Facts about Otterhound Puppies

Are you unsure how to care for Otterhound puppies, or just want to learn more about this breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Otterhound History

Though references to "otter dogs" in Britain date back to the 12th century, the breed didn't reach its current form until sometime in the late 18th century. Some of the breeds used in the development of the Otterhoud include the Bloodhound, Harriers, and rough-haired Terriers.

This is a very unique breed among hounds because of his rough, double coat and webbed feet. These features allow him to hunt on both land and water.

The breed got its name from an activity it excelled at -- hunting river otter, initially as a way to keep them from destroying a fish supply, and later as a sport.

During the height of the breed's popularity, several English kings were involved with raising and hunting with these dogs.

After the otter hunting got banned due to a sudden drop in their population, the number of these dogs dropped as well. Some of the otter hounds went to private owners while others were integrated into the mink hunting packs.

The breed was introduced to the United States in the early 20th century.

Today, this is one of the rarest dog breeds with fewer than 1,000 Otterhounds worldwide.

Physical Characteristics of Otterhound Puppies

This is a large and powerful dog. It has a large but narrow head that's well covered with hair; dark and deeply set eyes; long, pendulous, and folded ears; and a large, dark nose with wide nostrils.

It has a muscular neck that blends smoothly into back and shoulders. The shoulders are powerful and well sloped, the chest is deep and full, and the rib cage is oval and extends towards the rear of the body. The tail is long and set high.

The legs are straight and strongly boned. Thighs are large and well muscled. Feet are large and have thick, deep pads, with arched toes. The toes are connected by a membrane, allowing the foot to spread.

The coat consists of dense, rough and crisp outer coat and short wooly, slightly oily, water-resistant undercoat. The hair on head and lower legs is softer than on the rest of the body. The outer coat length varies from 2 to 6 inches. The coat can be of any color or combination of colors.

    Height Weight
  Male 25 - 27 inches 95 - 115 pounds
  Female 24 - 26 inches 65 - 90 pounds


This is a friendly, energetic, and even tempered dog. It's affectionate, but doesn't demand constant attention. It gets along well with other dogs, family pets, and humans, including strangers and children, and makes an excellent family pet.

While the Otterhound is an intelligent dog, like other hounds, it can be stubborn, especially with an owner who is either inexperienced or doesn't exert his authority. On the other hand, the breed likes to please and responds well to firm and consistent training.

The Otterhounds have a deep bay but don't bark excessively. Their distinctive voice makes them good watchdogs but because of their friendly nature they don't make good guard dogs.

Being a scenthound, the otter hound likes to use its nose, whether it's to sniff a new person or to follow a scent. It also likes to roam.

The breed is also an excellent swimmer.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

This is a very active breed and will do best in a suburban environment with an active owner.

A close proximity to a pond or a river will give him an opportunity to participate in his favorite activity -- swimming.

The breed has a tendency to follow a scent and roam so, if you plan to let your pet play outdoors on his own, a fenced yard will prevent him from escaping.

Some Otterhound breeders will interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

This breed needs plenty of exercise to be happy and stay in top shape.

It enjoys swimming and can get plenty of exercise from this activity if you live in close proximity to water. If you are into jogging or bicycle riding, you can definitely take your pet along.

When outdoors, always keep your pet on leash or in a fenced yard. This will prevent him from escaping when he catches a scent.

At a minimum, the Otterhound requires one or two long walks every day.


The breed is an average shedder. Brush at least once per week to prevent matting and to keep the coat soft and clean. Because the beard tends to accumulate food and dirt, you may need to clean it several times per week.

The coat is supposed to look natural, so don't clip it. If you do decide to clip the coat, just be aware that it may take up to 2 years for it to fully grow back.

Trim toenails on a monthly basis and check the ears for any signs of infection. A foul odor coming out from an ear canal is the most common symptom of an infection.

Bathe only when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, the Otterhound is susceptible to complications caused by parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

Additional health concerns include hip dysplasia, bloating, and a blood-clotting disorder. Feeding your dog several smaller meals instead of one large meal will help to prevent bloating. Visit dog health problems to learn more about dog diseases and health care.

Buy only from reputable Otterhound breeders to reduce the risk of health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for a healthy Otterhound puppy is between 8 and 10 years.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Otterhound Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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