The Otterhound is a large, rugged scent hound with a thick double coat that forms part of the hound group

Otterhound breed group


Size of the Otterhound


Colour varieties of the Otterhound

The breed comes in a variety of colours including:

  • Black & Blue
  • Black & Tan
  • Grizzle & White
  • Liver & Tan
  • Particolour
  • Red Grizzle
  • White & Black

Country of origin

Great Britain

Time of original development


The Otterhound through history

The Otterhound was originally bred to work in the water hunting otters.

Otterhound Breed introduction and overview

The Otterhound is a big, robust dog with a thick, oily and shaggy coat. Built for the water, this fascinating dog has webbed feet and is a competent swimmer.

The oily coat can give the dog a musky scent. It is a vocal dog with a deep and loud voice. It is a boisterous, alert, fun-loving dog with lots of stamina and a great jumper! Sadly, it is rarely seen in its native UK and is one on the breeds currently on the Vunerable Native Breed list with just 34 dogs being recorded with the Kennel Club in 2015.

Otterhound temperament

The breed is generally placid and fun loving in the home, enjoying the company of adults and normally good with children if socialised from an early age.

It is good with other dogs, rarely displaying aggressive behaviour and generally sociable. Cats are not normally compatible, and smaller pets are not suitable house companions with the Otterhound.

Size and weight of the Otterhound

Height bitch around 61cms

Height dog around 69cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 29-41kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 41-50kgs

Exercise requirements of the Otterhound

High. This breed is not for the less active dog owner, requiring at least 2 hours of good quality and vigorous exercise every day. It’s a breed suited to a rural lifestyle with adequate open spaces to achieve the physical activity it requires. The Otterhound would also appreciate a large, secure garden. This is not a suitable dog for town dwellers or cities.

Is the Otterhound a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Not recommended. This breed like most in the hound group are driven by their hunting instinct, and not the easiest dog to own.

The breed is also very rare, and very big, making it an impractical choice of dog for many households.

Otterhound coat length

Medium. The thick, shaggy double coat grows to a length of around 3 inches.

Otterhound Grooming requirements

High. The thick oily coat provides protection from the water and weather, but the thick double coat does need regular attention to keep it in good condition.

A soft pin brush or slicker brush are the ideal tools for keeping the Otterhound’s coat tangle free, tidy and healthy. Brush daily. Otterhounds should not be clipped.

Ears should be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections, especially for the frequent swimmer.


No. The Otterhound sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Otterhound

The Otterhound is a fairly healthy dog, but do consult your breeder on known health issues recorded in the breed including:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Ear problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Bloat
  • Seizures

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Otterhound

A healthy dog should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of around 10 years.

Approximate Otterhound pedigree puppy price

No current information is available on puppy price, as litters are few and far between. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is due. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy.

There are generally 2-14 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Otterhound would need to be fed each day and weekly cost

A bitch weighing 35kgs requires 402gms of complete dry food per day.

A dog weighing 45kgs requires 472gms of complete dry food per day.

The cost of feeding a 35kgs bitch is around £10.00 per week.

The cost of feeding a 45kgs dog is around £11.50 per week.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment