Activities For Otterhounds

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Introduction

Otterhounds were originally bred to be able to hunt and take on otters. Otterhounds are big, energetic, excellent swimmers and also very rare. So, if you are one of the lucky few to have an Otterhound, you may be struggling to think of ways to keep your pup entertained. With very few people with whom you can discuss the nature of an Otterhound, how do you know what to do with such an extraordinary pup? These games and activities will answer that for you!

Water Play

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Ball
Activity description
Otterhounds were designed to be the perfect water dog. They are fully equipped with a double thick, waterproof coat and webbed feet as well - they are almost more duck like than dog! Not only are Otterhounds built to swim but they also truly love to do so. Why not give your pup what they want and bring them swimming? Head to the beach, lake, or local pool that allows dogs and give a few of these swimming games a try. Not only will your Otterhound love playing in the water with you but they will also thoroughly enjoy the new water activities you have planned.
Step
1
Water keep away
Grab a few tennis balls and jump in the water with your Otterhound. Since tennis balls float, they are perfect for a game of water keep away. Push the ball around the water, just out of the reach of your Otterhound and watch as they paddle quickly, trying hard to get the ball. Of course, let them win once in a while!
Step
2
Water chase
Water chase is a great way to get swimming with your Otterhound. Who can swim faster - you or your pup? Swim as quickly as you can away from your dog while they chase you through the water. Then, switch it up and chase them instead! Don’t be surprised when your big aquatic dog can go faster than you!
Step
3
Diving
Otterhounds use to chase otters through the water so they are used to holding their breath and swimming around. Place your Otterhound's favorite toy underwater in shallow water and show them how to dive to retrieve it. Place it in deeper and deeper water and see how far your Otterhound can dive! Be sure to supervise this activity closely and keep your eye out for fatigue. This busy breed may not realize they are getting tired!
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Nose Work

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Any Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Dog Food
Treats
Activity description
In the days when Otterhounds were working dogs, they were able to track otters underwater using their amazing sense of smell. In fact, an Otterhound has a better sense of smell than many other breeds. Using this keen sense of smell to keep your dog entertained is an amazing idea. Not only will your Otterhound be naturally great at scent games but they will get to use their intellect to learn some new activities. Many scent games only take a matter of minutes to set up or play so you can easily incorporate them into your dog's day to day life.
Step
1
Hide dinner
Rather than just put your Otterhound's food on the ground where they can easily get it, try hiding it somewhere instead. Show your Otterhound their food and then have them sit and stay as you hide it. Tell your pup to find their food and see how long it takes them! Congratulate them on their tracking skills when done!
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2
Other pet hunt
Otterhounds love to use their nose to find other smaller pets. While you may not want your Otterhound to actually hunt other animals, you can have a friend rub a towel on their dog or cat and give the towel to you. Hide the towel in your house and see if your dog can sniff out the pretend animal.
Step
3
Water treats
Combine your dog's love of water with their amazing ability to smell by tossing a few of their favorite treats into the pool or ocean. Let your Otterhound swim in to grab their treat before it is lost forever. Toss a handful in and see how many your Otterhound can retrieve in one breath! This is a game to play for only a few moments - you don't want your Otterhound to ingest too much water.
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Singing

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description
Otterhounds have an amazing voice which has all the typical characteristics of many hound dogs. Their bark is almost musical and they tend to howl in a variety of pitches rather than bark incessantly. Many Otterhound owners have also said that it seems as though their pup likes listening to the sound of their own voice. As an Otterhound howls, they tend to get louder and louder and more musical in their tone. Making a game out of your dog's love of using their voice is a great way to entertain both you and your dog. Make sure your neighbors don’t mind a little dog singing before you begin!
Step
1
Speak on cue
Start by teaching your pup to speak on cue. You can do this naturally by simply saying “speak” and giving your Otterhound a treat when they are barking. After a few days of rewarding your pup when they “talk” and also pairing the reward with the command “speak”, your dog will pick up on what that command means and be ready to bark on cue.
Step
2
Extend the voice
Once your pup can bark (or in the case of an Otterhound, howl on cue), teach them to keep their voice going. Do this by repeatedly saying speak so that your pup continues “talking”. You can also pair hand motions with the commands and have one hand motion which tells your dog to sing longer.
Step
3
Quiet time
After your Otterhound has learned to sing on cue, it is important to also teach them how to be quiet. When your dog ceases barking, say “quiet” and again reward them. While this command is perfect for your singing game, it is also useful when your Otterhound is barking in everyday life and you need a little peace and quiet!
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More Fun Ideas...

Toy Destroy

Otterhounds were made to be fierce animals, capable of wrestling otters. Thanks to this, Otterhounds love to destroy toys. Buy your pup a bunch of cheap stuffed toys and let them have at it - ripping up toys will be satisfying for your Otterhound and fun to watch!

Tug

Otterhounds are very strong dogs who will love a good game of tug. Hold on tight to the rope as your Otterhound has a strong bite and a very big pull!

Conclusion

Otterhounds are a rarity these days as not many people are still going otter hunting and need the assistance of this breed. However, they are very capable of being your loving house dog as long as they are entertained and trained well. Pick one of these great games to play with your Otterhound and the two of you are sure to have a good time. How could swimming with your big dog not bring a smile to your face?