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Otterhound Grooming and Breed Care

Otterhound Temperament

The Otterhound is a dog that is very independent and strong minded, yet is also extremely affectionate and loving. These dogs love to play and exercise, and should be in an environment where there is plenty of space to enjoy activity. He also needs to be with a family that has the time to commit to a pet. These dogs love to get involved with family activities, and especially love to swim. Determined and enthusiastic, the Otterhound will go to any lengths to investigate a scent, and his keen sense of smell means that he picks up on scents with the greatest of ease. This does mean that he should be kept in a safe and secure area at all times when not on a leash, as otherwise his dedication to following a scent could lead him into danger.


The Otterhound can be both loud in terms of his deep bark, and messy, which means that he is not ideally suited to those that like their homes to be spick and span all of the time. His bark does mean that this dog can make an effective watchdog. His stubborn and independent streak can make training something of a challenge, and this breed is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. The Otterhound gets along well with children, and with proper socialization should get along okay with other dogs - he should be socialized early on with cats and should not be trusted with smaller animals, as he does have strong hunting instincts. With strangers the reaction of the Otterhound can vary, and some may be reserved whereas others may be friendly. The Otterhound is quite a rare breed, and therefore those looking for a puppy may have quite a wait.

Otterhound Appearance

The Otterhound has a dense, long, and shaggy coat, which is harsh in texture. The coloring of the coat can vary, and includes black and tan, liver and tan, wheaten, tri-colored, grizzle, or red. He has a sweet and innocent expression, which is added to by his floppy fringe. He also has distinctive webbed feet. The height of the Otterhound is around 23-26 inches for females, and 24-28 inches for males, and the weight of these dogs is around 65-100 pounds for females and around 85-115 pounds for males. He is a large dog, and has a sturdy and athletic build underneath that shaggy coat.

Otterhound Grooming

Although the shaggy coat of the Otterhound may look high maintenance, the grooming requirements for this breed are not excessively high, although you will need to dedicate some time to it. You can brush his coat twice a week, and every few months you may wish to get the coat clipped. You should make sure that his ears are clean and dry to reduce the risk of infections, and also clean his beard regularly for hygiene reasons. The Otterhound is a medium shedder, and may shed more heavily on a seasonal basis, which means that he is not the ideal choice for allergy sufferers.

Otterhound Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Otterhound has a life expectancy of around 10-14 years. This is generally a hardy breed, but there are some health problems to look out for. This includes seizures, bleeding disorders, bloat, vWD, and HD. The parents of the Otterhound puppy should have OFA certificates.

Otterhound History

The Otterhound originates from Great Britain, and was once used in packs to hung otter, hence his name. This breed is though to be related to a number of breeds, including the bloodhound.