Otterhounds, a rare breed that makes a wonderful family pet
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Otterhounds, a rare breed that makes a wonderful family pet

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

Otterhounds are one of our native breeds and they have always been highly prized not only for their sweet looks and kind natures, but also for their hunting skills. These charming dogs are a vulnerable breed and anyone wanting to share a home with an Otterhound, would need to register their interest with breeders first and then go on a long waiting list because so few Otterhound puppies are bred and registered with the Kennel Club every year.

Breeders can be choosy who buys their puppies

Responsible Otterhound breeders like to know who wants to buy a puppy from them which is a good thing and should never be taken to be insulting. They also like to know that prospective owners know just what they are getting into when sharing a home with an Otterhound. This includes what to expect from a puppy, the health issues that a dog might develop during their lives and the sort of environment that an Otterhound would thrive in.

A breed worth noting for

Although there would be a long waiting list for an Otterhound puppy, the time spent waiting would be well worth it because these stunning dogs are a sheer pleasure to have around, especially when they are well-bred, nicely socialised and handled by breeders right from the word go.

Pet, show dog or to breed from?

Some owners are happy to have a lovely natured dog in their home, whereas other like the idea of showing an Otterhound or maybe to even start breeding from them to promote one of the rarer breeds seen in the UK. However, breeding any kind of dog takes a lot of time and effort together with having the knowledge of what needs to be done to ensure that lines remain pure. Breeding from any dog is an expensive business that should never be taken too lightly.

The pros and cons of owning an Otterhound

Otterhounds are larger than life characters. They are big dogs with shaggy coats. They are incredibly enthusiastic about things and thrive on being given loads of daily exercise in the great outdoors. With this said, Otterhounds are laid-back, easy going and affectionate dogs that are fun to have around more especially for anyone who enjoys being outside with an active canine companion at their side.

Otterhound puppies are extremely boisterous, being rowdy and exuberant by nature which means laying down ground rules right from the word go. They can also be a little harder to house train than some other breeds. They also have a very low boredom threshold and a bored Otterhound can do a lot of damage around a home. Then there’s their prey drive which is high, and they love nothing more than to chase anything that moves or tries to escape from them. They are also known to like to get their own way and can be a little stubborn to do so.

A voice of their own

When it comes to barking, Otterhounds don’t bark as such, they “bay” and they do so very loudly when the mood takes them which some owners find amusing whereas neighbours might not.

Not a dog for the town

Otterhounds are better suited to people who live in the country and who have large, ultra-secure back gardens a dog can roam in to let off steam. These lovable “rogues” of the dog world are very adept when it comes to escaping so they can go about doing their “own thing” which typically means following their noses and finding somewhere nice and wet to go swimming or simply wet their feet.

Weird habits that bring a smile to an owner’s face

Otterhounds have an affinity with water and were bred to dive in which they do magnificently well. They will even plunge their heads into their water bowls just for the fun of it.

Amazing scenting abilities

Like their cousin, the Bloodhound, Otterhounds are highly skilled when it comes to tracking down a scent and being so determined, they rarely give up when they find something interesting to follow trundling along in a world of their own.

Excellent watchdogs

Because Otterhounds are naturally wary of strangers, they make wonderful watchdogs but not very good guard dogs because they are too friendly with everyone and everything which includes other dogs, but not smaller animals and pets.

Training takes time and patience

When it comes to training an Otterhound, it can take patience and little longer than with other breeds because they do have a bit of a stubborn streak and being so independent, they like to go off and do their own thing. In short, an Otterhound in the right hands and environment, Otterhounds are trainable, but they tend to be slow to respond to commands which can be endearing or annoying.

Not the most fastidious dogs

Otterhounds are messy. Their shaggy coats don’t help matters and the fact they adore getting wet means they are not a good choice for anyone who is too house proud, but their lovely, loyal and devoted natures more than make up for this which many people in the UK are now finding out about.

Rare, but gaining notoriety

Although still quite rare in the UK, Otterhounds are finding a fanbase because of their charming looks and unique personalities. However, because only a few puppies are bred and registered with the Kennel Club every year, Otterhounds often command a lot of money and the waiting lists tend to be long, but as previously mentioned, the wait is more than worth it.

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