Otterhound

With the Netherlands as its country of origin, the Wetterhoun was traditionally bred as a hunting dog. Its name comes from its specific area of origin, which is the northwestern province of Friesland. Residents of Friesland are credited with developing the Wetterhoun in the 17th century by crossing Gypsy dogs with their indigenous (and now extinct) dogs. The latter group is responsible for the Wetterhoun's trait as a water dog, meaning that hunters use it to retrieve waterfowl and otters. Indeed, the dog breed's name, which is Dutch, means “water dog.” The Wetterhoun was also bred to be an effective land retriever, with the ability to hunt polecats and stand guard at expansive farms. Although the dog breed almost disappeared during World War II, breeders saved them from extinction by bringing fanciers into the bloodline.

The Otterhound is a large dog breed with a long body and a sturdy, athletic build. Otterhounds have large heads with broad muzzles and large, pendant ears. They have large feet that allow them to roam through slippery terrain. They have thick double coats with woolly undercoats and coarse outer coats. They should be brushed regularly to prevent mats from forming and hair from tangling. Their ears should be checked regularly.

Described as a dog with a square-like shape, the Wetterhoun has a thick coat composed of coarse and curly hair. The coat is usually black, brown or a combination of either color with white. The head and legs are the only parts of the body without the characteristics of the coat; both areas have shorter and smoother hair. The large and strong head comes with prominent and alert eyes and low-set, flat-hanging ears—features that aid the dog's distinctive grim appearance. The chest is broad enough to keep the forelegs apart, the tail is tightly over the back, and the large feet come with thick pads. The Wetterhoun stands at 21 to 23 inches (53 to 58 centimeters) and weighs around 33 to 44 pounds (15 to 20 kilograms). Personality: Otterhounds are friendly, easygoing dogs that are amiable and good-natured. They are very affectionate but can be independent and stubborn. They don't like being told what to do and sometimes professional training is required. They need lots of vigorous daily exercise and love to roam the outdoors. They are best suited for active individuals who live in the country or the suburbs. Otterhounds are good with children and nice towards other dogs. However, they are aggressive toward other animals and should not be trusted with any small animals.

A strong-willed dog, the Wetterhoun is ideal for experienced dog owners. It is obedient as long as it receives proper leadership; it is very independent-minded, and that trait can escalate if it senses its owner is not assertive. The dog is friendly with children as long as they don't harass or tease it. Also, due to its pedigree as an active outdoor-friendly dog, the Wetterhoun is not recommended for apartment life. Brave, reliable, and very watchful, the Wetterhoun is an excellent choice for people who like an all-weather, all-purpose dog.

Otterhound image
Life Span
12 - 13 years
Other Names
Wetterhound, Dutch Spaniel, Frisian Water Dog, Otterhoun, Otterhound

Otterhound Build Information

Size
Large

The Otterhound is a large dog breed with a long body and a sturdy, athletic build. Otterhounds have large heads with broad muzzles and large, pendant ears. They have large feet that allow them to roam through slippery terrain. They have thick double coats with woolly undercoats and coarse outer coats. They should be brushed regularly to prevent mats from forming and hair from tangling. Their ears should be checked regularly.

Described as a dog with a square-like shape, the Wetterhoun has a thick coat composed of coarse and curly hair.

The coat is usually black, brown or a combination of either color with white.

The head and legs are the only parts of the body without the characteristics of the coat; both areas have shorter and smoother hair. The large and strong head comes with prominent and alert eyes and low-set, flat-hanging ears—features that aid the dog's distinctive grim appearance. The chest is broad enough to keep the forelegs apart, the tail is tightly over the back, and the large feet come with thick pads. The Wetterhoun stands at 21 to 23 inches (53 to 58 centimeters) and weighs around 33 to 44 pounds (15 to 20 kilograms).

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

Otterhounds are friendly, easygoing dogs that are amiable and good-natured. They are very affectionate but can be independent and stubborn. They don't like being told what to do and sometimes professional training is required. They need lots of vigorous daily exercise and love to roam the outdoors. They are best suited for active individuals who live in the country or the suburbs. Otterhounds are good with children and nice towards other dogs.

However, they are aggressive toward other animals and should not be trusted with any small animals.

A strong-willed dog, the Wetterhoun is ideal for experienced dog owners.

It is obedient as long as it receives proper leadership; it is very independent-minded, and that trait can escalate if it senses its owner is not assertive. The dog is friendly with children as long as they don't harass or tease it. Also, due to its pedigree as an active outdoor-friendly dog, the Wetterhoun is not recommended for apartment life. Brave, reliable, and very watchful, the Wetterhoun is an excellent choice for people who like an all-weather, all-purpose dog.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate Shedding
Grooming
Moderate

Despite its thick coat, the Wetterhoun requires little grooming. However, combing and brushing once in a while to loosen dead hairs is strongly recommended. Also, owners should regularly check the ears to ensure they are clean and free of infection.

Otterhound Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
  • The dog breed is known to live for around 12 to 13 years
  • The Wetterhound is also known as the Otterhoun, Dutch Spaniel or Frisian Water Dog
  • The plural of Wetterhoun is Wetterhounen
  • The dog breed is recognized by the Continental Kennel Club (CKC),Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), National Kennel Club (NKC), America's Pet Registry (APRI), American Canine Registry (ACR), and the Dog Registry of America (DRA)

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