The Otterhound: Your complete guide!

The Otterhound, a beloved emblem of strength, determination, and those distinctive whiskers, captures the imagination of dog lovers and admirers of waterfowl hunting. With a history steeped in England, a distinctive appearance, and an unwavering dedication to tracking otters, this breed holds a special place as a cherished companion and a master of aquatic hunting.

Otterhound Portrait
Friendly | Committed | Tenacious
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Everything you need to know about the Otterhound!

    Category (Explanation)Breed Information
    Year of Breed Conception19th century
    Country of OriginUnited Kingdom
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Male)115-125 lbs (52-57 kg)
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Female)80-115 lbs (36-52 kg)
    Coat TypeDense, harsh, waterproof
    Color VariationsAny hound color
    Shedding Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Height (cm & in)24-27 inches (61-69 cm)
    Breed SizeLarge
    Trainability (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Mental Needs (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Intelligence Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Energy Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Agility (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Loyalty (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Playfulness (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Exercise NeedsRegular exercise and swimming
    Guarding Proficiency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Sociability with Children (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Barking Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Digging Tendency (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Destructive Behavior (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Drooling Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Obedience Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Apartment Friendly (Yes/No)No, needs space and activity
    Inherent Prey DriveHigh
    Physical Risk to Others (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Travel Fatality Risk (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Allergen PotentialLow
    Health Concerns (List of Common Health Concerns)Hip Dysplasia, Bloat
    Average Life Expectancy (Life Expectancy in Years)10-12 years
    Make sure to take care of your Otterhound and

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    History of the Otterhound

    The Otterhound, a breed with deep roots in British history, was originally bred for hunting otters in England’s rivers and lakes. These large, robust hounds possess a distinctive shaggy coat and webbed feet, making them exceptional swimmers and trackers.

    Historically, Otterhounds were essential in managing otter populations to protect fishing stocks, a practice dating back to medieval England. Their keen nose, stamina, and amiable nature made them a favorite among hunters and fishermen alike.

    In the 20th century, as otter hunting declined and eventually was banned, the Otterhound’s role evolved. Breed enthusiasts in Britain and beyond worked to preserve the breed not for hunting, but for its unique characteristics and as a companion dog. Their efforts focused on maintaining the Otterhound’s robust health and genial temperament.

    Today, the Otterhound is valued as a gentle, friendly family pet and a living link to a bygone era of British rural life. Its rarity and historical significance make it a cherished breed among dog enthusiasts around the world.

    What makes the Otterhound so special?

    Otterhound Lying on Flowers

    What sets the Otterhound apart is its unique blend of determination and scenting ability. This breed’s powerful nose and persistence make it an exceptional tracker and water dog.

    Yet, beneath its rugged exterior lies a heart full of affection, making it a cherished family companion. Its history as a dedicated hunter and its ability to combine determination with gentle companionship make the Otterhound truly special.

    The Otterhound, a breed from England, has a long history as an otter hunter. These large, robust hounds were bred for their ability to hunt otters in water and on land, helping to control otter populations in English rivers and streams.

    Their waterproof coat and webbed feet made them excellent swimmers. Otterhounds were valued not just for their hunting skills but also for their amiable and boisterous personality.

    Today, while otter hunting is no longer practiced, the Otterhound continues to be appreciated for its unique characteristics and remains a loving and energetic family pet, embodying England’s rural hunting heritage.

    Otterhounds are esteemed for their distinct personalities. They are recognized for their laid-back and friendly demeanor, displaying both calmness and sociability. Despite their large size, they possess a gentle and affectionate disposition, especially with children.

    Their keen sense of smell and sociability make them highly trainable and adaptable. While they may be reserved with strangers, their loyalty to their families is unwavering. Otterhounds embody an enchanting blend of calmness, sociability, and a devoted sense of duty.

    With proper care and understanding, they become affectionate, loyal, and reliable companions, epitomizing the perfect fusion of calmness and affection.

    Known for their distinctive appearance and hunting abilities, Otterhounds exhibit a friendly and determined temperament. While generally loving and loyal, their strong scent-tracking instincts may lead to occasional stubbornness, requiring consistent and patient training.

    This breed’s energetic nature may pose challenges, making leash training crucial to ensure control. Otterhounds are typically sociable with other dogs, but early socialization is recommended to ensure harmonious interactions. While affectionate with their families, their independent streak underscores the need for early training to foster a well-adjusted temperament.

    With proper guidance, they can become devoted family members. Early exposure to various environments and people helps shape their adaptable and well-mannered temperament.

    Otterhounds are large and sturdy dogs with a distinctive appearance and a friendly demeanor. They have a broad head, with a well-defined stop and a square-shaped muzzle. The eyes are deep-set and expressive, often in shades of brown. Otterhounds are known for their keen sense of smell, which is aided by their long and pendulous ears.

    Their coat is dense, harsh, and water-resistant, providing protection in their historical role as otter hunters. The neck is strong and muscular, leading to a deep chest and a well-sprung ribcage. Otterhounds have straight, sturdy legs and webbed feet, contributing to their swimming abilities.

    In terms of size, males typically stand between 27 to 29 inches (69-74 cm) at the shoulder, with females being slightly smaller. Weight ranges from 80 to 115 pounds (36-52 kg). Otterhounds are known for their amiable nature and make excellent family pets, displaying a patient and gentle disposition.

    The tail is set high and may have a slight curve, adding to their overall balance. Otterhounds possess a distinctive and melodious bay, contributing to their charm and historical use in tracking otters by sound.

    Their unique combination of strength, endurance, and a gentle temperament makes them well-suited for various activities, from canine sports to being a devoted family companion.

    In summary, Otterhounds are a charming and substantial breed, combining a rich history of hunting with a friendly and sociable nature, making them a delightful addition to any household.

    Otterhounds come in various color variations, adding to their unique and distinctive appearance. The most common color variations for Otterhounds include:

    1. Grizzle and Tan: This is one of the most recognized and typical color patterns. The coat is grizzle (a mix of black and gray) with tan markings, creating a distinctive and handsome appearance.
    2. Blue Roan: Otterhounds may have a blue roan coat, featuring a mix of black and white hairs that create a unique and stylish look.
    3. Red: Some Otterhounds exhibit a solid red coat, creating a warm and vibrant appearance.
    4. Tri-Color with Saddle Markings: While less common, some Otterhounds may have a tri-color coat, featuring black, white, and tan, often with distinctive saddle markings on the back.

    1. Water-Dappled: Water-Dappled Otterhounds showcase a coat with a mottled or spotted appearance, featuring irregular patterns of color that add a playful and distinctive element.

    2. Blotched: Blotched Otterhounds exhibit irregular, large patches of color on their coat, creating a visually striking and eye-catching appearance against a lighter background.
    3. Ticked: Ticked coat patterns involve small, distinct flecks or spots of color (commonly black or brown) scattered throughout the coat, providing a textured and unique look.
    4. Solid: Some Otterhounds may have a solid coat with no discernible patterns or markings, presenting a sleek and uniform appearance with a single, consistent color.
    5. Speckled: Speckled Otterhounds display small, distinct spots or flecks of color on their coat, contributing to the overall texture and depth of their charming and friendly appearance.
    6. Harlequin: Harlequin Otterhounds feature a coat with large, irregular patches of different colors, forming a visually captivating, patchwork-like appearance against a lighter background.

    Otterhounds have a moderate shedding level. While not considered heavy shedders, they may shed consistently throughout the year, with a potential increase during seasonal shifts like spring and fall. The degree of shedding varies among individual Otterhounds.

    Genetics, health, and coat quality play a role in shedding for Otterhounds. Managing shedding involves regular grooming, including brushing once or twice a week with a bristle brush or a deshedding tool to remove loose fur and maintain a healthy coat.

    Otterhounds, with their dense, water-resistant coat and distinctive appearance, require regular grooming to keep them comfortable and looking their best. Tailored grooming practices ensure their coat, ears, and nails remain in optimal condition.

    Brushing: Weekly brushing with a slicker brush helps remove loose fur and prevents matting in their dense coat. Pay extra attention to areas prone to tangling, such as behind the ears and on the tail.

    Bathing: Bathing every 4-6 weeks is usually sufficient. Use a mild dog shampoo to preserve their coat’s natural oils. Thoroughly rinse and dry, paying attention to the ears.

    Ears: Check and clean their ears weekly to prevent wax buildup. Use a damp cotton ball or a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution to maintain ear health.

    Nails: Regular nail trimming is crucial for their comfort and gait. Trim their nails every 2-3 weeks using a dog nail clipper, taking care not to cut too close to the quick.

    Teeth: Brush their teeth 2-3 times a week using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Dental chews or toys can complement regular brushing for good oral health.

    Wrinkle Care (if applicable): Otterhounds typically do not have wrinkles, but if present, keep those areas clean and dry to prevent skin issues.

    Eye Care: Regularly check their eyes for any signs of irritation or discharge. Use a damp cloth to gently clean around the eye area if needed.

    Otterhounds have a moderate activity level. Known for their scenting abilities and friendly nature, these dogs benefit from regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. Here are some key points to consider about their activity level:

    1. Exercise Needs: Otterhounds require daily exercise, including walks, swims, and engaging playtime. Providing a moderate level of exercise helps maintain their health and prevents boredom.
    2. Energy Level: They possess a moderate energy level, often showing bursts of energy during play or when near water. Structured exercise sessions contribute to their overall well-being.
    3. Physical Activity: Due to their large and sturdy build, Otterhounds can excel in activities like tracking, scent work, and even water-related sports. Regular participation in such activities is key to their health and happiness.
    4. Mental Stimulation: These dogs benefit from mental challenges. Puzzle toys, scent games, and interactive play help keep their minds active and prevent boredom.
    5. Exercise Caution: Be mindful of their activity in extreme weather conditions, especially in hot weather. Their dense, water-resistant coat provides insulation, but protection from the sun and proper hydration are crucial.
    6. Age Consideration: As Otterhounds age, their activity level may decrease. Tailor their exercise routine to their age, focusing on low-impact activities that support joint health and overall well-being.

    Otterhounds are esteemed for their distinctive appearance and exceptional tracking abilities. Their cognitive abilities are marked by a combination of determination, problem-solving skills, and a friendly demeanor. Here’s a closer look at their intelligence:

    1. Trainability: Otterhounds are generally trainable, especially when engaged in activities that stimulate their keen sense of smell. Positive reinforcement-based training methods work well, as they respond to rewards and praise.
    2. Problem-Solving: With their acute olfactory senses and tenacity, Otterhounds excel in problem-solving. Their ability to track scents and navigate varied terrains showcases their intelligence, particularly in tasks that require quick thinking.
    3. Adaptability: These dogs are adaptable to various environments, thriving in both rural and suburban settings. Their webbed feet and sturdy build allow them to adjust seamlessly to different living conditions.
    4. Work and Utility: Historically bred for hunting otters, Otterhounds exhibit a strong work ethic. Their intelligence played a crucial role in tracking and pursuing game, requiring quick decision-making in challenging landscapes.
    5. Social Intelligence: Known for their amiable and sociable nature, Otterhounds form strong bonds with their families. They are attuned to the emotions and needs of their human companions.

    While they may have a strong hunting instinct, the intelligence of Otterhounds shines in their determination and tracking instincts. Patient training, engaging activities, and recognizing their unique characteristics are essential for fostering a strong bond and unleashing their full potential as loyal and intelligent companions.

    Otterhounds thrive on mental stimulation. Engage them in activities that challenge their minds, such as scent tracking, puzzle toys, or interactive games.

    Social Interaction: They are social dogs and need regular interaction with their human family members. Loneliness can lead to anxiety or depression, so provide them with companionship and attention.

    Exercise: Physical activity is not just for their bodies; it also benefits their mental health. Regular exercise, including water-based activities, helps reduce stress and anxiety.

    Training and Obedience: Otterhounds benefit from obedience training, which not only provides mental stimulation but also reinforces their bond with their owners. Consistent, positive-reinforcement training is effective in shaping their behavior.

    Routine and Structure: Dogs, in general, thrive on routine and structure. Establishing a predictable daily routine can help them feel secure and reduce anxiety.

    Affection and Attention: Show affection and spend quality time with your Otterhound. They appreciate a loving and supportive environment.

    Socialization: Early socialization is crucial to help them become well-adjusted dogs. Expose them to different people, animals, and environments to build their confidence.

    Safe Environment: Create a safe and comfortable environment at home where they can relax and feel secure. Provide a designated space for them to retreat to if they need alone time.

    Consistency: Consistency in training and daily routines helps Otterhounds feel more secure and confident in their environment.

    Enter The Woof Mastery

    Monthly Give Away!
    Enter The Woof Mastery Give Away!
    And win your share of HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS worth of Pet Accessories and Vouchers!

    What to look out for, before you get a Otterhound!

    Otterhound Close-Up Side-angle

    Before considering an Otterhound for your home, it’s essential to comprehend their specific needs. These dogs thrive on regular exercise and appreciate social interactions, making them best suited for active households. Training and socialization play a pivotal role in channeling their gentle nature and preventing stubbornness.

    Monitoring health issues, such as hip dysplasia, is crucial. Prospective owners should be prepared for moderate grooming and be aware of any breed-specific regulations. Responsible ownership includes providing affection, attention, and a safe environment to ensure the happiness of these loyal, laid-back companions.

    Otterhounds, like any amiable and unique breed, have the potential to pose a physical danger to other people if they are not properly socialized, trained, or managed. It’s essential to note that a dog’s behavior largely depends on factors such as individual temperament, upbringing, training, and the owner’s responsibility. Here are some considerations regarding their potential physical danger:

    1. Scent-Hunting Instinct: Otterhounds may possess a strong scent-hunting instinct. Proper training is crucial to channel this instinct positively and prevent any potential issues, especially in outdoor environments.
    2. Socialization: Early and thorough socialization is critical to ensure Otterhounds are comfortable around people and other animals. Dogs that are poorly socialized may exhibit fear or aggression when faced with unfamiliar situations.
    3. Training: Obedience training is essential to teach Otterhounds appropriate behavior and ensure they respond to commands. Well-trained dogs are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior.
    4. Owner Responsibility: Owners must be responsible and vigilant when managing their Otterhounds. They should be aware of their dog’s behavior and take necessary precautions in public settings.
    5. Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL): In some areas, Otterhounds may be subject to breed-specific legislation (BSL) due to concerns about their hunting instincts. Owners should be aware of local laws and regulations regarding this breed.
    6. Individual Variability: It’s important to remember that each dog is an individual, and behavior can vary widely among Otterhounds. Responsible ownership, proper training, and socialization are key factors in preventing any potential physical danger to others.

    While Otterhounds are often recognized for their friendly and amiable nature, understanding their behavior with children is crucial for families. Here are some insights into the behavior of Otterhounds with children:

    1. Friendly and Amiable: Otterhounds are known for their friendly and amiable demeanor, which can make them approachable playmates for children who enjoy interactive activities.
    2. Sturdy Build: Otterhounds have a sturdy and robust build, which may make them suitable companions for active children. Their strong physique can make them visually interesting playmates for kids.
    3. Socialization: Early socialization is vital for Otterhounds. Exposing them to various experiences, people, and environments can help them become well-adjusted around children and other animals.
    4. Training: Obedience training is essential to reinforce good behavior. Teaching commands like “sit” and “stay” can help manage any exuberance during play with children.
    5. Supervision: Despite their friendly demeanor, all interactions between Otterhounds and children should be supervised. This precaution ensures a safe and positive environment for both the dog and the children.
    6. Individual Variability: Keep in mind that individual Otterhounds may have different temperaments. While the breed has general traits, variations can exist among individual dogs.
    7. Respect for Space: Teach children to respect the dog’s need for rest. Otterhounds may appreciate moments of quiet time and should be allowed to retreat if they feel overwhelmed.

    Otterhounds are generally capable swimmers, but like all dogs, their swimming ability can vary from one individual to another. Here are some factors to consider regarding their ability to swim:

    1. Natural Instinct: Many dogs have a natural instinct for swimming, and Otterhounds may exhibit this instinct. They may enjoy being in the water and can paddle and stay afloat.
    2. Physical Build: Otterhounds have a large and sturdy build, which can be advantageous for swimming. Their physique often allows them to stay buoyant in the water.
    3. Comfort Level: The extent to which an Otterhound enjoys swimming can vary. Some may eagerly take to the water, while others may be more cautious or hesitant.
    4. Supervision: Whenever introducing a dog, including Otterhounds, to water, it’s important to supervise them closely. Even dogs with good swimming abilities can become tired or disoriented in the water.
    5. Life Vest: If you plan to take your Otterhound swimming, especially in open water or deep pools, consider using a canine life vest. This adds an extra layer of safety and buoyancy.
    6. Positive Introduction: To encourage swimming, provide positive and gradual introductions to water. Allow your Otterhound to wade in shallow areas and build their confidence.
    7. Safety Precautions: Be aware of potential hazards, such as strong currents or underwater obstacles, when allowing your dog to swim.

    While many Otterhounds can swim and may enjoy the water, it’s important to gauge your individual dog’s comfort level and abilities. If you plan to introduce your Otterhound to swimming, do so in a safe and controlled environment, and always prioritize their safety and well-being.

    1. Start Early: Begin training your Otterhound as early as possible. Puppies are like sponges, and their ability to learn is at its peak during their early months.
    2. Socialization: Expose your Otterhound puppy to a diverse range of people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted adults. Socialization is crucial for reducing fear and aggression.
    3. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and toys, to reward and reinforce good behavior. This approach is effective and builds a strong bond between you and your Otterhound.
    4. Consistency: Be consistent with your training methods and commands. Use the same cues and rewards consistently to avoid confusion.
    5. Basic Commands: Teach essential commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “leave it.” These commands are the building blocks of obedience and safety.
    6. House Training: Be patient and consistent when house training your Otterhound puppy. Establish a routine for bathroom breaks and praise them when they eliminate outside.
    7. Crate Training: Crate training can be a valuable tool for housebreaking and providing a safe space for your puppy. Make the crate a positive and comfortable place.
    8. Social Skills: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people to develop good social skills. Puppy classes and playdates can be helpful.
    9. Exercise and Play: Otterhound puppies have energy to burn. Ensure they get enough exercise and playtime to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
    10. Chewing: Provide appropriate chew toys to satisfy their need to chew and prevent them from chewing on furniture or belongings.
    11. Patience and Persistence: Training takes time, and puppies may not grasp commands immediately. Be patient and persistent, and avoid punishment-based training methods.
    12. Professional Training: If you encounter challenges or need additional guidance, consider enrolling your puppy in a professional training class led by a qualified dog trainer.

    Remember that Otterhound puppies, like all puppies, are eager to please and learn. Positive and consistent training practices will help them become well-behaved, obedient, and happy adult dogs. Building a strong and trusting bond with your puppy through training is a rewarding experience for both you and your canine companion.

    Otterhounds, like all dogs, can produce various noises and vocalizations as part of their communication and daily activities. Here are some common noises they may make:

    1. Barking: Otterhounds may bark to alert their owners to something unusual or to express excitement. While they are not considered excessively barky, they may bark when they sense a perceived threat.
    2. Snoring: Due to their facial structure, some Otterhounds may snore, especially when they are sleeping deeply. This is a common trait among dogs with [insert specific facial features if applicable] muzzles.
    3. Hiccups: Dogs, including Otterhounds, can experience hiccups, which are usually harmless and may occur after eating or drinking too quickly. Hiccups in dogs tend to resolve on their own.
    4. Growling: Growling can be a form of communication for dogs. Otterhounds may growl when they are feeling threatened, uncomfortable, or during play. It’s essential to understand the context in which the growling occurs.
    5. Howling: While not as common as in some other breeds, Otterhounds may occasionally howl in response to certain sounds or stimuli. Howling can also be a form of communication.
    6. Whining: Whining is another way dogs express their needs or desires. Otterhounds may whine when they are anxious, in pain, or seeking attention.
    7. Moaning or Groaning: Some Otterhounds may make moaning or groaning sounds, especially when they are stretching or getting up from a lying position. This is often normal and not a cause for concern.
    8. Playful Sounds: During play, Otterhounds may make various playful sounds, such as grunts, playful barks, and excited vocalizations, to communicate their enjoyment.

    It’s important for owners to pay attention to their Otterhound’s vocalizations and understand the context in which they occur. While some noises are normal and harmless, others may indicate discomfort or a need for attention. Positive reinforcement training can help manage and modify their vocal behaviors as needed.

    Otterhound dogs thrive in homes with experienced owners, outdoor space for exercise, socialization opportunities, and a consistent routine. Their well-being and happiness are closely tied to proper care, attention to their hunting instincts, and an environment that supports their friendly and determined nature.

    1. Experienced Owners: Otterhound dogs benefit from homes with owners who have experience handling hunting breeds. Understanding their instincts and characteristics is essential for successful companionship.
    2. Outdoor Space: These dogs thrive in homes with a securely fenced yard where they can engage in scent-related activities. Regular outdoor exercise is crucial to fulfill their hunting instincts.
    3. Exercise: They do well in households with active individuals or families who can provide regular exercise and outdoor activities to fulfill their energetic instincts.
    4. Socialization: Early and consistent socialization is crucial for Otterhound dogs to develop into well-mannered companions. Exposure to various environments, people, and other pets helps prevent shyness or aloof behavior.
    5. Routine: Establishing a routine helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety. Predictable daily schedules are beneficial.
    6. Training: They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and thrive in environments where training and mental stimulation are prioritized.


    1. Lack of Exercise: Without sufficient exercise and mental stimulation, Otterhound dogs can become bored and may develop behavioral problems.
    2. Isolation: They may struggle in homes where they are frequently left alone for extended periods. Owners who can provide companionship or engage them in interactive games are preferable.
    3. Hunting Instincts: Owners should be aware of their strong hunting instincts, and appropriate outlets for this behavior should be provided to prevent them from becoming frustrated.
    4. Lack of Socialization: Poorly socialized Otterhound dogs may exhibit fear or aggression towards strangers or other animals, which can lead to challenges in public settings.
    5. Owner Experience: Inexperienced owners who are not prepared for the breed’s specific needs and characteristics may face challenges in raising a well-behaved Otterhound.

    When it comes to travel fatality risk for Otterhounds, consider the following potential constraints:

    1. Heat Sensitivity: Otterhounds, with their dense, water-resistant coat, may have lower heat tolerance. Avoid traveling during extreme heat, and ensure proper ventilation in the travel environment to prevent overheating. Never leave them in a parked car in warm conditions.
    2. Size and Space: Otterhounds are a large breed with a sturdy build. When traveling, especially by air, check airline regulations for crate size requirements and ensure your vehicle can comfortably accommodate their size.
    3. Behavior and Anxiety: Some Otterhounds may experience anxiety during travel due to their independent nature. Proper training, positive reinforcement, and bringing familiar items like their favorite toys can help alleviate travel-related anxiety.
    4. Rest Stops: During long car journeys, frequent breaks are essential for Otterhounds to stretch their legs, hydrate, and take bathroom breaks. Plan travel routes with suitable rest stops to ensure their comfort and well-being.
    5. Restraint: Unrestrained dogs in vehicles pose a safety hazard. Secure your Otterhound in a crate or use a seatbelt harness designed for large breeds to prevent them from moving around and causing distractions while driving.
    6. Air Travel Precautions: If flying with your Otterhound, research airline policies and choose carriers with appropriate safety measures for large breeds. Ensure the crate used for air travel meets the size and safety requirements specified by the airline.
    7. Proper Identification: Make sure your Otterhound wears a secure collar with identification tags and has a microchip with up-to-date information in case of accidental separation during travel.

    By addressing these potential constraints and taking necessary precautions, you can help ensure the safe travel of your Otterhound and minimize travel-related risks.

    Otterhounds may be prone to specific health concerns. While not all individuals will experience these issues, it’s essential for Otterhound owners to be aware of potential health problems and work with veterinarians to maintain their pets’ well-being. Common health concerns in Otterhounds include:

    1. Hip Dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and lameness.
    2. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joints and can cause pain and lameness.
    3. Obesity: Due to their love for food, Otterhounds can be prone to obesity. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is crucial.
    4. Heart Conditions: Some Otterhounds may develop heart issues such as aortic stenosis or dilated cardiomyopathy.
    5. Eye Conditions: Some individuals may be susceptible to various eye conditions, including cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
    6. Joint Problems: Apart from hip dysplasia, Otterhounds may be prone to other joint issues, including arthritis and luxating patellas (dislocated kneecaps).
    7. Dental Issues: Dental problems may affect Otterhounds, emphasizing the importance of regular dental care.
    8. Ear Infections: Otterhounds, with their drop ears, may be more susceptible to ear infections, especially if not cleaned regularly.
    9. Gastrointestinal Sensitivities: Some Otterhounds may have sensitivities to certain foods, leading to gastrointestinal issues.
    10. Respiratory Sensitivities: Otterhounds may be more prone to respiratory issues, especially in environments with poor air quality.
    11. Bladder Stones: Some individuals may be predisposed to the formation of bladder stones, requiring dietary management and medical intervention.
    12. Thyroid Disorders: A hormonal condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems.
    13. Allergies: Otterhounds may develop allergies to environmental factors (e.g., pollen, dust mites) or certain foods, resulting in skin irritation and other symptoms.
    14. Reproductive Health: Female Otterhounds may face reproductive health concerns, including difficulties during pregnancy and whelping.
    15. Skin Issues: Otterhounds may be prone to skin problems, including allergies, hot spots, and bacterial or fungal infections.

    Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper exercise, and responsible breeding practices can help mitigate some of these health concerns. It’s crucial for Otterhound owners to work closely with their veterinarians to monitor their pets’ health and address any issues promptly.

    Proper nutrition is crucial for the health and well-being of Otterhounds. Here are some nutritional habits and best practices to consider for this breed:

    1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality commercial dog food that meets the nutritional requirements specified by organizations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Look for a brand that lists a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient.
    2. Age-Appropriate Food: Otterhounds have different nutritional needs at various life stages. Puppy food is formulated to support growth, while adult and senior formulas cater to the needs of mature dogs. Ensure you’re feeding the appropriate formula for your dog’s age.
    3. Protein: Otterhounds benefit from a diet with a moderate to high protein content. Protein supports muscle maintenance and overall health. Look for sources like chicken, beef, or fish.
    4. Balanced Diet: A balanced diet should include not only protein but also fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid foods with excessive fillers and artificial additives.
    5. Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, which can lead to obesity. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog’s age, activity level, and individual metabolism.
    6. Fresh Water: Always provide clean, fresh water for your Otterhound. Hydration is essential for overall health and digestion.
    7. Avoid Table Scraps: Avoid feeding your dog table scraps, as human food can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. Stick to a consistent diet of high-quality dog food.
    8. Treats: Use treats in moderation for training and rewards. Opt for healthy, dog-specific treats or make your own using safe ingredients.
    9. Consult Your Veterinarian: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet and feeding schedule for your Otterhound. They can provide guidance based on your dog’s specific needs and any health concerns.
    10. Special Dietary Needs: Some Otterhounds may have dietary restrictions or allergies. If your dog has specific dietary needs, work with your vet to choose appropriate foods.
    11. Weight Management: Maintain a healthy weight for your Otterhound to prevent obesity-related health issues. Regular exercise and portion control are key components of weight management.
    12. Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your dog’s overall health, including their weight and dietary needs. Your vet can provide guidance on any necessary dietary adjustments.

    Breed-Specific Laws (BSL): Otterhounds may be subject to breed-specific laws (BSL) in certain areas. These laws are often enacted at the local or municipal level and can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another.

    Types of Restrictions: The specific restrictions imposed on Otterhounds under BSL can include mandatory spaying/neutering, special licensing, liability insurance requirements, muzzling in public, and, in some cases, bans on ownership. The severity of these restrictions depends on local regulations.

    Rationale for BSL: BSL is typically implemented based on concerns about public safety and perceived risks associated with specific breeds, often due to incidents involving dog attacks. While Otterhounds are known for their strong sense of smell, they can be affected by BSL due to misunderstandings about their behavior.

    Controversy: It’s important to note that BSL is a controversial topic. Critics argue that it unfairly targets breeds rather than addressing individual dog behavior and that responsible ownership and training should be emphasized instead of breed-specific restrictions.

    Local Regulations: To determine if there are breed-specific laws or restrictions regarding Otterhounds in your area, you should check with your local animal control or government authorities. Be aware of and comply with any local regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with the law while owning an Otterhound.

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    Fun Facts About The Otterhound

    Myth 1: Otterhounds are High-Maintenance Grooming Dogs

    • Truth: While Otterhounds have a dense, water-resistant coat, they don’t require excessive grooming. Regular brushing and occasional baths are usually sufficient to keep them clean and healthy.

    Myth 2: They Can Only Live in Homes with Yards

    • Truth: Otterhounds can adapt to apartment living if provided with daily exercise. They enjoy outdoor activities but can thrive in various living environments with proper care and mental stimulation.

    Myth 3: They are Aggressive Due to Their Hunting Instinct

    • Truth: Otterhounds have a friendly and amiable nature. While they have a hunting background, proper socialization and training help them coexist peacefully with other pets and people.

    Myth 4: They are Not Good with Children

    • Truth: Otterhounds are known for their gentle and patient demeanor, making them excellent family dogs. Supervised interactions and early socialization contribute to positive relationships with children.

    Myth 5: They Are Not Intelligent

    • Truth: Otterhounds are intelligent and independent thinkers. While they may display a stubborn streak at times, consistent training with positive reinforcement can yield successful results.

    Myth 6: They are Prone to Obesity

    • Truth: While Otterhounds enjoy food, they can maintain a healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise. Monitoring their food intake and providing opportunities for physical activity is key to preventing obesity.

    Myth 7: They Cannot Be Off-Leash Due to Their Scent Hound Nature

    • Truth: With proper training and a secure environment, Otterhounds can be trustworthy off-leash. Their recall can be reliable when trained consistently from an early age.

    Myth 8: They Are Not Affectionate

    • Truth: Otterhounds are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their families. While they may have an independent streak, they form strong bonds with their human companions.

    Myth 9: They are Not Suited for Training Classes

    • Truth: Otterhounds can excel in training classes with the right approach. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them suitable candidates for obedience and agility training.

    Myth 10: They Are All the Same in Size

    • Truth: Otterhounds can vary in size within the breed standard. Some may be larger or smaller, emphasizing the importance of considering individual differences when choosing a pet.

    Understanding the truth about Otterhounds dispels misconceptions and allows potential owners to appreciate the breed’s lovable and adaptable nature.

    1. Regal Rupert: Regal Rupert, the distinguished Otterhound, proudly serves as the official mascot for England’s traditional otter hunting events. Rupert’s exceptional tracking skills and noble presence embody the breed’s working heritage, captivating spectators and earning him the admiration of otter hunting enthusiasts throughout the country.
    2. Loyal Lizzie: Loyal Lizzie, an Otterhound celebrated for her unwavering loyalty, has embraced her role as a search and rescue dog. Lizzie’s dedication and strong sense of smell make her a valued companion in search and rescue missions, exemplifying the breed’s loyalty and adaptability in various roles.
    3. Dashing Dexter: Dashing Dexter, an Otterhound with a passion for water sports, has become a star in the world of canine aquatic competitions. Dexter’s love for water and swimming showcases the breed’s affinity for aquatic activities, earning him recognition as a top competitor in national and international events.

    These Otterhounds excel as hunting event mascots, loyal search and rescue companions, and skilled aquatic athletes, embodying the breed’s working heritage, loyalty, and aquatic prowess.

    The Otterhound holds cultural significance in various contexts:

    1. Mascots and Symbols: Otterhounds, or dogs resembling them, are often chosen as mascots and symbols in cultural events, festivals, and local celebrations. Their unique appearance, strength, and friendly demeanor symbolize qualities such as tradition, outdoor pursuits, and a connection to the local heritage. For example, the “Water Guardian” might be an iconic mascot for a regional festival, representing the breed’s strength and love for water-related activities.
    2. Breed in Art and Media: Otterhounds have made appearances in regional art, folklore, and cultural narratives, portraying them as skilled and friendly companions. Their representation in various forms of media underscores their cultural importance in local traditions and rural life.
    3. Working Dogs: Historically, Otterhounds were prized for their hunting abilities, particularly in tracking and chasing otters in diverse water terrains. Their role in traditional hunting practices has contributed to their cultural significance, reflecting a deep connection to local water-related heritage.
    4. Companion Animals: In modern times, Otterhounds have become cherished family pets known for their friendly nature and adaptability. Their presence in households reflects their cultural significance as versatile companions with roots in regional traditions.
    5. Rescue and Advocacy: Otterhound rescue organizations and advocates actively promote awareness and understanding of the breed. These efforts focus on dispelling misconceptions and highlighting the breed’s positive traits, encouraging responsible ownership.
    6. Symbol of Water Harmony: The Otterhound’s love for water-related activities makes it a symbol of harmony with nature and water in various cultural events, including festivals and community gatherings.
    7. Tattoo Art: Images of Otterhounds are popular choices for tattoos, often representing traits like strength, loyalty, and a connection to local water-related heritage.
    8. Breed Preservation: Enthusiasts and organizations dedicated to Otterhound preservation work to safeguard the breed’s unique qualities, recognizing its historical and cultural significance in regional traditions.

    While there may not be as many famous Otterhound owners as there are for other dog breeds, here are a few notable individuals who have been associated with Otterhounds:

    1. Queen Elizabeth II: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom had an affinity for Otterhounds. These dogs, known for their distinctive appearance and swimming abilities, were occasionally featured in the queen’s pursuits of outdoor activities, reflecting their versatility as companions.
    2. Otterhound Clubs: Clubs and organizations dedicated to Otterhounds play a crucial role in preserving the breed. These groups organize events and activities that showcase the breed’s unique qualities and contribute to responsible breeding practices.
    3. British Canine Heritage: Otterhounds have a historical connection to Britain’s canine heritage, with mentions of the breed dating back centuries. Their role in otter hunting and water-related activities has contributed to their representation in traditional British culture.

    Otterhounds, like many other dog breeds, have faced several threats and challenges over the years. Some of the significant threats and issues that have affected the breed include:

    1. Decline in Otter Hunting: Otterhounds faced challenges with the decline in traditional otter hunting practices. Changes in wildlife conservation, urbanization, and evolving attitudes toward hunting have impacted the breed’s historical role as a skilled otter hunter.
    2. Genetic Health Challenges: Like all breeds, Otterhounds are susceptible to certain genetic health issues, including hip dysplasia and ear infections. Responsible breeding practices and proactive health measures are crucial for maintaining the breed’s well-being.
    3. Urbanization: The breed has faced challenges from urbanization, with the transformation of rural landscapes into urban areas. This has limited the breed’s ability to thrive in its traditional otter hunting environments.
    4. Legislation Impact: Changes in wildlife protection laws and hunting regulations have impacted the breed’s historical role in otter hunting. Legal restrictions on hunting areas and practices pose challenges to the breed’s traditional activities.
    5. Competition from Other Breeds: Otterhounds face competition from other breeds in various dog sports and activities. The breed’s unique otter hunting skills may be overshadowed, limiting opportunities for recognition and appreciation.
    6. Lack of Cultural Recognition: The cultural significance of Otterhounds as otter hunting companions is not always well-understood. Insufficient awareness of the breed’s role in cultural heritage can lead to a decline in efforts to preserve its historical importance.

    The Otterhound is believed to have been developed from a combination of various breeds, with the primary ancestors being the Bloodhound and various rough-coated terriers. The breed’s development occurred over several centuries, with influences from different regional strains and breed types. The specific breeds and strains that contributed to the Otterhound’s development include:

    1. Bloodhound: The Bloodhound was the foundation breed for the Otterhound. This larger hound contributed to the Otterhound’s size, endurance, and exceptional scenting abilities, especially in tracking and trailing otters.
    2. Rough-coated Terriers: Various rough-coated terriers were likely bred with the Bloodhound to create the Otterhound. These terriers contributed to the breed’s distinctive coat, tenacity, and hunting skills, especially in pursuing otters in water and on land.
    3. Irish Water Spaniel: Some historical records suggest that the Irish Water Spaniel breed may have been used to introduce specific traits suited for water work, enhancing the Otterhound’s swimming abilities and adaptability to aquatic environments.
    4. English Foxhound: There is speculation that English Foxhound blood may have been introduced to add agility and further improve the Otterhound’s hunting skills, especially in tracking and pursuing otters through diverse terrains.
    Check out Woofwear, where you will find our custom designed and stylish Otterhound merch!

    Why you're going to love the Otterhound

    Otterhounds epitomize the essence of cherished family companions. With their gentle nature and unwavering loyalty, they seamlessly integrate into our lives, providing not only security but also heartfelt devotion. As excellent watchdogs, their protective instincts further solidify their role as guardians of our homes.

    Their friendly and patient demeanor makes Otterhounds perfect playmates for families, especially those with children. They effortlessly adapt to various living conditions, demanding only minimal grooming. With a robust build, they cater to active individuals and families, and their innate intelligence allows them to excel in various activities and training.

    Beyond their physical attributes, Otterhounds bring a unique charm to every household, filling the air with their playful presence. Their versatility is a testament to their adaptability, transitioning effortlessly from beloved family pets to diligent working dogs.

    Above all, these dogs offer an unparalleled gift—profound and unconditional love. They become more than pets; they become treasured family members, enriching our lives with their unwavering companionship and forging an unbreakable bond that lasts a lifetime.

    Now, we invite you to discover the incredible love and devotion that this remarkable breed has to share. Bring an Otterhound into your life.

    Be sure to check out the other Paw-some pups we have reviewed!

    Abruzzese Mastiff headshot portrait
    Abruzzese Mastiff (Mastino Abruzzese)
    Affenpinscher portrait headshot
    Afghan Hound Portrait
    Afghan Hound
    Agouti Husky Portrait
    Agouti Husky
    Airedale Terrier portrait headshot
    Airedale Terrier
    A Portrait of an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alaskan Husky Portrait
    Alaskan Husky
    Alaskan Klee Kai Portrait
    Alaskan Klee Kai
    Alaskan Malamute featured image
    Alaskan Malamute
    Albanian Hound Portrait
    Albanian Hound
    Alpine Spaniel Portrait (2)
    Alpine Spaniel (Switzerland)
    American Akita Portrait
    American Akita
    Portrait of a American Bulldog
    American Bulldog
    Portrait of an American Bully
    American Bully
    American Cocker Spaniel Portrait
    American Cocker Spaniel
    American English Coonhound Portrait
    American English Coonhound
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini & Toy) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini and Toy)
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard)
    American Foxhound Portrait
    American Foxhound
    American Hairless Terrier portrait headshot
    American Hairless Terrier