, it is these differences that could suggest the one is better suitable to your lifestyle than the other. This is why it is crucial to completely research each breed before making an informed and definitive choice.

They appear almost identical, and being the Irish Wolfhound being the largest dog, and both sporting exactly the same wavy coat. It is difficult to tell them from one another! They have the same gentle, but strong temperament to match their noble exterior. In the end, the expression ‘gentle when touched, but fierce at times of arousal’ seems very appropriate to both Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound.

Find out the specifics of each breed and what makes them different from one another.

Scottish Deerhound vs. Irish Wolfhound

Breed History

They each have their own stories and come from different nations, however their travels are also encased by legends and myths. Both breeds are encased in myths and legends that vary from being simply fantastic dogs to being mythical creatures, or perhaps werewolves!

Scottish Deerhound

It is believed that the Scottish Deerhound is also known as the Royal Dog of Scotland This suggests that this dog is an important one! The dog is an ancient breed that is believed to have existed living in Scotland for a long time before the Scottish came to the country at the end of 9 the century. They are referred to as Deerhounds due to the fact that they chased large 400 pounds of large wild Red Deer with large Antlers that pierced.

They were adored by nobles and royalty, and the ownership restrictions that led to their closeness to extinction several times. It was not until the latter part of 19 century century that breed enthusiasts intervened to save the breed, and it was around this period when the first Deerhound was shipped to America. It was the first Deerhound had been registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1886.

To today it is believed that it is believed that the Scottish Deerhound is a rare breed that is only loved by people who are patriotic Scotts or sighthound enthusiasts. In 2019, it was reported that the AKC has placed the popularity of the Scottish Deerhound as being at the 158 the spot among 193 dog breeds that are found in America.

Irish Wolfhound

It is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is believed to be a more ancient species than Scottish Deerhound and goes as long to 391 A.D. When the Roman consul was notably presented with seven Irish Wolfhounds. From that moment on, their popularity grew.

The man was initially used to hunt the extinct Irish Elk, which measured six feet tall at their shoulders. It was during the 15 the century that wolves began dominating in the Irish landscape, so the hunter’s focus changed towards the wolves. They were known for taking the wolf down easily and it was at this point that they were officially christened”the” Irish Wolfhound.

They were so adept at their work that they hunted wolves as well as other big predators to extinction and, as a result, they no longer needed. This is where their numbers declined significantly.

Like similar to the Scottish Deerhound, it was at the end of 19 the century that the fanciers were able to take charge of the situation and helped save the breed and reclaimed their numbers. It is true that the Irish Wolfhound is still a uncommon breed, however it is a little more well-known in comparison to the Deerhound and is in the 76 the spot among 193 dog breeds that were included in the AKC popularity contest. It is also frequently considered to be a giant breeds as a companion for families pet or guardian dog.


Here is the place where things can get somewhat difficult! There is a bit of a tangle here! Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound are so alike in appearance that, according to those who love the breed, often even professionals can confuse between the breeds. Both look like the Greyhound however, they are larger in size and with longer, thicker fur.

It is said that the Wolfhound is the highest of all AKC breeds, and is higher that the Great Dane who is often referred to as the tallest of dog breeds. From shoulder to paw, males are at a maximum of 32 inches while the Deerhound is restricted to an average size that ranges from 30-32 inches. The sky is truly the limit for this breed of Irish Wolfhound, however, Kennel clubs in Ireland and England tend to prefer the dog to be smaller by about one inch.

It is also important to note that the Wolfhound is also a lot heavier , with a weight of at least 120 pounds in comparison to the lighter Deerhound which weighs between 85 to 110 pounds and isn’t lightweight at all! Their size is huge, which means neither one of them is suitable for smaller spaces So keep this in mind when you are considering welcoming one to your home.

The two breeds are mature fully and cease to grow at the age of 3 years older. Their joints and bones are strengthened about 10 months. It is crucial to ensure that they don’t over-exert themselves.

It is believed that the Scottish Deerhound’s coat is made up of four colors that are recognized, while it is the Irish Wolfhound’s coat has 13 colors that are recognized, including brindle. The gray color can be the one most well-known and popular of them all.

It is said that the Irish Wolfhound is slightly longer than his height and this gives him a strong stride and an deep chest that the Deerhound. The Deerhound has larger legs as well as ears that are less and placed further back on his skull than the Wolfhound which has ears that are bigger and covered with more fur. The Deerhound has a more curving back in comparison with the Wolfhound.


Not just do both the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound identical in appearance, but they also share a lot in their personality. Both the Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound can be classified as being the most gentle of Gentlemen They are brave but not aggressive They are loyal, but not too clingy and they are both alert, but respectful in their actions.

They are very close and affectionatewith their families, and even though neither is shy around strangers, they are uninterested in them. Both are horrible guard dogs since they will let burglars walk through their property and in their home without the need of a single bark to alert their master.

Despite their size and muscle They are also extremely fast and agile, which makes them excellent hunter. As their name implies they’re both part of the hounds group and both are sighthounds specifically meaning that they hunt solely based on what they can see. It is not advisable to let either of them loose in public areas since if they see something, they’ll both disappear before you realize it!

Because of their background as hunters It is recommended to only reside in a dog-friendly household as well avoid living with other catsor smaller animals like rabbits. If they’re and are socialized from an early age, they can both be happy in a dog’s household with another. Actually, since they are both more comfortable in the company of other dogs, if you need to take your dog away for a short period of time, they will be happier with a different dog.

After you’ve exercised them and they are settled at home, they’re the two dogs with the largest canine snuggle can be found in, and neither one would be hesitant about lying on your couch, and even on your lap. They are at ease in the presence of children however it is recommended that due to their dimensions, neither of these species should ever be unattended with children in order to avoid accidents.

Due to their nature as social they are drawn to social interaction with others This is why neither of them can are able to thrive alone and are often afflicted with separation anxiety..


It is believed that the Scottish Deerhound is the more active of the two pups and will need approximately sixty minutes physical activity every day, while those who are Irish Wolfhound will need less than forty minutes per day. They have legs that are long and require daily stretching and their hearts need to pump lots of blood through a large area of their body. No matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise, they will require his regular exercise!

As a dog with lower energy The Irish Wolfhound is more inclined to a nap in the afternoon and a couple (or maybe three! ) and those with the Scottish Deerhound will snooze much less. This is why the Scottish Deerhound requires more stimuli throughout the day in order to prevent his from becoming restless and bored.

Being able to knock the 400-pound deer down can mean that he can tear up the sofa in a matter of minutes, so don’t get fooled by their gentle and calm manners. A hound who is bored is a hound who is unhappy and that’s not the best for anyone!


The Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound are both independent animals that prefer looking for their next pet than taking in to and learning from the master. This is why If you’re looking for a completely obedience-oriented dog, it’s unlikely that they are suitable for you. If you’re adamant about they are completely obedient then it is advisable to enroll them in training classes for dogs with a trained professional.

The early interaction is essential for these dogs while their intense prey drive is not removed from them however, you can train them to be at ease and relaxed around dogs of all sizes and shapes While you may do your best to be a good cat but it’s unlikely they’ll ever be peaceful and calm around cats!

It is suggested that no one of them should be allowed off the leash in public areas It is crucial to ensure they are walking well on the leash as they are extremely strong dogs. It is therefore crucial at an early age to lead trainthem to ensure that your walks are calm and enjoyable for both you and your dog.

If you are planning to train your dog in a crate, make sure that you’re looking at the crates designed for large breeds. The AKC provides professional guidance regarding how to train your leash puppy.


The Scottish Deerhound National Breed Club suggests that the dog is screened for these health problems:

Factor VII D.N.A Test –A blood deficiency disorder in which blood coagulation is not as effective and, as a result, bleeding is excessively high.

Bile Acid Test – This test will allow you to know if the liver is working in the way it is supposed to.

Cardiac AssessmentThe test screens for a list of eye problems, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataracts.

The Irish Wolfhound National Breed Club suggests that in addition to the Cardiac test mentioned in the previous paragraph, he should also be examined for the following conditions:

Elbow and hip Dysplasia It is an abnormal development of the hip and elbow joints that could cause pain and arthritis later in life.

Ophthalmologist AssessmentThe evaluation checks for a list of eye problems, including Cataracts as well as Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

Overall overall, the Scottish Deerhound enjoys a healthy life span, given his size of between 8 and 11 years while those who have the Irish Wolfhound enjoys a shorter time of 6-8 years. Although the life span that of an Irish Wolfhound may seem short but it’s actually the average duration for a dog of similar to his size. In general, both are normally healthy animals however, they are different in that the Scottish Deerhound is predisposed to the smallest number of health problems when contrasted with those of the Irish Wolfhound.


The Scottish Deerhound will consume around 3 1/2 cups of fooda day, while the Irish Wolfhound will consume more than four and a half cups every day. This is a crucial factor to take into consideration if you’re contemplating welcoming one of these dogs to your home. They consume a lot more than average dogs which means that the monthly cost of food is significantly higher.


It is true that the Scottish Deerhound does not have an extra coat, whereas it is the Irish Wolfhound does. But regardless of their coats they are essentially the same in terms of grooming requirements. The are not huge shedders and therefore, they’ll need to brush every once or twice per weekto maintain their long, wiry hair in good health and free of tangles.

Although they don’t blow their coats’ during shed season, you can expect to see a few hairy hairs on your couch and on your clothes. Both breeds are excellent in that they are less prone to maintenance in terms of grooming which makes them easy to groom.

Another thing to take into consideration is that none one of these dogs is hypoallergenic, which means neither of them can be used by households with allergies to dogs of any kind..

Puppy Prices

The price of an Scottish Deerhound puppy from a reliable breeder can start at about $1000 and the price for the Irish Wolfhound is slightly more expensive and will start at around 12,500. Both are rare pups and the Scottish Deerhound will have, typically between 4 and 8 pups in a litter, whereas the Irish Wolfhound will only have three to four puppies and this is reflected in the more expensive puppy cost.

It is important to note that the Irish Wolfhound Club of America lists rescue centres that are dedicated in each state should you want to adopt an Irish Wolfhound. While there is no mention of rescue centers, the Scottish Deerhound Club of America does not have a list of rescue facilities however, it lists the names of individuals who can point you to the right direction should you want to adopt an Scottish Deerhound.

Final Thoughts

They are both amazing. Scottish Deerhound and the Irish Wolfhound are incredible animals, which surely merit a higher place in the contest for popularity. They are both relatively undiscovered and unexplored breeds, however they are breeds that are incredibly charming and loving.

If you are able to prepare for their hunting skills based on sight and are able to handle their massive size, then you’re on the right track to a satisfying and successful relationship. Therefore, whatever Celtic dog you choose to bring into your home or use as a predator hunter be assured that they’re soft and loving creatures with a strong heart that will cherish you and your family the duration of time he’s in the vicinity.

Becky Roberts

Becky Roberts

One of Becky's favourite things to do every morning is to browse the top pet-related forums, looking for issues and questions that people have. She then shortlists the most common ones, and turns them into blog posts for Fuzzy Rescue. She's had over 4 cats and 2 dogs over the past decade, so she does know a thing or 2 about raising/training, and more importantly, loving them. She's the only one on our team that doesn't like coffee, but it seems to us she really doesn't need more energy :). We're very fortunate to have her on board as she does most of the heavy listing for the site, outputting an insane amount of content each month. Read More

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