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The Otterhound was developed in The British Isles, by crossing the Bloodhound with other dog breeds. Even though this is an ancient breed, it is extremely rare today and very difficult to purchase. Otterhounds are faithful and reliable animals, they get on very well with dogs and even cats. However, due to he’s very strong prey drive, the Otterhound will definitely try to chase smaller pets. Since Otterhounds are scent hounds, they are very inquisitive and have a keen sense of smell.

Height: 24-27 inches  Weight: 95-125 pounds  Lifespan: 10-13 years


 This is a fairly large hound. The Otterhound is a strong dog, with a big, narrow head and a long tail. Comparable Breeds: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Spinone Italiano.


Powerful and ‘messy’ looking, the Otterhound is affectionate, always cheerful and enthusiastic. This is a very clever and independent hound, which will try to make his own decisions. Otterhounds love being around humans and are good-natured with children. But, since these dogs have an impressively loud bark, they’re not suitable for older people.

Coat / Care:

The Otterhound has a rough, two-layered coat, which varies in length from two to six inches. While the outer layer is thick, coarse and bushy, the undercoat is very soft, fluffy and slightly oily. Otterhounds come in many different colors, including a variation of black and tan grizzle, liver and tan, wheaten or tricolor. Make sure to groom your dog at least twice a week to prevent the hair from tangling. Also, daily teeth brushing is very important in order to avoid bad breath and oral infections. If your pet participates in exhibitions, do not trim its hair. Otterhounds are generally healthy animals, however, they can be prone to certain diseases, including canine idiopathic thrombocytopenia (CIT), hemophilia, gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat) and dysplasia of hip joints.


Otterhounds have a mind of their own, and they can be extremely stubborn. Moreover, this dog breed is considered to be one of the most difficult to train. Therefore, early socialization and obedience training are essential for the Otterhound. To keep the dog interested in learning, lessons should be short, fun, dynamic and motivational. Also, the coach must be determined, tenacious and very patient.


Otterhounds need plenty of room for exercise and exploration, so a large, well-fenced yard is a must for these vigorous hounds. The Otterhound has a very high level of energy, so he needs intense mental work and physical stimulation. Despite the fact that the Otterhound is strong, big and loud barker, he’s not a good guard. Nevertheless, this breed makes a wonderful family companion.

Photo credit: Kit6887/Flickr

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