The Otterhound is a bushy haired, large hunting dog. A broad square head starts off this breed and leads to a long rectangular muzzle. Covered with shaggy hair are their large round eyes as well as their long floppy ears. The breed’s muscular and broad neck leads down to their slightly wide shoulders, semi-deep chest, and sunken in stomach which all make up the body of this agile hunting dog. Oval shaped feet are at the bottom of fairly long legs covered with shaggy hair. Covering their entire body is a full shaggy coat which comes in almost every color variety.
Minimal white is preferred.
The Otterhound is an extremely friendly breed. Great with the family and very devoted, this breed, which was not commonly kept as a pet, now loves being with their family. However, this breed does not just like its family, they also love being with strangers and do wonderful with all children. Not only is the Otterhound friendly to all people, but they also love being with other dogs and do well with other pets which is sometimes uncommon for a hunting dog. This breed is intelligent which also makes them very stubborn, so owners may have trouble training them.
The Otterhound is inclined to have many diseases such as hemophilia, bloat, hip dysplasia, thrombocytopenia, and on occasion elbow dysplasia. Also becoming obese is fairly commonly for these dogs so their diet should be watched closely. The Otterhound has an average life expectancy of 10-12 years.
As the name suggests, Otterhounds were first developed for the purpose of hunting otters. To reach that goal, bloodhounds were bred with other types of terriers and hunting dogs until the breed was created and could give fisherman an advantage in their competition with the otters for the river trout. When the otter population began to dwindle in the 1900’s so did the Otterhound’s numbers. In 1978, special efforts were begun to protect the breed from extinction and to bring them into the show ring so they could demonstrate all of their charms.
The Otterhound does not need much grooming. However, brushing does need to be done at least once a week to prevent matting which is frequent. The only other grooming required is to wash their beard often. Exercise is essential every day to make this dog happy and healthy. Some fun ways to exercise the Otterhound are by letting them run off leash, jog with them, or let them swim. All of those exercise methods will be great but if they run off leash a very secure fence is needed to prevent them from running off and chasing a scent.
The Otterhound sheds its fur seasonally. Shedding is fairly heavy during the summer months.
The Otterhound is extremely friendly with all family pets, dogs, and people. Living in an apartment is not good for this breed because a large fenced in yard is needed to make them truly content. Plus, they can be loud because they enjoy baying like many hunting dogs. A consistent owner is required to train this breed but with the right person the Otterhound can be a wonderful dog.
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