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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Select the dog breed you are interested in from the list below.
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Otterhound

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

You may want to post any specific questions that you have about this breed in our Pet Talk area to ask people with first hand experience.

Otterhound

General
OtherNames Sometimes known as ‘woolies’ by hunting people due to their double coat.
Dog Group Kennel Club Hound
Breed Classification The otterhound is one of the largest scent hounds used today for showing, tracking and as family pets. They are one of our rarest and most vulnerable breeds.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
£4-7.50
Feeding Requirements
Otterhounds are generally not fussy eaters and should be fed twice a day with dry or tinned food.
Other Expenses
The average cost of a puppy is around £700. Otterhounds require no out of the ordinary expenses
Average Puppy Price
>£800
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
9
General Physical Description
A large scent hound with a rough weather resistant coat, a kindly expression and pendulous ears. Otterhounds have powerful bodies and limbs They have long rough coats, consisting of an outer waterproof layer and a softer undercoat. They have a shambling walk and a free striding gallop. Their voices are full and musical.
Height Min Max
Bitch 61cm 61cm
Dog 69cm 69cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 38kg 38kg
Dog 45kg 54kg
Size Category Large
Weight Height Range Bitches measure approx 61cms at the shoulder and weigh around 38kg, whilst dogs measure approx 69cms at the shoulder and can weigh up to 54kgs.
Ailments There have been cases of epilepsy and the breeder should be asked whether there is any history of this in the family.Hip and Elbow dysplasia have been reported. It is important to check whether the parents are hip and elbow scored and to restrict exercise until 1 year old. There have been cases of bloat; the incidences of this occurring can be reduced with careful feeding and exercise programmes in place.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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Pet health and vet advice

Low
Other
History These hounds were originally used to hunt otter and are probably derived from several breeds including the foxhound, bloodhound, the St Hubert hound from France and the now extinct Southern Hound. They were renowned for their ability to work all day in water, find the scent and their melodious voices. When otterhunting became illegal in the 1970s, many packs turned to hunting mink.
Intelligence Otterhounds are amiable and even tempered hounds. They are fairly easy to train, although they are sensitive and can become worried if training seems harsh to them, refusing to take part. They have an inbuilt sense of humour and are often described as ‘natural clowns’. It should be remembered that like all scent hounds, if they find a scent their recall off the lead may be more difficult.
Show Characteristics The skull is deep rather than wide and nicely domed. The forehead has no trace, scowl or bulge. The muzzle is deep with wide nose and nostril and plenty of flew. The colour of the eye can vary according to coat colour. Ears are set on a level with the eye and have the forward edges rolling inward. An otterhound’s limbs should be straight and sound, his body strong with a deep chest. This is a dog that is built primarily for working in the water but also galloping on land. The hindquarters should be strong and well muscled. Tail is set high and carried up but never curled over the back.
Country Of Origin England
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy Medium
Overall Exercise 60 - 80 minutes
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium
Personal Protection Low
Suitability As Guard Dog Low
Risk of Sheep Worrying Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals High
Suitable For Children
High
General Character And Temperament The otterhound is an amiable breed that can be boisterous. They are affectionate and will enjoy all activities with their family. They will accept all people and animals into their pack but this is a large dog and care should be taken with smaller members of the family. As with all scent hounds they can be willful and need patient consistent training. As most otterhounds enjoy a paddle or a swim, this may not be the breed for the extremely houseproud. They are excellent with children but as they are large hounds, they should be watched with small children or elderly people as they may inadvertently knock them over.
Grooming
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Coat Length Medium/Long
Grooming Requirement Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming The breed is surprisingly easy to keep. The hair will pick up briars, and twigs but these are easily removed. If wet the otterhound will leave large footprints but it is easy to rinse mud out and dry the weather resistant coat with a towel. The coat is never clipped or trimmed. A weekly brush or comb and ear check will keep an otterhound looking great.
Colour Any hound colour is acceptable but black and tan is the most common.
Shedding Moderate
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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