Home Breeds Otterhound


Here comes Otterhounds, cute and adorable. Owners need some time and efforts to train them to behave good. Anyway, they are good companion dog. Playful and energetic all day long. Suitable for many competitions and trails activities. Hound groups are all energetic and atheletic.

Other Names None
Color Black and Tan, Blue, Gray, Red, White
Height Males: 26-27 inches. Females: 23.5-24 inches.
Weight Males: 110-115 pounds. Females: 77-80 pounds.
Life Span 10-13 years
Personality Even-Tempered, Amiable, Boisterous
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #172
Groom Needs Weekly Brushing and Seasonal Shedding
Kids Friendly No
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 2–14 puppies

Otterhound Pictures

Otterhound Video


The Otterhound is a unique hound dog, strong in build and able to perform hard jobs. It has webbed feet and a sizeable head. Well adapted to its original role as a hunting dog, it hunts prey both on land and in water as it has an oily, waterproof coat. The double coat is composed of a softer undercoat and a longer, rougher top coat. They come in a wide variety of colors, plus color combinations. The whole colors include red, grizzle, sandy, blue, and wheaten, possibly with white markings around the legs. Combination varieties include, white with badger pied, lemon or blue markings; tan in combination with blue or black, and a host of others.

A male Otterhound stands 26-28 inches at the shoulder and weighs around 115 pounds, while a female measures about 23-25 inches tall, from shoulder to paw, and weighs between 75 and 90 pounds. They have an average life expectancy of 10-13 years.

Living with Otterhound

Otterhounds are groomed to display natural appearance. It takes owners some time to groom them as they shed all year round, but of small amount. Owners can brush them every one or two times a week, avoiding any signs of tangles or mats. It’s not a advisable to clip or trim their hairs, as it takes some time for the Otterhounds to grow back hairs, some even taking up to 2 years. Owners should clean the Otterhounds’ long beard, especially after meal time. Any tangles and mats should be brushed away. In order to decrease any unpleasant odors, owners should wash them and dry them regularly. Owners should also have the Otterhounds’ ears checked frequently, avoiding any signs of irritations, infections and wax build up. Cotton swab is not adviced to clean their ear canal. Owners could buy a piece of toothpaste to clean the Otterhounds’ teeth, preventing tartar buildup and bad breath at bay.

Otterhounds are fond of outdoor exercise, yet lazy owners still likely to raise a couch potato in an apartment. Owners should be aware that longlasting inactivity might bring not only unhealthy body but also gloomy mood. As one of hound group, Otterhounds are instincted to enjoy considerable exercise. They are perfect at jumping, so owners might offer them a long-fenced yard to work off their energy. Twice-a-day brisk walk and once-a-week all-out running can be applicable to the Otterhounds. This breed has acute sense of smell, so owners can keep them mentally healthy by taking them out for long walks, sniffing the world. Interactive fetch games can be applicable to the Otterhounds. When they are at a young age, owners can choose to offer them early socialization by having them walk around to meet some passersby and strangers. 

Otterhounds are foodies and voracious about every human food. They desire to have owners feed them any food approachable. Owners should know that some human food are dangerous to the Otterhounds. Owners should feed the Otterhounds on nutrient food, whether commercial made or human made is both applicable to the Otterhounds. Feed them two meals a day. Owners should offer them clean and fresh water, premium-quality food. Both dry or canned food can be suitable. Owners shuold learn about some symptoms and measures should be taken, when it comes to bloat. Gastric torsion are also common among the Otterhounds. Owners should feed them appropriate amount of dog food. Puppy, adult, or senior Otterhounds should eat different amount of food each day. Owners should also watch Otterhounds’ calorie consumption and weight level to avoid overweight problems.

Otterhound is a healthy breed in general. Careful breeders have screened their stock. So new puppy buyers can rest assured the health conditions of every Otterhounds. There are some common problems among Otterhounds, such as elbow and hip dysplasia, bringing malformation phenomenons in joints of the elbow and hip. These problems can not be evaluated by human eyes, and dogs will be in pain, sometimes bring lameness and impair mobility. If there’s no effective therapy, dogs will prone to suffer from arthritis. Puppy buyers can try to decrease the possibility of poor hip and elbow problems by forbidding puppy Otterhounds from jumping down from a high place, frequent walking up and down stairs, walking on hard-surfaced floor. The Otterhound still in the phases of growing bone, above behaviors might hurt hip and elbow joints. Making sockets muscles develop can provide whole body with more support, growing up sane. As Otterhounds have deep chest, they are prone to have ear problems and gastric dilatation volvulus. Inherited epilepsy and seizures are still observed and studied. Otterhounds in the United States who suffer from epilepsy are not life-threatening, while Otterhounds in UK who get epilepsy is frequently untreatable.

Total Annual Cost: $3300

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

As one of hound group, Otterhounds were never raised to be companions of human. So they are instincted to be hard to train. Trainers need to be patient and firm about the naughty Otterhounds. They hardly respond to any directions which comes to some harsh training methods. Trainers need to make some emotional connections with the Otterhounds. Gentle sound and positive reinforcement-approach always make a good influence on incipient training process. It is also of great importance that the Otterhounds should be impressed with trainers’ leadership. They might be stubborn and playful when faced with longlasting gentle behaviors. Trainers should not be meek or passive when Otterhounds get used familiar with each other.


Queen Elizabeth I is regarded as the first woman to have owned a pack of Otterhounds. In medieval times, otters were notorious for killing fish and depleting their population in open water bodies. Around this period, Otterhounds were used to hunt these otters and consequently preserve the community of aquatic life. However, it is believed that fish became less of a popular food choice and otters were later being hunted as a sport. Otterhounds were owned by the squires and noblemen, who were known to enjoy the otter hunting sports, although the sport never grew to the fame of the foxhunt. Originally, it was believed that the Otterhound had originated from interbreeding the Southern Hound and the Welsh Harrier, although more recent theories point elsewhere; one theory presents that the Otterhound had sprung off the Old Water Spaniel and the English Bulldog, while another claims Griffon Nivernais and the English Foxhound as its progenitors. However, a common opinion shared by these theories is that linking the Bloodhound to the origin of the Otterhound.

The population of otters began to drop in the course of time, which led to less and less interest in the Otterhound breed amongst the British. The Otterhound was imported into the United States in the early 1900s and was exhibited at an Oklahoma dog show. Later in 1909, the American Kennel Club recognized the Otterhound, registering it in the Hound Group. The Otterhound has never been really popular in America, even after the establishment of the Otterhound Club of America in 1960. The Kennel Club includes the Otterhound amongst its vulnerable native breeds.

Helpful Information

Breed Club: The Otterhound Club of America

Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: The Otterhound Club of America

Breed Club Rescue Link: