Breeds Directory Dogs

Otterhound: The Gentle Giant Water Dog You Never Knew Existed


If you’re looking for a big, friendly dog with a personality as unique as its looks, the Otterhound might be your perfect match. This rare and playful breed was originally bred for hunting otters, but today they make loving companions for families and active individuals. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about these gentle water-loving giants!

Otterhound: The Gentle Giant Water Dog You Never Knew Existed

  • Origin: United Kingdom
  • Size: Large (up to 115 pounds)
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Life span: 10-13 years
  • Coat: Shaggy, rough, water-resistant double coat
  • Temperament: Amiable, playful, boisterous
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Training: Moderately challenging
  • Health: Generally healthy, but prone to some issues like hip dysplasia
  • Popularity: Rare (considered a vulnerable breed)

A Brief History of the Otterhound

The Otterhound has a long and fascinating history dating back to medieval England. They were originally bred for otter hunting, a practice that involved packs of hounds tracking and driving otters from their riverbank dens. Otter hunting was banned in the UK in 1978 due to declining otter populations, but the dog’s legacy as a dedicated hunting dog lives on. Thankfully, devoted enthusiasts have kept the breed alive, and they are now primarily cherished family companions.

The Unique Traits of the Otterhound

Appearance: A Big Softie with a Beard

Large dogs with a distinctive shaggy coat and a charmingly bearded face. Their rough, double coat is designed to protect them from the cold and wet conditions they were bred to work in. Their broad heads, deep chests, and signature webbed feet are other telltale signs of the breed.

Personality: Playful, Affectionate, and Energetic

Don’t let their size fool you – Otterhounds are big goofballs at heart! They are known for their playful and amiable personalities, and their boisterous nature often earns them the title of “class clown.” crave affection and are loyal companions who thrive on being part of a family. Be prepared for their enthusiastic greetings and a healthy dose of playful antics!

Built for the Water: Webbed Feet and a Water-Resistant Coat

As their name suggests, Otterhounds are natural-born swimmers. Their webbed feet, powerful legs, and water-resistant coat make them perfectly adapted for aquatic adventures. If you have a pool, lake, or river nearby, prepare to become your enthusiastic water buddy!

Is an Otterhound Right for You?

While Otterhounds are incredibly lovable, they’re not the right fit for everyone. Here’s what to consider:

Considering Lifestyle and Needs

Require a significant amount of space, ideally with a securely fenced yard. Due to their strong prey drive, they may not be the best fit for homes with cats or other small animals.


Exercise Requirements: Keeping Your Otterhound Happy

These dogs have high energy levels and need plenty of daily exercise. Long walks, hikes, swimming sessions, and safe off-leash play are essential to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Training Tips: Gentle Guidance for a Smart Hound

Intelligent dogs, but they can also be independent and a bit stubborn at times. Start training early, and focus on positive reinforcement methods. Their strong scent hound instincts can make recall training a challenge, so practice in secure areas is crucial.

“An Otterhound stands about three feet tall and is so strong that he can knock you down and chew you up without even stopping to think what he is doing.” – Robert Benchley, humorist

Caring for Your Otterhound

Grooming: Maintaining that Shaggy Coat

Have relatively high grooming needs. Their thick double coat requires regular brushing to prevent matting. Baths should be given when needed, and their beards may need extra attention after messy meals. Professional grooming can be helpful in maintaining their characteristic shaggy look.


Diet and Nutrition: Fueling Your Active Companion

Choose a high-quality dog food formulated for large breeds. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate amount of food based on your dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Health Concerns: Common Issues in Otterhounds

Generally healthy dogs but can be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, bloat, and ear infections. Work with your veterinarian to develop a preventive care plan.

Finding Your Perfect Otterhound Companion

Reputable Breeders: Importance of Ethical Breeding

Due to their rarity, finding a puppy can be a challenge. If you choose to go the breeder route, research carefully to find a reputable breeder dedicated to ethical breeding practices.

Rescue Organizations: Giving an Otterhound a Second Chance

Consider adopting in need! The Club of America has a dedicated rescue committee that works to rehome:

Life with an Otterhound: Fun Facts and FAQs

Interesting Facts About Otterhounds

  • Have a loud, booming bark!
  • These dogs are known for their clownish antics.
  • Their sense of smell is among the best of all dog breeds.
  • Surprisingly agile for their size.

How much does an Otterhound puppy cost?

Puppies can be expensive and hard to find. Be prepared to work with reputable breeders or rescue organizations and be added to waitlists.

Do Otterhounds shed?

Yes, do shed moderately year round and blow out their coat seasonally.

How long do Otterhounds live?

The average lifespan is 10-13 years.

Can Otterhounds be trained as hunting dogs?

Have the natural instincts and drive, modern otter hunting is rarely practiced. Their strong noses make them excellent candidates for scent work activities.

The Rewards of Owning an Otterhound

If you’re looking for a unique, loving, and active companion, may be your perfect match. With the right training, exercise, and care, these gentle giants will bring joy and unwavering loyalty to your life. Owning is a truly rewarding experience. Remember, they are a big commitment, but if you’re up for the challenge, the companionship unlike any other.

Petscaretip – How To Care Your Pets

Address: 809 Dallas St, Houston, TX 77002, USA, Houston, TX, United States, Texas

Email: [email protected]

Vin PetCare

About Author

Leave a comment

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *

You may also like


Afador – Mixed Dog Breed Characteristics & Facts

The Afghan Hound and Labrador Retriever dog breeds were crossed to create the Afador mixed dog breed. These puppies, who

Afaird – Mixed Dog Breeds Characteristics & Facts

The Afaird Mixed Dog Breed is a relatively new crossbreed in the “designer dog” world. The Afghan Hound and the