The Scottish Deerhound is a distinctive dog, usually grey in colour in this day and age, and a massive size, bred to course and hunt down deer and other game, the dog is built for running, and Landseer has captured the form of this dog as it awaits command in a Highland scene. His Deerhound is fawn and white and depicted as having amost smooth fur, whereas modern deerhounds often have a wiry coat, however, if you look closer, there is more to the fur than it first appears. The dog is slim but the coat is thick enough to cover any ribs or bones.
The lower edge of the picture is white-grey, showing almost nothing at first, then tufts of grass and low plants, maybe gorse. The dog stands directly in the centre of the painting, he is alert, his eyes focussed on something, maybe he is preparing to take off. He has an incredibly thin, greyhound-type muzzle, fawn with a blaze of white, his ears are pricked, alrt to whatever he is seeing. He wears a simple but elegant leather collar with a catch loop for a leash. His chest is white, his front legs are long and elegant and his paws are white and poised to move on command.
The dog's body is a perfect elegant taper of a deerhound, greyhound or other hunting hound, slim, streamlined and designed to run. His body fur is fawn apart from a white patch behind his front leg. His back legs are strong, powerful, designed and ready to run, back paws white. He is a male dog as depicted by his attributes, his tail is thin and small, curled in to prevemt nuisance during running, tipped with white. He is a perfect and flawless hunting animal. He stands with a huge boulder behind him making him stand out against its grey side, the boulder is topped with moss. The scene is a Scottish mountain and moorland scene, and in the background the gorse and scrub lead away to low dark mountains, blue and green-grey under a grey and white cloudy sky.