The Otterhound is not recommended for apartment life or smaller homes, and needs to be outdoors on a regular basis. The dog does not adapt well to indoor exercise, and will do best in a home with a large, fenced-in yard. These doors can sleep outdoors during cool and mild climates, and will fit in nicely in an area where shelter is available.
The Otterhound is relatively large in size than other breeds, and will be more expensive to feed than smaller dogs. They are prone to bloat, and will require plenty of exercise before and after meals. These dogs enjoy long walks and exploring new territory. It does not suit them well to stay in one single place for extended periods of time.
The Otterhound is a large dog with a rough coat and classic shaggy face. It has bushy eyebrows and a wide head. The neck is muscular and it has a noticeable dewlap. The Otterhound is a large, strong breed and has a woolly undercoat. The most common colors include black and tan grizzle. While the muzzle and snout are well-proportioned, the lips are thick and pendant-shaped. The dense undercoat is a noticeable trait of this breed, and it often has black markings.
These dogs are well-balanced and very muscular; they are strong and can become good protector dogs. They are generally good with people, and do have a tendency to chase. The tail is carried low in most cases, but will raise up when the dog is excited, anxious, and alert.
The Otterhound is from a family of pack hounds, and the feet are webbed for swimming. A naturally excellent swimmer, these dogs can swim for miles and enjoy spending time in the outdoors. Training this dog requires patience, and but these dogs are very attentive and loyal to their owners and masters. They are obedient and train well. Natural explorers, the Otterhound has the tendency to chase from scent.
The Otterhound has a rough and bushy coat that can be course but not wiry. The dog may have black markings, and the most common coat is grizzle or wheaten in color.
The Otterhound is an old breed that has been crossed with Bloodhounds, Griffons, Harriers, and rough-haired Terriers. The otter is the dog's preferred prey, and they will avidly search and sniff for otters in lakes and ponds at their leisure. These dogs have been bred to control otter populations for many fishermen throughout history, and they were often involved for hunting in packs for the natural trout supply in rivers and lakes as well.
Notable kings in Brtian enjoyed raising Otterhounds as part of their sporting and leisure lifestyles; King John, Charles II, Edward II and IV, Richard III, Henry II, Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I were all involved with raising and operating hunting packs of Otterhounds during the 19th century. The Otterhound has an acute sense of smell and can recognize any time when an otter has passed an area as far as the night before. While the otter population diminished in the early 20th century, the Otterhound' s popularity also slowly disappeared.
Since 1978, the otter became a protected species and neared extinction. As a result, the Otterhound's existence was severely threatened and it was only because of the concentrated efforts of breeders that this dog was saved. The Otterhound has commonly been used as a show dog, and can be well prepared for competition. It has a great swimming ability by nature, and will rarely stop after hours and hours of swimming. Since it has a naturally protective coat, the Otterhound can dive into water and seek prey underwater and in very cold and wet conditions. It has commonly been used to hunt mink, bear, and raccoon. The Otterhound has a very strong sense of smell that is well-suited for drag hunting and searching.
Today, the Otterhound makes a strong family companion and is very attentive, loyal, and affectionate. It enjoys an active lifestyle and fares well in a variety of environments.
The Otterhound is a bold and exuberant dog, and is naturally cheerful and consistently excited. It makes a wonderful companion and does well with family members and young children. It is not recommended for households with young children, however, since they can become fairly intense and clumsy at times. These dogs are naturally friendly with other family pets and strangers, and will come across as very affectionate.
The Otterhound is an intelligent dog, and can become very eager to please. It does take patience to train this dog because it has a tendency to become overly willful; however, it is also pleasant and submissive, and will respond well to firm and consistent training. The approach of using an 'iron fist with a velvet glove' is most appropriate for the type of training that is best for this dog. These dogs are naturally quiet, patient, and respond well to positive feedback. They do have a tendency to follow their noses and sniff new people and places often. Their bark is powerful and decisive, and will carry far. They are naturally outdoor dogs, but will not bark excessively if they are at home and around their owners and other animals.
The Otterhound has a deep bay an even melodious sound; it may sound like it is muttering, but often grunts, groans, and sighs when relaxed. These dogs are natural 'singers' and will happily bark and play when around people. When they are in a large pack of Otterhounds, they are especially pleasurable to listen to. These dogs make good watch dogs as their noise is distinct and easily picked up; however, they are poor guard dogs as they do not necessarily train well for 'attack' work.
These dogs are generally quite healthy and function well in a variety of environments. They are most healthy when they receive plenty of Exercise, but there are some special conditions to be aware of:
Thrombocytopenia Hemophilia: A blood-clotting disorder
Obesity: These dogs can gain weight easily when overfed.
Hip Dysplasia: Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) can cause mild to severe lameness
The Otterhound's coat is naturally weather-resistant, and needs to be combed and brushed at least once per week. This prevents matting and keeping the hair clean, soft, and well-maintained will ensure that the dog stays healthy. The beard will need to be washed at least 2-3 times per week, as this area can accumulate dirt and dust far more quickly. The coat can be kept natural, and will have a light glossy sheen in optimal condition. The Otterhound is an average shedder, thus growing a healthy and vibrant coat each season. Still, they do not shed a great deal.
The Otterhound's naturally webbed feet are large and hairy, and have a tendency to attract mud and dirt. It is important to brush their feet clean after they have been outdoors for a long period of time. These dogs are naturally slobbery, and since their beards are kept long and hairy, water and food can become stuck near the face. Brushing and cleaning the dog's face on a regular basis will help them stay healthy and clear of infections.
The undercoat of the Otterhound can become oily, and they may develop a strong odor as a result. It is important to give this dog frequent baths if it showing in competition, but a standard cleaning at a professional groomer can also be helpful at least once per month. Cleaning the ears is important, especially when the dog has been in the water for extended periods of time.
The Otterhound requires a considerable amount of exercise to stay happy and healthy. These dogs train easily when they are active and socialized, and enjoy long walks, jogging, and playing in parks. They do have a tendency to follow a scent and may disobey their owners as a result. It is important to remember this when letting them go unleashed, as they have a tendency to roam and explore on their own.
An ideal exercise for the Otterhound is simply swimming in a lake or pond; these dogs thoroughly enjoy swimming for extended periods of time, and will adapt well to an environment where this is encouraged. These dogs do not require a large yard, but do need plenty of running space and an opportunity to visit a park will be well received! The Otterhound has a high level of steady energy, and they rarely race or attack. Instead, these dogs enjoy consistency in their travels and surroundings, and adapt well to a variety of settings.
Hiking, exploring, and climbing are also wonderful actvitieis for th eOtterhound. Since these are naturally outdoor dogs, they will enjoy visiting new places and territory. Making sure they are on a leash during these adventures is advisable. A game of fetch and other dog toys can help entertain them during other times, and these are important during "rainy days" when the dog is expected to stay indoors. Naturally energetic and with a strong stamina, these dogs will fare well with athletic owners! The Otterhound is the perfect jogging companion.
The Otterhound has a naturally positive personality with a strong and noble appearance. They try very hard to be good, and are joyful by nature. Although they look dignified and very noble, they are often misconceived as they have an almost "childish" playfulness and attitude. It is helpful to know this in training as they respond well to play and this can be incorporated in their training program. Still, these dogs are independent by nature, and it can be difficult to train them if they are trained after their puppy and formative years.
Training can take some patience as these dogs tend to be very stubborn. However, by combining play and training will be most effective in encouraging change. These dogs grow in size very rapidly, and it is best to train them at the youngest age possible. These dogs may become too "soft" if they are not trained appropriately, and thus need some harsh correction on occasion. They are natural retrievers, and will learn quickly when they are happy and in a playful environment. As a result, taking them outside for games such as Frisbee or fetching a ball can be helpful in "breaking the ice" and encouraging them to respond to your requests.
Highly intelligent and naturally bright, it's important to remember that these dogs have a strong sense of smell. They will go to great lengths to locate food, so it is important to train them on how and where they should be exploring and foraging. They have been known to open refrigerator doors and even yard fences on their searches for food, and it is important that they are trained to respect areas of the household. Encouraging positive habits through mindful training is most effective in overcoming their tendency to search areas without restraint.
Otterhounds can be successfully trained to become obedient and submissive to their owners. They excel as tracking dogs, and are wonderful "therapy" dogs with their sweet and friendly natures. They do their best when they are mostly active, and have a good-natured personality with children and other dogs. Still, it is important to outline and emphasize boundaries for these dogs as early as possible. These dogs respond well to encouragement, attention, and affection. They can learn new tricks fairly easily, and will adopt new skills in a very short period of time. These dogs do not make good guard dogs, but can be wonderful watchdogs if the owners need a dog that simply oversees the home. Since they do require plenty of exercise, helping them stay active will result in a happy and attentive dog as well.
Overall, it is important for owners and masters to have a sense of humor with these dogs. These dogs tend to be messy and can become destructive if they are bored or ignored. The dog needs to learn and grow in its early years, and will respond well to affection and attention. They will also adopt to different environments relatively easily and become quite protective of their territory.