OTTERHOUND DOG

Be the first in your pond to have an Otter hound! For the otter’s dismay, this swimming, permeable dog is 68 cm to the withers and has other skills besides hunting otters. 
Slim and large, the Otter hound, with a rough coat, is 67 to 68 cm, with an impressively large and quite narrow head; the female is 2 – 3 cm less. The male is between 37 to 57 kg; the female between 32 and 50 kg. In addition to its rough, crisp hair, it has an impermeable woolly undercoat, and an oily touch to ease the job it was bred for. The breed is also known for its fine sense of smell, which is extremely sensitive. It is a slightly rectangular dog and if possible, in good shape and muscular. The muzzle is square and the skull slightly rounded are almost the same length; the eyes are dark, deep inserted, with the third lid somewhat visible; the ears are long, dropping, low inserted; the jaws are powerful. The chest is deeper than wide; the ribcage wide; the tail long, narrowing to the tip, with abundant bristles and carried saber like. The coat should not be groomed for show, but natural. Every color acknowledged for hound type is admitted: unicolor grayish, sandy, reddish, wheat blue, black and tan, blue and tan, black and cream, liver, liver and tan, tan and white. These coats can have slight markings at the head, chest, feet and at the end of the tail. The English kennel Club and FCI don’t admit liver with white, or white dogs with cleanly separated black and tan spots.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR     
Teach the puppy while it is small, impressionable and manageable. The Otter hound is smart and instinctive: if it is not taught otherwise, its probable that it follows its sense of smell before its master’s orders. 
It is a hound type dog, athlete, burly, natural swimmer and hunter; the Otter hound is rare as a company animal… so, why not? Its rough coat is attractive; it is tall and proud; it loves children and an active family. Its bark is enough to frighten an intruder away from your house as well as the neighbor’s. In the country and water it is a resistant, robust and easy to care for athlete. Many people think that what the Otter hound likes the most is water; but it is not true, what it likes most is, mud! Exercise is important to keep it happy and in shape. As a good hound, it is gregarious, kind, sweet and devoted. The owner should keep in mind that it is a trail dog: “be aware when it lowers its nose, it unplugs the ears!”; and a pack dog whose leader should be the owner, and the dog loves the domestic environment. A good fencing is essential.

DEVELOPMENT
To be a mother… is to suffer… it is never an easy task. Educating a whole litter of Otter hounds can leave any mother with a messy hair some day.
The Otter hound weighs 500 g at birth, some 3 kg after four weeks. After seven – eight weeks the puppy should weigh between 10 and 12.5 kg. After six months it should have reached two thirds of its adult height. The Otter hound exists in many colors, and color changes are considerable, during growth as after. The puppy is born almost black (except the liver and other light colors) and begins to show traits of its adult color after two weeks; this is mostly in the black and tan specimens, but also for the grayish and reddish. A tricolor puppy can result in a grayish adult. In general, the color of the Otter hound lightens with age, during its entire life. The interested party should seek puppies in good health; insist in the appropriate radiologic certificates, and extroverted personalities. Upper and lower prognathism is quite common, and should be checked. Growth is marked by the awkward phase, especially during the shedding stage. It can lose its appetite. Never choose a puppy that shies away from people. The activity level in the adolescent decreases, as well the meal rations diminish after six months.
Puberty is a difficult period for the Otter hound, all that hair, legs too long, those ears, that tail, mixed hormones, and no eligible Otter hound in that happy pond.
 
HEALTH
The breed faces two serious problems, as hip dysplasia and thrombocytopathy. We can’t stress enough in the importance of good breeding, since at a time both infections were much extended in the breed. Curiously, although so many Otter hounds suffered dysplasia, few really showed a symptom, which motivates the radiologic exam to be so important. Canine thrombocytopathy is a blood plaquette defect, and although responsible breeding has reduced this anomaly’s incidence, every puppy should be tested between the seventh and eighth week. Skin cysts and tumors are reported in the breed. Hair care is vital to prevent skin problems. A good brushing per week will be enough. These dogs should exercise cautiously during the first year in order to prevent orthopedic problems, for which swimming is excellent. The Otter hound usually lives ten or more years.