Do you have an Otterhound? If so, you know how adorable and energetic they can be. But one aspect of their personality that can drive owners crazy is their tendency to bark a lot! Whether out of excitement or boredom, otterhounds often bark excessively, making life difficult for everyone in the household.
Fortunately, there are ways to control your pup’s barking habits and help them learn when it’s appropriate – and not appropriate – to vocalize. From understanding why your dog barks in the first place to implementing simple training techniques, this guide will provide all the information you need to get your furry friend back on track.
So let’s dive into precisely what triggers excessive barking in otterhounds and how we can reduce this behavior once and for all!
These lovable pups are known for their distinctive appearance, which sets them apart from other breeds. Otterhounds are a large dog breed, with male otterhounds weighing up to 115 pounds and females typically weighing around 80 pounds. This makes them an excellent choice for anyone wanting a bigger dog to keep up with their active lifestyle.
But what makes the otterhound stand out is their shaggy coat. These dogs have long, rough hair that can come in various colors, including black, tan, and white coat color. Some even have unique coloring, like liver or blue.
The coat of an otterhound requires regular brushing to avoid matting and tangling. But don’t let the upkeep discourage you – many people find the grooming process of an otterhound to be a rewarding bonding experience.
One of the unique features of an otterhound is its webbed feet. This characteristic makes them great swimmers, a trait originally bred into them to help with otter hunting centuries ago. Their webbed feet also make them great at traversing muddy or swampy terrain, where they usually track otters.
Another notable feature of the otterhound is its pendulous ears. This long and floppy ear helps keep water and debris away from their ear canal while they swim and gives them a distinct appearance.
Otterhound Bark: 6 Reasons for Excessive Barking
Excessive barking in otterhounds can be a real issue for otterhound dog owners. It’s handy to know why otterhounds bark so much, as it will help you to manage the problem better. Knowing where the excessive barking is coming from and addressing any underlying issues should make living with an otterhound easier for everyone!
That being said, understanding that your furry friend might express their excitement or warn you of potential danger is also crucial. While their loud bark might not always be welcome, learning more about why it is happening can make owning an otterhound manageable and enjoyable.
① Attention Seeking
An otterhound barking excessively can be an indication that it is seeking attention. This breed is known for its high energy levels, making them alert and enthusiastic when something new happens around their household. Often, excessive barking comes down to boredom. If the otterhound has nothing interesting to interact with, it will bark more often out of necessity to fill the air.
Furthermore, if an otterhound is not getting enough physical or emotional comfort from family members, it may start to bark excessively to draw attention. For example, suppose an otterhound isn’t receiving adequate cuddles and playtime with their owners.
In that case, they may start to bark more loudly or continuously so that the owner begins interacting with them – hence gaining their desired attention. Therefore, owners of this breed need to monitor their pet’s needs. In addition, keep up with regular, rewarding activities such as walks and playtime for them to feel content and secure in their environment.
② Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety can be a significant factor in dogs exhibiting frequent and excessive barking, like otterhounds. Separation-related behaviors occur when an animal experiences distress due to being away from their social group or owner. This fear of being left alone can manifest as excessive squeaking, yipping, and barking as the dog attempts to contact the absent figure in hopes that they’ll return.
Typically, this behavior worsens when owners leave suddenly or unexpectedly shortly after coming home. Moreover, the stress of being alone may cause them to take out their anxiety on furniture or other household items and even have anxiousness-induced digestive issues. More obvious signs of separation anxiety in an otterhound include pacing, panting, and destructiveness.
Therefore, owners of otterhounds need to recognize these signs and address them adequately before the behaviors become chronic.
③ Being Protective or Territorial
The barking of an otterhound breed can be seen as simply an effort on its part to look out for its family and keep them safe.
In addition to being territorial guardians, otterhounds bark when they sense something is off – an intruder or unfamiliar noise. This is especially true in older hounds with many life experiences already; they know when something seems strange and feel compelled to alert their families by vocalizing. Experienced owners of this breed often recognize the unique nuances of their pet’s bark, allowing for quick action if necessary.
While it may seem like your otterhound is just being boisterous or trying to make a statement, these pups have some valid reasons for speaking up! When you understand the motivation behind their copious woofing, you’ll find yourself less frustrated with the clatter but more appreciative of the care your four-legged family member provides against potential danger.
Often, the loud barking is simply a symptom of fear. Loud barking in otterhounds is often an attempt to communicate their distress or express a need for comfort. This behavior is hardwired into their nature due to their history as hunting dogs; they are used to having someone protect them from potential danger.
What’s unfortunate about this trait is that many owners don’t know the cause, thinking that their dog’s barking may be related to bad behavior when in reality, the dog needs reassurance and patience.
⑤ Playing or Greeting
In most cases, the behavior can be attributed to either play or greeting—two behaviors integral in expressing a dog’s internal state. As far as play is concerned, otterhounds especially love to make noise when playing with toys, balls, and other items that elicit a lot of excitement. They bark and howl during these times because it’s fun for them—not because it’s attention-seeking.
It’s important to remember that gentle family play or walks with others can provide an excellent channel for dogs’ natural body language and the socialization benefits that come with it.
On the other hand, overly-excited barking due to an approaching companion can signal greetings. After all, this breed has always been renowned for being very friendly and pleasant towards people they don’t know. This is often seen as an endearing element of the breed by those familiar with them. Nevertheless, excessive barking should be discouraged in public places, just like any other behavior. However, there should still be respect for our neighbors!
⑥ Underlying Health Concerns
These breed-specific health concerns can range from dental issues to common breed-inherited diseases, such as von Willebrand’s disease and abnormal lymphocytes.
One of the most common causes of excessive barking in this breed is ear infection due to the shape of their ears and the amount of hair inside. It can also result from built-up wax or parasites such as mites. Your vet should be able to check your puppy’s ears and check for any signs of infection.
Another factor that could cause excessive barking in an otterhound puppy is dental disease, often due to poor nutrition and lack of dental care. This breed also suffers from a skin condition called primrose dermatosis that can lead to hair loss, itchy skin, and discomfort – all possible sources of stress that may trigger anxiety barking.
Otterhound Bark: Managing Excessive Barking
How do you manage your excessive Otterhound barking? It can be a challenge, but you’re not alone. Many owners of these dogs have faced the same issue and have found ways to control their barking successfully. You’ll need some patience, dedication, and consistency to see results. Thankfully, many tips and tricks can help alleviate anxiety or boredom in these playful pups.
🐕 Remove The Motivation
First, to successfully manage this behavior, you must figure out what your pet gets from barking. Does it bring attention? Could they be trying to scare something away? It’s essential to understand their motivations so that you can start taking steps toward correcting their bark-happy tendencies.
Most likely, removing these triggers can be simple, such as eliminating other animals or objects of interest from the environment or avoiding activities that make them over-excited or anxious.
Moreover, if attention is what they’re looking for, the best solution is to stop giving them attention while they’re barking and instead offer calming commands such as “wait” or “calm down.” You should also set some strict but pleasant boundaries to show them when it’s time to stop barking – no matter how adorable they are!
🐕 Ignore Their Barking
Ignoring their extra noisemaking can make a difference if done consistently. It may seem counterintuitive – after all, we often respond to barking with attention, either positively or negatively. However, it is more effective not to acknowledge the barking at all.
Even basic recognition, like explicitly telling them “no,” reinforces the behavior rather than refocusing their energy on something else more productive. To reduce barking for good, you should completely ignore any noise that isn’t accompanied by constructive commands from the owner.
This way, dogs learn that they will only receive acknowledgment when they perform desirable actions. But, again, patience is key here; what works for one pup won’t necessarily work for another too!
🐕 Keep Your Otterhound Tired
Another way to do this is to keep them tired – by giving them mental and physical exercise. This means doing activities such as regular walks, training sessions, interactive toys, and games all help your pup stay active. Therefore, they don’t use up all their energy by barking all day needlessly! You may even want to take them outside for some off-leash time in a secure area.
Thus, they can blow off some steam instead of taking it out in the neighborhood with loud barks. The key is giving your pup plenty of appropriate ways to play and healthily express themselves and teaching them when it’s time to settle down and when barking is acceptable.
With some effort and consistency, you’ll soon have a happy canine companion who knows when it’s time for quiet time and energetic playtime.
🐕 Develop a Calm Verbal Cue
Another way is to develop a calm verbal cue that lets your pup know it’s OK to bark, but not too much. This cue should be something simple like “quiet” or “hush” and used in a low, soothing voice. By speaking the exact phrase each time your dog barks excessively, they’ll begin to put together the sound of your voice while being quieter.
Eventually, they will learn that when you want them to stop barking, they only need to hear your cue and be still. Working on a consistent verbal line every day will help reinforce the idea that when you say something, they should focus and listen. Ensure you praise them when they follow your verbal cues so they know you are happy with their behavior!
🐕 Never Punish Your Dog
Excessive barking can depend on many factors, but it is crucial to never punish your Otterhound for too much. Punishing your dog doesn’t resolve the underlying issues causing the excessive barking and can even negatively impact your Otterhound’s mood and behavior. In addition, there are far better ways to manage barking other than punishing your dog.
Instead, focus on providing them with rewards and praise when they obey commands or complete tasks correctly to ensure positive reinforcement of good behaviors. This will help your pup learn more quickly what is expected of them and build a trusting relationship between the two of you.
🐕Contact a Professional Dog Trainer
Dealing with excessive barking in an otterhound can be highly challenging and often requires the help of a professional dog trainer for the best results. An experienced, qualified instructor is the go-to expert in canine behavior management and understands how to practice strategies to produce positive outcomes.
They have the knowledge and skill set necessary to design a specialized program perfectly suited to your pet and adapt it as needed. This training isn’t a one-size-fits-all model; each animal has unique needs. Thus, having professional guidance will be integral in developing an effective plan of attack for managing your otterhound’s behavioral issues.
Otterhound Bark: How To Prevent Excessive Dog Barking
Here are some ways to prevent excessive dog barking, specifically for otterhounds, a breed known for its loud and deep barking.
🐶 Increase Your Dog’s Exercise and Playtime
One way to prevent excessive barking in otterhounds is to ensure they get enough exercise and playtime. Otterhounds are a high-energy breed that needs plenty of activities to keep them healthy and happy.
Without enough exercise, they can become bored and frustrated, leading to excessive barking. So, take your Otterhound out for walks or runs regularly or engage them in fun activities that will tire them out.
🐶 Keep a Consistent Daily Schedule
Dogs, especially otterhounds, thrive on routines. They like knowing what to expect throughout the day, and a consistent daily schedule can help prevent excessive barking. Try to keep your otterhound’s feeding, exercise, and playtime routines the same daily. This will help them feel more secure and reduce their anxiety levels.
🐶 Ensure Your Dog’s Basic Needs Are Met
Like any other dog, otterhounds need their basic needs met to stay healthy and happy. So first, check to see if their food, water, and temperature needs are met. They’re more likely to become agitated and bark excessively if they’re hungry, thirsty, or too hot or cold. So make sure to keep their food and water bowls full and their environment comfortable.
🐶 Provide Mental Stimulation With Puzzle Toys
Otterhounds are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Puzzle toys are a great way to provide mental stimulation for your Otterhound, keeping them entertained and engaged. Many different types of puzzle toys are available for dogs, from treat-dispensing toys to interactive puzzle games.
🐶 Try Leaving Music or a TV Show on
When your Otterhound is home alone, it’s natural for them to bark. But providing them with some background noise can help prevent excessive barking. For example, try leaving music or a TV show on to create white noise that will help mask any outside noises and keep them calm.
🐶 Train your Otterhound
Finally, training them is the most effective way to prevent excessive barking in otterhounds. Basic obedience training can go a long way in controlling unwanted barking. You can start by teaching your Otterhound the “quiet” command to help you stop them from barking on command.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What do the American Kennel Club and Otterhound Club of America say about Otterhounds?
If you’re looking to purchase an Otterhound, you should know that the American Kennel Club and the Otterhound Club of America strongly support this noble breed. According to AKC’s website, Otterhounds have an even temperament and can be pretty active. So they are best suited for knowledgeable owners who understand this dog’s need for daily exercise. The Otterhound Club of America shares similar sentiments on its website. Describing the breed as intelligent and loyal with a large helping of charisma. Both organizations emphasize the importance of early training and socialization to ensure a well-mannered pup that gets along great with other animals.
Q: What history does the Otterhound have?
The Otterhound – one of the rarest breeds in the world – has quite a rich history behind it. The breed originated in medieval England when King Henry II authorized it to be used for hunting otters. As a result, the Otterhounds thrive in water, are powerful swimmers, and make great hunters. Despite being bred almost entirely for hunting purposes throughout its history, the breed is much gentler now that laws have been placed on hunting otters due to their decreased numbers. Nowadays, they make excellent companion dogs for loving families!
Q: Do fox terrier and Yorkshire terrier puppies get along with otterhounds?
Considering fox terriers and Yorkshire terriers are both small animals and otterhounds are much larger. It can be a bit of a gamble whether the two will get along. Fox and Yorkshire terrier puppies tend to be spunky and curious. Stubborn creatures that might take some time to warm up to something so vastly different in size from an otterhound. Likewise, otterhounds have a gentle but goofy demeanor. They could find a small pup either too challenging or too much of a distraction! Though these mixes of size and manner can make socializing tricky. Suppose they get the opportunity to become accustomed to each other gradually with patience. They’ll most likely be quite content in each other’s company.
Q: Does an adult dog bark a lot?
Well, that depends! Otterhound puppies and young adults tend to bark more than adults. However, as an otterhound matures, their barking may reduce significantly as they learn which situations require it. With proper training, an adult otterhound can typically learn only to bark when necessary – such as if there’s an intruder. They are also known for ‘baying,’ which is like a hound’s version of howling. Therefore, be prepared for some noises here and there! In general, though, most adult otterhounds can be quiet and mellow indoors if their breed-specific needs are met.
Q: What behavioral changes can a dog experience when they are moved to a new home?
It’s a big event when you move to a new home and your dog experiences that transition just as much as you do! Dogs can see changes in the environment around them, like different people and furniture. They may act differently in an unfamiliar place or with unfamiliar people – they could become apprehensive and shy away from the interaction. Conversely, they might become more active and playful to take their mind off of stress. With time and patience from their caregiver, dogs can become accustomed to the new environment as it becomes familiar. Showing them love during this transition period helps support positive behavior and continued adjustment.
If you want your Otterhound to bark less, you’ll need to invest some effort into training them and be patient. Developing a plan that takes into account rewarding positive behavior and taking away rewards for undesired behavior will help the process go more smoothly. Remember that every dog is unique, and their approach to learning is not quite the same as others. Applying consistency in the form of rules and expectations will help your pup understand immediately what is expected from them. Good luck!