Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an Otterhound puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Otterhound!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Otterhound dog breed

Buying or Adopting an Otterhound

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is an Otterhound the right breed for you?

Otterhounds: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Otterhound Health Problems


Are YOU right for an Otterhound?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No very small dogs in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Otterhound stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, and especially tracking, which Otterhounds excel at); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; games such as Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • Brushing – a lot (unless you keep the coat clipped short)
  • Trimming – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Otterhounds are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate shedding (especially if the coat is clipped short, which means the shed hairs fall out freely)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Otterhound to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Otterhound, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Otterhound?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Otterhound be?


Where can you buy or adopt an Otterhound?

Otterhounds are rare in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Otterhounds rank 166th. It's very hard to find this breed.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
You might find an Otterhound available from a Dog Rescue group affiliated with the breed's national club. You would need to inquire there.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
I've never heard of an Otterhound being found at an animal shelter, although it's doubtful that anyone would recognize the breed if it did come in.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
Your only real option for an Otterhound puppy would be a show breeder, who breeds Otterhounds to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Otterhound puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips

Also, at least ONE PARENT of an Otterhound puppy should have:

  • a DNA test proving they are Normal/Clear of a blood-clotting disease called thrombasthenia.

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Otterhound ends up crippled with hip dysplasia.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
I have never seen an Otterhound in a pet shop. Which is good, because I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Otterhound Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Otterhound puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Otterhound puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.