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Otterhound

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An Easy-Going Family Companion

Friendly, quiet, affectionate

Otterhounds are docile, goofy, and sometimes stubborn, giant dogs. Although they are independent, they get along well with strangers and other dogs. They make a good family pet, but may be too boisterous for small children. Ideal companions for these lovable dogs are active and outdoorsy people, especially runners and joggers. Otterhounds need plenty of regular exercise and enjoy swimming, hunting, and following trails.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs. 


Breed Details

Height:24-27 in. Weight:80-115 lbs Lifespan:10-13 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
2

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
5

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Otterhounds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Routine Care: She has a tendency to follow her nose and to chase small animals so always leash walk your Otterhound and a sturdy fence is a must. She loves the water, and swimming is a great form of exercise for your Otterhound. She can be sound sensitive, so be prepared for thunderstorms, New Year's Eve, and Independence Day!

She is social and affectionate, but she won’t want attention at all times.

Positive Traits:

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

  • Confident, steady, and fearless

  • Good with children

  • Energetic, active, and athletic

  • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

  • Docile and devoted


Negative Traits:
  • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

  • Can be independent and strong-willed

  • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

  • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

Whether you are considering adding a new Otterhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Otterhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Otterhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some heath issues an Otterhound may encounter:

Bloat

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Allergies

Ear Infections

Sebaceous Cysts

Cataracts

When the Otterhound originated in Britain during the 1300’s, they were bred as scent trackers for hunting otter on land and in water. They became a rare breed after Britain placed the otter on the list of protected species. Otterhounds are known to have a loud baying hound voice, which can cause problems with your neighbors. Otterhounds can be boisterous and fun-loving, but with sufficient exercise and a confident owner the Otterhound makes a quiet and low-key family companion.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Otterhound shows signs of the following:

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • General reluctance to run or play

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Anxiety, destructive behaviors, vocalization, hiding, panting, drooling

  • Care

    Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Otterhounds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

    Routine Care: She has a tendency to follow her nose and to chase small animals so always leash walk your Otterhound and a sturdy fence is a must. She loves the water, and swimming is a great form of exercise for your Otterhound. She can be sound sensitive, so be prepared for thunderstorms, New Year's Eve, and Independence Day!

  • Characteristics

    She is social and affectionate, but she won’t want attention at all times.

    Positive Traits:

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Confident, steady, and fearless

    • Good with children

    • Energetic, active, and athletic

    • Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    • Docile and devoted


    Negative Traits:
    • Requires vigorous, frequent exercise and space to run

    • Can be independent and strong-willed

    • Easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

    • Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Otterhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Otterhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Otterhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some heath issues an Otterhound may encounter:

    Bloat

    Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

    Allergies

    Ear Infections

    Sebaceous Cysts

    Cataracts

  • History

    When the Otterhound originated in Britain during the 1300’s, they were bred as scent trackers for hunting otter on land and in water. They became a rare breed after Britain placed the otter on the list of protected species. Otterhounds are known to have a loud baying hound voice, which can cause problems with your neighbors. Otterhounds can be boisterous and fun-loving, but with sufficient exercise and a confident owner the Otterhound makes a quiet and low-key family companion.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Otterhound shows signs of the following:

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • General reluctance to run or play

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Pale gums, labored breathing, weakness, or sudden collapse

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Anxiety, destructive behaviors, vocalization, hiding, panting, drooling

Otterhound Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Otterhound breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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