Otterhound Dog Breed Facts & Information

By Marissa Leotaud

If you are a unique individual with a big personality and are looking for a dog to match your energy level, the Otterhound just might be the pet for you. These lovable pups are energetic, playful and always up for a good amount of exercise. They are one of the rarest dog breeds and the perfect companion for the human on the go. Here are some more essential facts about Otterhounds every potential pet parent should know.

Otterhound looking to the left
credit: LourdesPhotography/iStock/GettyImages

The Basics

Otterhounds are large-bodied dogs with imposing heads and long-striding movements. They are known for their rough, thick coats. Males, on average weigh 115 pounds and are 27 inches long. The females come in around 80 pounds and 24 inches long. The large and lovable Otterhound has a life expectancy of 10-13 years.

Otterhound sitting in field facing camera
credit: LourdesPhotography/iStock/GettyImages

The History

Originally, Otterhounds were used in England to find and kill otters that supposedly interfered with trout and salmon fishing (sorry, otters). Otter hunting is now illegal, but Otterhounds still maintain their strong search capabilities and require little training due to their independent nature.

The earliest known reference to a "grizzled...shag-haired" hound dates all the way back to 1611. Modern Otterhounds evolved from the Welsh hound of the 1700s mixed with various French hounds and the Bloodhound in the 1800s. Otterhounds, undoubtedly, have a long lineage of hound greatness.

Otterhound with tongue sticking out
credit: tgrinstead21

The Personality

A fun fact about this particular breed of dog is that they are rarer than the giant panda! They are considered one the most endangered dog breeds in the world, according to the American Kennel Club. This just may contribute to their boisterous personalities. Otterhounds are not shy and enjoy making their presence known. They are also quite affectionate and cheerful.

In true hound dog fashion, Otterhounds are extremely inquisitive. This is presented in their personalities as well as their strong noses. They are quite curious about the thousands of scents they can easily and quickly detect.

Otterhound in car
credit: erikwoolcock

This particular breed of dog absolutely loves physical activity. They desire plenty of exercise and are specifically keen on swimming, mostly because of their hunting history on both land and sea. They would make wonderful beach companions!

Such a strong personality makes Otterhounds more suitable for older and bigger children. The large personality may be a bit too much for small children but with supervision, Otterhounds are safe to be around young children as well as other dogs.

Otterhound with mutt
credit: itshollyh86

The Appearance

One of the rarest and most unique of all hound dogs, Otterhounds stand out mostly due to their substantially webbed feet. They have large, fortified bodies to match their rough, double coats of hair. These coats can vary in color or be a combination of colors.

Contributing to their independent nature, Otterhounds only shed seasonally and require only occasional grooming.

Otterhound Essential Facts:

  • Personality: Boisterous, cheerful, affectionate
  • Energy Level: Active, playful, athletic
  • Trainability: Independent
  • Good with Children: Better with older children
  • Good with other Dogs: With supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Occasional
  • Barking Level: Barks when necessary
  • Height: 27 inches (male), 24 inches (female)
  • Weight: 115 pounds (male), 80 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Interested in other breeds? Check out this article about Goldendoodles and this list of allergy free dogs!