Despite being one of the rarer dog breeds, otterhounds have a diverse variety of colors. Like other dog breeds, the Otterhound colors are affected mainly by some factors, like breed, environment, and season. In this article, we will be focusing on their color and the diversity of their fur. We will also be learning how to take care of this rarity’s coat color against the external effects of the environment and aging factors. But first, we should know more about the otterhound breed.
Initially, otterhounds were famous, especially for hunting large dog groups. Squabbles among pack members would obstruct the completion of the task. Otterhounds have a calm disposition as a result of this, and they get along with just about everyone. Otterhounds are large and powerful, but they are also affectionate and cheerful. Unfortunately, because of their exuberant nature, they may accidentally knock small youngsters over.
The Otterhound Breed
🖋️ Otterhounds originated from England and have been said to be domesticated for five centuries now. They were initially bred for (as their name states) hunting otters. Back then, otters were vastly hunted due to their overpopulation but mainly as a source of fur. Otterhounds were trained to patrol around ponds or rivers where otters might dwell. So without a doubt, otterhounds are considered to be domesticated hunters.
🖋️ Because of this, otterhounds are aware of their natural purpose and may have different characteristics and instincts from some dogs. For example, unlike pugs, their tendency to have hunting instincts can be much higher. Also, in contrast to pugs, otterhounds can be independent and can thrive without the owner’s constant supervision. That is because they have the training to be this way, to be left and patrol around the territories you set them in. Despite this, otterhounds can be pretty friendly, and they are very loyal to their master.
🖋️ Otterhounds need to have the training to socialize as puppies before their instincts kick in. They may become very aggressive to other pets or strangers when not trained to become socialized. They also require a lot of space to free roam and exercise. So, before having an otterhound, think about your location first. People living in apartments will find it challenging to have an otterhound as a pet. They are best kept in houses with wide spaces with boredom breakers they can use.
Now, we are going to talk about the characteristics of their fur.
What’s Special With Otterhound Fur?
🖋️ An otterhound’s fur is quite thick but short and has a wool-like appearance. Because of their past of hunting otters, they developed pretty a water-resistant double coat. Otters are semi-aquatic, so the otterhounds adapted by being able to swim swiftly aided by their large webbed feet. However, without the water-resistant nature of the fur, the wetness can slow their chase down.
🖋️ They do not shed very much compared to other dog breeds. But that does not mean you will not see a collection of fur on the floor sometimes. In addition, they require grooming since their hair has special oils that can sometimes build up. However, bathing them can be quite tricky due to the fur’s water-resistant nature.
🖋️ Trying to pet an otterhound can feel somewhat rough at first. Their outer coat is coarse, which contrasts with the undercoat, which is soft and wooly. The water-resistant nature of the fur allows this to happen. Their fur color can be affected by factors that we will now talk about.
Factors That Affect Otterhound Color
Otterhounds have a special type of coat as a protection for their environment. But, like any other dog, the color also fades because of some factors you need to note.
Otterhounds have developed different colors due to the breeding of two color variations of the same species. This color is directly affected by the protein produced by the dog’s genetics. Chemicals such as melanin, which is also seen in humans, allow this color variation and diversity to occur. However, a mutation has occurred if a puppy comes out as a different color than its parents. Mutations occur when the genetic code gets interpreted differently, much like how certain strains of bacteria and viruses appear when they start multiplying. Modifications can affect in many ways, including the dog’s overall health. If the dog changes color during adulthood and not while they are young, something might be wrong with their health. Consult your vet immediately if this happens.
Well-nourished dogs can have shining-colored fur. However, dogs that are malnourished or have a weaker body can excessively shed off their coat and have a paler color. They may even break bare skin due to the effects of malnourishment. A dog’s fur can indicate your dog’s health, so make sure to observe correctly. You can consult your vet on what vitamins your dog can consume for their fur’s health. Vets can give particular medication that has different effects on the fur, which leads us to:
Certain medications can cause your dog’s fur to be slightly off its usual color. This is not to say that significant fur color changes should be ignored. Instead, consult your vet on whether or not the changes that occurred are normal.
☑ Underlying Conditions
Sometimes dogs can develop underlying diseases that can cause their fur to change color. It may sound like a problem, but this is potentially life-saving for your dog. Noticing the changes with a brief look at your dog can warn you ahead of time. Just be sure to interact with your dog and observe their appearance and behavior often. Sometimes symptoms can be subtle, but it is our responsibility as pet owners to detect these. Some of these conditions include hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease.
Also, worms and pests of all kinds can infest your Otterhound’s body, both inside and out. Other insects like ticks or other insects that bury the eggs like fleas, mites, and flies, can infest her skin and ears. Drinking polluted water, treading on contaminated dirt, or being infested by a mosquito from a contaminated area, are all ways for parasites like roundworms and hookworms. Other parasites such as heartworms and whipworms can also enter the system.
As a dog ages, the hormones in its body (including its fur) will change. As a result, the Otterhound colors will usually change to a lighter color as they grow older. Similar to how humans develop white or gray hair as they age. These changes can sometimes be subtle, but some can also be very noticeable. It depends on the dog’s genetics and underlying conditions. That is why it is vital to have regular meetings with the groomer and the vet.
☑ The Environment
Environmental factors such as temperature and weather conditions can affect the color. When a dog spends enough time under the sun, it may develop a lighter color, usually through streaks. Meanwhile, hotter and colder temperatures can also cause the fur color to change. Your otterhound’s color can vary multiple times in a year due to these factors. Just be aware of how their color change affected their behavior or physical condition. Otterhounds are also prone to overheating, especially since they have a thicker coat. It would be best if you provided enough water supply and shade for your dog during summer.
Different Otterhound Colors
🐕 Variety Of Fur Colors:
🐕 Possible Color Combinations:
Black And Tan
Usually, the majority of their body will be composed of a dark color. However, the tan side will appear on their face, abdominal area, tail, and paws. Black and tan is the most found otterhound color and is easy to breed.
Wheaten Or Blond
Their fur will be light-colored in brownish or blond coloring. In some cases, they will be purely wheaten or blond with darker streaks. Meanwhile, some will have brownish fur with light streaks on their paws, face, belly, and tail. Some can even be a combination of both in which one color is dominant. However, in this case, the color lines can usually be located all over the body.
Liver And Tan
One color is usually more dominant than the other. Color streak changes can happen anywhere in the body. As the hound goes into adulthood, the Otterhound colors will vary and look more scattered.
White And Black
Similar to the color of dalmatians. The color streaks are usually black, with the primary coloration being white
White And Wheaten
Much like the white and black variation, white is the primary color. Streaks of wheaten are usually scattered all around the body.
White, Wheaten, And Black
In some cases, these three-color variations can occur. For example, the primary color can be either of the three, with the other color streaks being scattered.
Blue And Tan/White
A rarer color compared to the other variations. The primary color can be either of the three, with streaks being scattered as well. However, in this color combination, blue is usually the majority color of the body.
Gray And White/Brown
Gray is the primary color of the body. Meanwhile, either white or brown streaks can accompany the gray color. The lines can usually be visible in the lower part of the dog’s body.
Taking Care Of The Effects Of Aging On Fur Color
🖋️ When your otterhound is approaching its senior years, be prepared for some extra expenses. Various supplements, remedies, and specific diets can help combat the effects of aging. Fur loss and color change will usually occur for dogs in their senior years. It is crucial to have your vet examine the aging dog to prevent age-related diseases. Parasites and other pests can also become an issue during this time. What the effects a pest bite could do to your dog during its younger years can affect them with added effects in their older years.
🖋️ It is also worth noting that otterhounds will tend to shed during particular schedules. They may follow a seasonal, weakly, or monthly shedding. It all depends on their Nutrition, medication, and physical condition. So as early as their childhood, make sure you give them a properly balanced diet. It can become too late if they reach their senior years. Either their fur color will significantly become paler, or it may cause excessive shedding.
Diet Plan To Protect Otterhound Color
The largest organ of an Otterhound is its skin, which protects it from the outside world. Consider this: the weather, allergies, stress, and parasites are all attempting to get under your dog’s skin. Avoiding irritants that may irritate or infect the skin requires a healthy outer layer. Also, please pay attention to their clothing. Unhealthy-looking (or smelling) fur can indicate more serious issues. Diets containing the components listed below are recommended to maintain Otterhound skin and coats healthy.
Grooming And Maintenance
🖋️ To protect an otterhound’s color, the fur is advisable to have frequent brushing, like weekly, depending on the texture. If the otterhound’s fur is already soft, further brushing can cause shedding. After they are done eating, always make sure to clean their beard and snout. Their fur can grow to the point where it comes in contact with the food when they are eating. You should also trim their nails if they become too long. Not doing so can cause injuries and skin-related diseases. Take them to the pet groomer if you are unsure of your own methods.
🖋️ Proper hygiene and grooming are also crucial to an otterhound’s health. They are still a domesticated breed, which is very different from wild animals. Domestic breeds are the closest chance animals have ever lived with humans. So they still deserve the same maintenance that humans get to have regularly. Especially otterhounds, due to the fact that their species are in danger.
What Behaviors You Need To Expect In An Otterhound
Otterhounds are a particular type of dog that must have excellent attention from its owners. Here are the things you need to expect when getting an otterhound at your home.
Otterhounds are very lively in nature and have a pleasant demeanor. They also have self-assurance because they are aware of their purpose, and they are steady and brave at the same time. In addition, Otterhounds are undeniably excellent with children because they are affectionate, dedicated, docile, and endearing to people. Lastly, otterhounds are very energetic and athletic that they can be your jogging buddy every morning.
Because of their dynamic characteristics, you need a spacious house because there is a tendency that it will roam because of boredom. Otterhounds also bark frequently and bite things around. Therefore, it would be best to consider the animals walking in your area because they might be a sign of threat and prey to your otterhound.
The Endangered Otterhound: What Is The Current Status Of The Otterhound As An Endangered Species?
🖋️ There is a reason why we mentioned that otterhounds are a rare breed. The current documented number of otterhounds is less than a thousand. This number is tiny, considering they are a domesticated species. Therefore, pets and population are usually not an issue due to the number of breeders. However, with otterhounds, they were not purposefully bred for companionship but rather for hunting. When the hunting of the otters stopped, there was no purpose in keeping breeding otterhounds, which is why only a few genuine breeders were preserved.
🖋️ They are currently on the majority of the lists of the top 10 endangered species. This means that the previously mentioned Otterhound color variations are small in number. The most usual hues are white, wheaten, black, and tan. Much rarer colors include blue and gray, to the point where photos of them can be challenging to find. Many people are ensuring the species will still thrive. However, it is going to take our unified effort to save this species truly.
🖋️ Groups such as the Blue Fairy Otterhound are ensuring the safety of otterhounds as a species. So if you are an owner or are interested, be sure to check them out. Otterhounds truly have a color variation that suits their given purpose in the past. The usual dark-colored hounds can be used to hunt otters at night, especially since otters are nocturnal.
Otterhound colors vary which is similar to other dog species. However, their darker side tends to be more prevalent due to their past as hunters. With proper care and maintenance, this color can be preserved and taken care of.
There are only a few otterhounds left in the world at the current moment. A low number of otterhound societies means that there is a possibility that one of these colors is already extinct. To preserve the diversity of their fur color, further action must be promoted. If you are planning to get an otterhound, make sure it is legal and ethical. They require papers in many countries due to their status as endangered species. Be sure to coordinate with the few remaining fellow owners of this rare species.