The Otterhound is a breed of large, rectangular-shaped dog with a shaggy appearance that originated in England. It belongs to the hound breed family which is notable for their outstanding hunting skills emphasized by their exceptional scenting power, speed, and or stamina. Otterhounds were originally bred to hunt otters, but have been recently become more like of an engaging family companion. Their weather-resistant double coat is oily, rough, and dense outside, and soft underneath. They come in any coat color usually wheaten or grizzle with some black markings.
Height and Weight
Both the male and female members of the Otterhound breed normally stand a height of 24 to 26 in at the withers, and weigh between 66 to 115 lbs.
Otterhounds, in general, are animated, highly spirited, and fearless dogs. They are delightful, loving, and devoted toward their family owners. The breed is friendly to both children and adults, and they bond well with other dogs and household pets. But because of their strong hunting instincts, Otterhounds are rarely trusted with small, non-canine animals. These massive dogs are intelligent and affectionate, though training them may require patience. Since they were not bred as pets by tradition, the breed is not considered to be one of the most responsive breeds. Additionally, Otterhounds need a firm yet gentle owner who can be display consistent leadership over them. Otherwise, the dogs will become willful and dominant. They make quiet companions as they do not bark excessively. Nonetheless, Otterhounds like to bay and roam. The breed loves the water and is a great swimmer.
Otterhound dogs needs to be groomed on a weekly basis. The long hair near their mouth also requires frequent cleaning. Careful combing may be needed to maintain the good condition of their thick coat that tends to mat. Handlers are encouraged to trim the hair around the paws to keep them from accumulating dirt and grime.
Otterhounds are generally a healthy and hardy breed. In fact, they have an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Nevertheless, like any other canine, the breed is also prone to a few health issues. These include CTD, CHD, hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorder, and gastric torsion.
Members of the Otterhound breed is rarely recommended for apartment-living. They are moderately inactive indoors if given enough exercise. The breed does best with access to a large, safely fenced yard. Provided with a good shelter, Otterhounds can sleep outdoors in either warm or cool climates. Involving them in various family activities will make these dogs happy. Additionally, the breed enjoys playing and swimming.