Otterhound Otterhound

The Otterhound (otterhund) is a large British dog breed. It is ancient in dog terms and is the ancestor of the Airedale Terrier. it has Bloodhound ancestry. Originally it was bred to be a hunting dog. They have very good noses so could be considered to be scent hounds. As can be surmised from the name these dogs were named as they were originally used to hunt otters, this dog is particularly suited to this task as it can hunt both on water and on land. As it was made illegal to hunt otters the dogs were switched to hunting coypu or mink. This breed is quite rare.


The Otterhound is a rough coated dog with a distinctive head. This is a very strong dog with great big striding steps. This means that it is hard working dog that wont give up. Normally it weighs between 36 kilos to 54 kilos. Their coat is uniquely suited to hunting on both land and water.


Due to the fact that these dogs love to track scents they have a tendency to go off on their own. These dogs are very vocal and have a very unique tonality to their barking. They do make good pets, but due to their inquisitive nature it is important to make sure that fences are high enough so that they do not escape.

Grooming and care

These dogs need significant amounts of exercise, given half the chance they are happy to get fat and lie about the house, but this is not good for them as deleterious health effects can occur. The floppy ears need to be checked regularly for ear infections.


The Otterhound breed has an average life expectancy of 11.5 years, the oldest known hound of this breed has lived till 16. The most usual problems with this breed are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. These problems can lead to lameness. Arthritis is also possible in this breed. These problems can be mitigated by ensuring that during their growth phase they are restricted from going up and down. From the shape of their ears it is clear that this breed can get ear infections. This dog is also prone to getting bloat, this can be reduced by raising the feeding bowl, no exercise before and after eating, make sure that the dog is calm before feeding. Any sign of bloat should make the vet the next stop.