Otterhound: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Otterhound is a truly unique breed with a history that dates back centuries. Originally used for hunting otters in England, these dogs are loved for their exceptional swimming abilities and distinctive appearance. With their rough double coat, webbed feet, and keen sense of smell, Otterhounds are easy to identify. They are a large breed with an unmistakable hound-like appearance and an affable disposition.

Category Information
Origin England
Tamaño Grande
Peso 80 to 115 pounds
Altura 24 to 27 inches
Abrigo Rough and dense
Coat Colors Any color or combination of colors
Temperamento Friendly, easygoing, independent
Esperanza de vida 10 a 13 años
Exercise Requirement Alto
Grooming Requirement Moderate

Origin and History

Geographic Origin

Otterhounds originate from England, where they were traditionally used to control otter populations, which were depleting fish stocks in rivers and lakes.

Evolution over the years

While they were initially popular working dogs, Otterhounds have transitioned to being more commonly kept as pets, though their numbers are quite rare, adding to their charm.

Role in society

Today, Otterhounds are companion animals, loved for their friendly and energetic temperament, though they also participate in various dog sports, including tracking and agility.

Physical Characteristics

General Appearance

Otterhounds are large, muscular dogs with a distinct hound appearance, including a broad head, large nose, and expressive eyes.

Size and weight

Typically, they weigh between 80 and 115 pounds and stand about 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.

Coat and color varieties

Their double coat, which can be any color or combination of colors, is rough and dense, providing them with excellent protection from cold water.

Personalidad y temperamento

General Temperament

Otterhounds are known for their friendly, easygoing nature. They are intelligent and independent, yet they’re also very good-natured and get along well with people and other animals.

Interaction with humans

They form strong bonds with their human families and are known to be particularly gentle and patient with children.

Interaction with other animals

With proper socialization, Otterhounds generally get along well with other dogs and can live peacefully with other pets in the home.

Training and Exercise

Training needs and strategies

As an intelligent breed, Otterhounds respond well to training. However, their independent streak can sometimes make them a bit stubborn, so consistent, positive reinforcement methods work best.

Exercise requirements

Otterhounds are an active breed requiring regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. This can include daily walks, playtime in the yard, and swimming.

Importance of mental stimulation

Otterhounds are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Training, interactive toys, and puzzle games are good ways to keep their minds sharp.

Health and Lifespan

General health considerations

Otterhounds are generally a healthy breed but, like all breeds, they can be susceptible to certain health conditions.

Common health issues specific to Otterhounds

These include hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, and certain types of ear infections due to their droopy ears.

Vida media

With good care, an Otterhound can live between 10 to 13 years on average.

Diet and Nutrition

Recommended diet

A balanced diet is crucial for the Otterhound. High-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared, is recommended.

Food sensitivities and allergies

Like any breed, some Otterhounds may have sensitivities or allergies to certain foods, so it’s important to monitor their diet and watch for signs of any adverse reactions.

Importance of hydration

Otterhounds, being active dogs, need access to fresh water at all times to keep them well-hydrated.


Frequency and process of grooming

The Otterhound’s rough coat requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition and prevent matting. Brushing a few times a week is usually sufficient.

Special grooming needs for Otterhounds

Their ears need regular cleaning to prevent infection. Also, their nails should be trimmed regularly.

Tools and techniques for grooming

A good-quality brush and a pair of dog nail clippers are essentials for the grooming kit of an Otterhound.

Living Conditions

Suitability for apartment living

While adaptable, the Otterhound’s size and energy level make them better suited to homes with ample space.

Outdoor space requirements

A large yard where they can explore and play is ideal for this breed.

Climate considerations

The Otterhound’s thick double coat provides protection in cold weather, but care should be taken in extreme heat.

Otterhounds with Families

Interaction with children

Otterhounds generally do well with children and can be great family pets, thanks to their playful and patient nature.

Compatibility with other pets

They generally get along well with other dogs and can coexist peacefully with other household pets when properly introduced.

Tips for integrating an Otterhound into a family setting

With proper training and socialization, an Otterhound can become a well-mannered, fun-loving member of any family.

Adopting an Otterhound

Considerations before adoption

It’s essential to understand the Otterhound’s exercise needs, grooming requirements, and potential health issues before deciding to adopt.

Choosing a reputable breeder or adoption agency

Always choose a reputable breeder who can provide health clearances for the puppies’ parents, or consider adopting from a breed-specific rescue group.

Costs associated with adoption

Costs can vary widely and may include the initial adoption fee, vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, and supplies like food, a bed, toys, and grooming tools.

Socialization and Training


Early socialization is particularly crucial for Otterhounds. Exposure to various environments, experiences, and individuals can help them grow into well-adjusted, confident adult dogs. Doggy classes or inviting visitors over regularly can provide good socialization experiences.

Obedience Training

Due to their hunting origins, Otterhounds may have a strong prey drive. Training them to obey basic commands like ‘come’, ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘leave it’ from a young age can help manage this instinct and ensure their safety.

Travel Considerations

Traveling with Otterhounds

If you travel frequently, you’ll need to consider how your Otterhound will cope. Some dogs travel well, while others become anxious. You might need to arrange for a pet sitter or a boarding kennel, or ensure your Otterhound is comfortable with car or even air travel.

Adaptability to New Environments

Otterhounds, due to their adaptable nature, generally adjust well to new environments. However, changes should be introduced gradually to avoid causing stress to your pet.


From their distinctive appearance to their friendly and energetic nature, there’s so much to love about Otterhounds. While they may require a bit of effort in terms of exercise and grooming, the reward is a loyal, loving companion who’s full of personality. Whether you’re looking for a jogging companion, a playmate for your kids, or a friendly and loyal pet, the Otterhound is a breed worth considering. With their unique history and lovable nature, they’re a breed that brings joy and companionship to any home.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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