Newsletter Signup
Choosing & Caring for a Dog
Kids & Dogs
Great Dogs
Contact Us
Your Breed "Enjoy the great DigitalDog QuickTip courtesy of DigitalDog and"


The Otterhound breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Otterhound's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

As charming as Scenthounds are, they are typically smooth coated dogs of a distinctive look (with variations in size and bone), then walks in the Otterhound.  The difference in appearance created by the dramatic rough coat, makes the inclusion of Otterhounds into the group called Scenthounds, seems unlikely, until you see them work.  These dogs are enthusiastic, powerful, active, happy, stamina-filled and completely serious about their work when they are about it.  Regardless, they are very even-tempered and delightful to be around.  An extremely rare breed with estimates placing the total population worldwide at less than 1000.  The adoring fanciers do need to acknowledge that the large shaggy feet do tend to track in leaves and dirt and the shaggy face tends to collect whatever it is dragged through.  The voice of this large dog is not well suited for neighborhoods with neighbors nearby who value their peace.  Still, those fanciers recognize their treasure and guard it with great enthusiasm, just as the Otterhound deserves.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): HoundsScent Hound Height: 23-28 inches
Weight: 60-90 pounds Longevity: low teens
Colors: all common hound colors. Not allowed: white dog with separate black and tan patches or liver and white. Coat type: Long, dense rough, harsh, broken and waterproof (slightly oily) outercoat (not wiry). Softer hair on head and lower legs natural. Dense, soft undercoat.
Recognized Registries: FCI, CKC, ANKC, TKC, IKC, AKC, UKC, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: Large, strongly built dog with distinctive rough coat, loose movement and large feet.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate with stamina
General Nature: Typical of hounds, very even tempered and amiable. Tendency toward independence cause of that nose.
  with Children: Generally exceptional.
  with other pets: Variable: they are bred to hunt otter so cats and ferrets, etc. could seem very similar.
  with dogs: Generally exceptional, after all they hunt in packs.
Socialization requirements: moderate
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates those big hairy feet, hair around the face (and how both of those tend to accumulate dirt, mud, crumbs), an exceptional
Temperament Notes: Wonderful dog to live with if you accept their inclination to bring the outside in, incredible voice and need to be maintained as recall may never be reliable.
Training requirement: moderate: socialization, basic manners
Trainer notes: The Otterhound would be a training partner for the serious trainer seeking a bit of a challenge.  Their overall nature seems to imply an easy and delightful training partner and indeed, their easy going, amiable and intelligent nature provides that.  However, like many Scenthounds, that can quickly change as a slight scent can command their complete attention because of its novelty or promise of a good time.  Regardless, the Otterhound will have a good time in every training session and you will too with the correct attitude.  This big happy goof of a dog is a perfect family companion even if he isn't likely to be seen in the top echelon of obedience competitions in the near future.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 19th century.
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Otter hunting
History: While references to Otter Dogs are found in 12th century literature, the Otterhound as we know it likely found its current form in the 19th century. Limited use in modern times since pollution and other factors have caused otter to be a protected species
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard:
Health Notes: hip dysplasia, eye problems, heart problems, bloat, sebaceous cysts, anal gland impaction
Health Testing: CERF, heart evaluation, OFA
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Otterhounds?
  • Why do you have Otterhounds (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of an Otterhound?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Otterhound?
  • How would you describe the ideal Otterhound home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training an Otterhound?
  • How do you assist or help Otterhounds in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites: - Otterhound Club of America Rescue

    Northern California Otterhound Rescue
    6622 Glen Oaks Way
    Oakland, CA 94611
    Parker Dusseau
    (925)942-8680 days
    (510) 338-0309 nights & weekends
    Baylist (415)851-4248


    Russell R. Von der Linden


    Betsy Conway
    Rd 1, Box 134A
    Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 (914)245-6354


    Ellen Katz
    Other Resources
    Breed standard: - FCI Standard for the Otterhound - Otterhound Club of America Standard - Canadian Kennel Club Standard of the Otterhound - The Kennel Club (UK) Standard for the Otterhound

    Breeder Ethics: - Otterhound Club of America Code of Ethical Conduct

    Customize Site
    Enter Dog's Name:


    About Us | Contact Us | Advertising Opportunities | Privacy Policy

    © 2004
    All rights reserved