If you have been charmed by the sweet-tempered and cuddly Otterhound, evaluating the Otterhound pros and cons is essential before making your final decision! This blog post offers a thorough overview of the benefits and drawbacks of owning an Otterhound dog so that you can make an informed judgment if this breed is best suited for you.
Overview of the Otterhound Dog Breed
Before getting into the Otterhound’s pros and cons, let’s quickly examine the breed.
The Otterhound originated in Great Britain in the 12th century. Unfortunately, it was bred to hunt otters in packs along streams and rivers due to habitat destruction and changes in laws prohibiting otter hunting. As a result, the numbers of this breed dwindled significantly during the 20th century. Today, there are less than 1000 registered Otterhounds left worldwide! It makes them a scarce breed but one that is worth preserving thanks to their intelligence, loyalty, and caring nature.
Otterhounds are very affectionate dogs with a strong desire to please their owners. Otterhound temperament is gentle, which makes them excellent family pets. However, they can also be entirely independent when problem-solving or finding something interesting to do on their own. They also get along well with other animals and typically do not show any aggression toward strangers or other dogs.
Due to their size and energy level, Otterhounds need plenty of exercise. At the same time, they don’t require long walks or strenuous activity every day. Instead, they will benefit from outdoor playtime, with plenty of room to explore and roam off-leash. In addition to physical exercise needs, you should mentally stimulate them with activities such as agility courses or puzzle toys to stay sharp.
As with all breeds, there are specific health considerations to remember when considering Otterhound puppies or adult dogs as part of your family. These include hip dysplasia, bloat (gastric torsion), heart conditions, and eye issues such as canine glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). To reduce the risk of health problems, always get an Otterhound from a reputable breeder who has screened their breeding stock for genetic issues and is willing to discuss any common health concerns.
The Otterhound Pros and Cons
Now that you better understand the Otterhound breed and its character traits, let’s review the Otterhound pros and cons.
Pros of Owning an Otterhound
✅Affectionate and Friendly
Otterhounds are incredibly affectionate and friendly. These delightful pups are social butterflies, always eager to meet new people and take long walks with their owners. In addition, these dogs are friendly and well-suited for households with kids, making them excellent playmates and ultimately making them an ideal choice as a family pet!
✅Good-Natured and Easy Going
Not only are Otterhounds incredibly friendly and loving to their owners, but they also have calm personalities. Unlike other breeds that can be easily agitated or nervous, these dogs possess an amiable disposition, making them the perfect companion for chill days at home.
✅High Loyalty Levels
When they sense danger or hear their owner’s voice, these dogs will not hesitate to rush into action. Their courage and protectiveness make them perfect guard dogs; even better, they’ll remain faithful companions no matter what life throws your way.
Cons of Owning an Otterhound
❎Prone to Separation Anxiety
Otterhounds have a reputation for being extremely sensitive and needing a great deal of attention from their owners. It means they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. So an Otterhound might not be the greatest option if you don’t have the time to spend with your dog.
❎High Energy Levels
Otterhounds possess a lot of energy and require a lot of exercise to keep healthy and content. If you don’t have the time or resources to provide them with regular exercise, then this breed might not be a good fit for your family. Additionally, they tend to do better when they have access to outdoor spaces like a backyard or nearby park where they can run around and explore freely.
❎Strong Prey Drive
Unfortunately, this breed is known for having a strong prey drive. This means it may attempt to chase after small animals, such as cats or squirrels if given the opportunity. To ensure the safety of your Otterhound and those around them, it’s essential to keep them on a leash when not in their fenced area. Additionally, introducing your pup to other animals while young will help minimize potential aggressive behavior as they grow older.
By looking at the Otterhound pros and cons, you’ll have a more comprehensive understanding of these affectionate canines before deciding to welcome one into your home.
Tips for Training an Otterhound
If you have decided to adopt these dog breeds regardless of the otterhound pros and cons, you should begin teaching them right away. While these furry friends can be challenging and determined, they are also highly intelligent, which makes it easier for their owners to use positive reinforcement techniques during training exercises. Here are some pointers for training your Otterhound:
Introduce dogs to the basics, such as how to sit, and stay, to get them off to a good start. This foundation will strengthen as you continue to train together, leading them towards more complex skills later.
Establishing clear boundaries is essential for your pup to understand your expectations. When they do something correctly, provide positive reinforcement and feedback. On the other hand, don’t forget that corrections are necessary when instructions aren’t followed or undesirable behaviors occur. Early enforcement of such guidelines will ensure a better connection between you and your pet.
❧Use positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is an invaluable tool for training your otterhound puppy, as it stimulates desirable behavior and discourages undesirable behavior simultaneously. For example, show your pup you’re proud with treats or words of praise to swiftly ingrain obedience and boost their motivation at the same time.
❧Socialize early and often
Socialization is critical when training an otterhound puppy because this breed tends to be stubborn and territorial if not properly socialized from a young age. Expose to new people, places, animals, sounds, smells, etc., every day so that they become familiar with new situations and comfortable interacting with others.
❧Break tasks into small steps
If you want to train your otterhound, remember that their attention span may need to be more extensive for complex tasks. Therefore, break it down into smaller steps so they can master each before advancing to the next step. Doing this will ensure that your pup fully understands what is required of them – like walking calmly on a leash or coming when called.
❧Make sure you’re providing enough exercise
Otterhounds need regular exercise to stay mentally stimulated and physically fit. Otherwise, your otterhound could get bored or pick up destructive behaviors like digging in the yard or gnawing on furniture. Therefore, ensure you provide at least an hour of outdoor playtime daily so they get their daily fun physical activity.
❧Consult professionals if needed
Don’t let training your otterhound overwhelm you – help is available! Professional trainers with expertise in the care and behavior of this breed can provide invaluable assistance, enabling you to create a tailored plan for success. Get all of the support necessary to make sure your pup learns properly!
❧Utilize rewards-based training
Tools like clickers or interactive toys like Kongs filled with treats (make sure these treats are healthy!) as incentives for good behavior during training sessions – these types of rewards can significantly accelerate progress.
Training an Otterhound can be lengthy, even when you are putting in your greatest effort. Your pup may need help comprehending your orders, or they could demonstrate resistance to the new training. Stay positive and tolerant as you work together.
You can successfully train your Otterhound to be an obedient and loving companion with diligence and patience.
Grooming Requirements for Otterhounds
In addition to training, otterhounds need regular grooming to maintain a healthy coat. It could add to Otterhound’s pros and cons, but it will be worth it.
✔Brushing & Bathing
Otterhounds have a thick double coat, coarse hairs on the topcoat, and softer fur underneath. This coat must be brushed weekly to prevent mats from forming and help remove loose fur. When brushing your pup, do so gently to avoid irritation or discomfort. Additionally, it would be best to bathe your puppy every 4-6 weeks using a gentle shampoo designed for dogs.
✔Nail Trimming & Ear Cleaning
It’s also important to regularly trim your pup’s nails to ensure their paws stay healthy and comfortable. If possible, try to get your puppy used to nail trims when they’re young so that it won’t be a stressful experience when they get older. You should also regularly clean your pup’s ears to remove any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck inside them.
✔Tooth Brushing & Eye Care
Regular tooth brushing is essential for keeping your pup’s teeth and gums healthy. Ensure you use a dog-specific toothbrush with soft bristles and pet toothpaste explicitly formulated for canines. You should also regularly check your pup’s eyes for signs of irritation or infection, such as redness, discharge, or swelling. If you notice anything unusual, contact your veterinarian immediately for further advice or treatment if necessary.
The cost of grooming can be considered a disadvantage if you consider an Otterhound a pet. However, your pup will remain healthy and happy for many years with proper maintenance and care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Otterhounds Protective?
Otterhounds are naturally protective of their family, but not in a way that is overly aggressive or intimidating. They will bark if someone is at the door or something out of the ordinary is happening but are not likely to show aggression toward strangers. Moreover, compared to other breeds, they are more attentive and perceptive. As such, they need to be properly socialized from a young age so that their natural sense of protectiveness does not become too overbearing.
Are Otterhounds Good Pets?
Otterhounds make great pets because they are very affectionate and loyal companions. They easily interact well with people, kids, and other pets since they are laid-back. They also have very high intelligence levels and enjoy playing games like fetch or tug-of-war as much as any other breed. However, since they have so much energy, they need to get plenty of exercise every day, or they may become restless and destructive in the house.
Do Otterhounds Bark A Lot?
Otterhounds do not generally bark excessively unless provoked or stressed out in some way. They have loud voices, though, so it can be pretty loud when they bark! That said, proper socialization training can help reduce this problem significantly if barking becomes an issue for your pup. It’s also important to note that Otterhounds may bay loudly on the hunt – this is part of their instinct!
Are Otterhounds Strong?
Yes! The average weight range for Otterhounds is between 60–90 lbs. With their strong legs and muscular bodies, they can cover large distances quickly while hunting or running alongside another dog or human companion on walks/runs outside. Their massive size also helps them stay warm during cold temperatures – perfect for those in colder climates!
Are Otterhounds Aggressive?
No – most often, just the opposite! Despite being bred mainly for hunting purposes (which requires some aggression), these dogs are quite gentle and loving towards humans and animals alike. They don’t usually display any signs of aggression unless provoked by another animal/person/thing in some way. Even then, it would only be out of self-defense rather than malicious intent on their part.
Now that you have an idea of the otterhound pros and cons, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not this breed is the right fit for your lifestyle. Of course, as with any breed, it’s essential to consider all aspects of care before committing to adding an otterhound to your family. However, this loyal companion will be an excellent addition to any home with proper grooming and exercise!