Are you considering adding an Otterhound to your family? If so, you’re in for a treat! This unique breed is known for its playful, friendly, and affectionate nature. They are great with children and make wonderful family pets. Otterhounds are also known for their exceptional tracking and hunting skills, making them a great choice for those who enjoy outdoor activities. However, owning an Otterhound can come with some challenges, such as their high energy levels and strong-willed personalities. If you’re up for the challenge and looking for a loyal and loving companion, an Otterhound may be the perfect breed for you.

Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Average Size:61-69 cm
Average Weight:29-36 kg
Average Life Span: 10-13 years
Grooming Requirements: Moderate
Exercise Requirements:High

History and Origin

The Otterhound is a large, shaggy dog breed that was originally developed in England for the purpose of hunting otters. The breed is believed to have originated in the 12th century, and was created by crossing various breeds of hounds, including the Bloodhound, the Harrier, and the Griffon Vendeen. The Otterhound was specifically bred for its exceptional sense of smell, which allowed it to track otters through water and over land.

During the 19th century, otter hunting became a popular sport in England, and the Otterhound became a highly sought-after breed. However, by the early 20th century, otter hunting had been banned in England, and the Otterhound’s numbers began to decline. Today, the breed is considered to be rare, with only a few hundred Otterhounds remaining worldwide.

Despite its rarity, the Otterhound remains a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts. The breed is known for its friendly and outgoing personality, as well as its intelligence and loyalty. Otterhounds are also highly adaptable, and can make excellent family pets as well as working dogs.

In addition to its hunting abilities, the Otterhound has also been used for a variety of other purposes throughout history. During World War II, for example, the breed was used by the British military as a search and rescue dog. Otterhounds have also been used as police dogs, and have even been trained as therapy dogs.

Despite its many talents, the Otterhound remains a relatively unknown breed outside of its native England. However, efforts are being made to increase awareness of the breed and to preserve its unique characteristics. In recent years, the Otterhound has been recognized by the American Kennel Club, which has helped to raise the breed’s profile in the United States.

Overall, the Otterhound is a fascinating breed with a rich history and a unique set of skills. While the breed may be rare, it is beloved by those who know it, and its many talents continue to make it a valuable asset in a variety of settings. Whether as a hunting dog, a family pet, or a working dog, the Otterhound is sure to make a lasting impression on anyone who has the pleasure of meeting one.

Otterhound Dog

Size and Breed Category

The Otterhound is a large breed of dog that is known for its unique appearance and impressive hunting skills. These dogs typically weigh between 35 and 66 kilograms and stand at a height of 61 to 69 centimeters at the shoulder. They have a long, shaggy coat that is waterproof and comes in a variety of colors, including black, tan, and blue. The Otterhound’s ears are long and droopy, and their eyes are large and expressive. They have a strong, muscular build that allows them to navigate through rough terrain and swim in cold water for extended periods of time. Overall, the Otterhound is a powerful and athletic breed that is well-suited for hunting and outdoor activities.

The Otterhound is classified as a hound breed, which means that they were originally bred for hunting purposes. Specifically, Otterhounds were used to hunt otters in the rivers and streams of England. They have a keen sense of smell and are able to track their prey through water and on land. In addition to their hunting abilities, Otterhounds are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are loyal and affectionate with their families, but can be reserved around strangers. Due to their size and energy levels, Otterhounds require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They are a unique and fascinating breed that is sure to capture the hearts of anyone who meets them.

Fur Length and Colour

The fur of the Otterhound is thick and shaggy, providing excellent insulation against cold water. The fur is typically longer on the body and shorter on the legs and face. The fur can come in a variety of colours, including black, tan, and grizzle. Some Otterhounds may also have white markings on their chest and feet. The fur is water-resistant, which is important for their original purpose of hunting otters in rivers and streams. The texture of the fur is coarse and wiry, which helps protect the dog from scratches and bites while hunting.

The colour of the Otterhound’s fur can vary greatly, even within the same litter. Some Otterhounds may have a solid colour, while others may have a combination of colours. The most common colours are black and tan, grizzle, and blue and tan. Grizzle is a unique colour that is a mix of black and white hairs, giving the fur a salt-and-pepper appearance. The fur of the Otterhound requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. The breed is known for shedding moderately, so regular brushing can help keep shedding under control.

Termperament and Trainability

The Otterhound is a breed of dog that is known for its friendly and outgoing temperament. They are generally very sociable and enjoy being around people and other animals. They are also known for their intelligence and are considered to be highly trainable. This makes them a popular choice for families who are looking for a dog that is easy to train and will be a good companion for their children. However, it is important to note that the Otterhound can be quite stubborn at times, so it is important to be patient and consistent when training them. Overall, the Otterhound is a great choice for families who are looking for a friendly and trainable dog that will be a loyal companion for many years to come.

In terms of trainability, the Otterhound is a breed that requires a lot of patience and consistency. They are intelligent dogs, but they can be quite stubborn at times, so it is important to be patient and persistent when training them. They respond well to positive reinforcement, so it is important to reward them for good behavior and ignore bad behavior. It is also important to socialize them from a young age, as they can be quite wary of strangers if they are not properly socialized. Overall, the Otterhound is a breed that requires a lot of time and effort to train, but they are well worth the effort for families who are looking for a loyal and trainable companion.

Otterhound Dog ready for training

Known Health Conditions

Otterhounds are a breed of dog that are prone to certain health conditions. One of the most common health issues that Otterhounds face is hip dysplasia. This is a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and discomfort for the dog. Otterhounds may also suffer from elbow dysplasia, which is a similar condition affecting the elbow joint. Both of these conditions can be managed with medication and physical therapy, but in severe cases, surgery may be required.

Another health condition that Otterhounds may experience is bloat, also known as gastric torsion. This is a serious condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood supply to the organs. Bloat can be life-threatening and requires immediate veterinary attention. Otterhounds may also be prone to ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the ears can help prevent infections from occurring.

Otterhound Dog fresh air good for health

Openness to Strangers

Otterhounds are known for their friendly and sociable nature towards strangers. They are a breed that is always eager to meet new people and make new friends. With their outgoing personalities, they are quick to approach strangers and show affection towards them. Otterhounds are not shy or reserved when it comes to meeting new people, and they are always ready to engage in play or cuddles. Their open and welcoming nature makes them a popular choice for families with children, as they are patient and gentle with kids. Otterhounds are also known to be good with other pets, making them a great addition to multi-pet households.

In addition to their friendly nature, Otterhounds are also known for their curious and adventurous personalities. They love to explore new places and meet new people, making them great companions for outdoor activities. Otterhounds are always up for a walk or a hike, and they enjoy exploring new trails and sniffing out new scents. Their adventurous nature also makes them great travel companions, as they are always excited to see new sights and experience new things. Otterhounds are a breed that thrives on social interaction and new experiences, making them a great choice for active families who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Playfulness Level

The Otterhound is a highly playful breed of dog that loves to have fun. They are known for their energetic and lively nature, and they are always up for a game or a run around. Whether it’s playing fetch, chasing a ball, or simply running around in circles, the Otterhound is always ready to play. They are also very social animals and love to interact with their owners and other dogs. This makes them a great choice for families with children or other pets, as they are always happy to join in the fun.

One of the things that makes the Otterhound so playful is their natural curiosity. They are always exploring their surroundings and looking for new things to discover. This means that they are constantly on the move, and they love to investigate anything that catches their eye. They are also very intelligent animals, which means that they are always looking for new challenges to keep their minds engaged. This makes them a great choice for owners who are looking for a dog that is both playful and intelligent, as they are always up for a challenge. Overall, the Otterhound is a highly playful and energetic breed of dog that is sure to bring a lot of joy and fun to any household.

Suitability as a Pet for Children

Otterhounds have a friendly and sociable nature, making them a great choice as a pet for children. They are known for their love of water and enjoy swimming, which can be a fun activity for kids to participate in with their furry friend. Otterhounds are also intelligent and trainable, making them easy to teach new tricks and commands. However, they do have a strong prey drive and may be inclined to chase smaller animals, so it is important to supervise them around other pets. Overall, the Otterhound can make a wonderful addition to a family with children who are looking for an active and affectionate companion.

Exercise Needs

Otterhounds require a significant amount of exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. As a large breed, they need plenty of space to run and play, making them better suited to homes with a garden or access to open spaces. A daily walk of at least an hour is recommended, but they will also benefit from additional activities such as swimming, hiking, and playing fetch. Otterhounds have a strong hunting instinct, so it is important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from chasing after small animals. Regular exercise will help to prevent obesity and reduce the risk of health problems such as joint issues and heart disease.

In addition to physical exercise, Otterhounds also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. They are intelligent dogs that enjoy learning new tricks and participating in activities such as obedience training and agility courses. Puzzle toys and interactive games can also provide mental stimulation and prevent them from becoming bored. Otterhounds are social animals and enjoy spending time with their owners, so including them in family activities and providing plenty of attention and affection is also important for their overall well-being.

Otterhound Dog running exercise

Suitability for a Multi-Pet Family

Otterhounds have a reputation for being friendly towards other animals. They were originally bred to hunt in packs, so they are used to working alongside other dogs. However, as with any breed, individual temperament can vary. It is important to socialize Otterhounds with other pets from a young age to ensure they get along well. Additionally, it is always wise to supervise interactions between pets to prevent any potential conflicts.

Housing Requirements

The Otterhound is a breed that requires a spacious and secure living environment. With a height of up to 69cm and a weight of up to 54kg, they need plenty of room to move around and exercise. A large, fenced yard or garden is ideal for this breed, as they love to run and play. It is important to note that Otterhounds are skilled diggers, so the fencing should be buried deep into the ground to prevent them from escaping. Additionally, they are known for their strong sense of smell, so it is important to ensure that the yard is free from any potential hazards or toxic substances.

When it comes to indoor living, the Otterhound requires a comfortable and spacious area to rest and relax. They are a breed that enjoys being around their family and thrive on human interaction, so it is important to provide them with a designated space within the home. A large, comfortable bed is essential for this breed, as they require plenty of rest to maintain their energy levels. It is also important to ensure that the living space is free from any potential hazards, such as small objects that could be swallowed or toxic substances that could harm the dog. Overall, the Otterhound requires a safe and comfortable living environment both indoors and outdoors.


Otterhounds have a friendly and sociable nature, making them a great addition to any family. They are known for their love of the outdoors and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. With their strong sense of smell, they enjoy tracking scents and exploring their surroundings. Otterhounds are intelligent and respond well to training, but can be stubborn at times. They are generally good with children and other pets, but may have a strong prey drive due to their history as hunting dogs. Overall, the Otterhound can make a wonderful pet for those who are willing to provide them with plenty of exercise and attention.


Otterhound Dog FAQS

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Otterhounds can be stubborn and independent, so training may require patience and consistency.

Yes, Otterhounds are known to be good with children and make great family pets.

Otterhounds can be prone to hip dysplasia, bloat, and ear infections. Regular vet check-ups are recommended.

Otterhounds can get along with other pets if socialized properly from a young age.

Yes, Otterhounds shed a moderate amount and require regular grooming to maintain their coat.

Otterhounds are active dogs and require at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day.

Otterhounds only need to be bathed every 2-3 months, unless they get particularly dirty or smelly.

An Otterhound can grow up to 69-76 cm in height.

The average weight of an Otterhound is between 32-54 kg.

The average lifespan of an Otterhound is 10-13 years.