Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: ,


Size: Large     Weight: 66-115 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Flappy    Fur type: Curly    Fur Color: 3 Colors, Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Brown & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: About 10-12 years    Rarity: Uncommon    Availability: Hard to find    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Otterhound is a purely bred dog that is the largest scent hound. It is an old British dog breed with Bloodhound ancestors. One of their ancestors is the Airedale Terrier. They are sometimes known as Woolies by hunting people because of their double coat. They are used today for showing, tracking and as family dog. They are considered one of the rarest and most vulnerable breeds.

They are generally friendly, playful and animated. They enjoy activities involving their family and are very affectionate to them as well. They get along well with humans and animals but care should be applied when they are left with children and elderly as they can sometimes play roughly.

This dog's coat is waterproof and their feet are webbed making them great swimmers. They were originally bred for hunting with people. Several health issues should be watched out for this dog that a regular visit to the vet would be most beneficial.


This dog's coat color may vary. Although Black and Tan is the most common, any color or combination of colors is acceptable. Their nose should be dark and fully pigmented depending on the dog's color. The nose should match the eye rim pigment.


The breed's coat is a very significant feature of this dog. Their outer coat is rough, dense, coarse and crisp, of broken appearance. The head and lower legs has naturally softer hair. It is 2-4 inches long on their backs and shorter on the extremities. Their undercoat is water resistant of short wooly and slightly oily hair. Their ears are covered completely with hair while their tail is covered and fringed with hair. A proper hunting coat will have a hard outer coat and wooly undercoat. These dogs are shown in their natural coat with no shaping or sculpturing of the coat such that they do not need trimming or cutting.


The Otterhounds are friendly but they can be animated. They are very affectionate and enjoy activities with their family. They could get along well with humans and animals alike and will welcome you into their pack but as a large dog breed, they should not be trusted to be left around with smaller members of the family. The same care should be applied when they are left with elderly people as they can accidentally knock them over.


The dog, even for it's medium to long coat hair, is unexpectedly easy to maintain. Their hair will pick up twigs and dirt while they are outdoors but these are fairly easy to remove. If they become wet, mud would be pretty easy to remove by rinsing. Their weather resistant coat can be dried with a towel. Their coat does not need clipping or trimming as it is supposed to look natural. Brushing and combing weekly will keep them looking good and matt-free. On the other hand, their beard may need washing more frequently. Check their ears regularly for dirt. This breed is an average shedder. As a large breed of dog, they can be prone to hip dysplasia, thrombocytopenia, hemophilia and bloating. Avoid overfeeding them as they tend to gain weight fairly easy. Another concern for these dogs is elbow dysplasia. Elbow and hip dysplasia occurrence can be reduced by making sure that Otterhounds who are in the developing stage avoid jumping down from a higher place, going up and down the stairs or walking too much on very hard surfaces as their bones are still growing. Ear infections should also be watched out for due to the shape of their ears. They are also prone to bloating or gastric torsion because of their naturally deep chest. Bloating is very painful and is one of the biggest killer of large dogs. To keep them from getting bloat: 1. Raise the feeding bowl from the floor so the dog does not take in too much air during feeding time 2. Allow the dog to rest before and after feeding. 3. Calm the dog before feeding. Make sure that they are eating in a slow pace to avoid them from taking in air. If they are eating too fast, place a larger chunk of food in their bowl to slow them down. 5. Feed them with high quality food.


These dogs are stubborn making training a little bit longer than usual but they can learn. If training becomes harsh, they might refuse to participate as they are sensitive and can become worried. Patience and consistency in training is most important, as with training any scent hounds, because they can be willful and distracted.


This dog needs a lot of exercise everyday in a secured, fenced area or on a leash. Swimming and paddling is a favorite activity for them. As all dogs, they also need their primal instinct to walk to be satisfied. Jogging or biking along with them will intensify the activity. Their activities should emphasize that the human handler is the pack leader by walking in front or beside them, going in and out of doors first and making sure the dog must have their focus on the human at all times. These dogs have a very strong sense of smell that they have a tendency to forget everything once it distracts them and they have decided to chase it. Thus, you have to make sure that they are in a controlled and safe area before they are allowed to be off leash. The Otterhound is not recommended for apartment or small space living although they can be inactive indoors when their energies are drained. It would be most beneficial for the dog if their humans have at least a well fenced large yard. This dog can do well in cool climates that they can sleep outdoors if given a good shelter.

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