The Otterhound Club of America
                Promoting, Protecting & Preserving the Breed Since 1960
Training, Intelligence & Activities
Training Otterhounds takes patience. Their considerable size and strength make training something you do not ant to ignore. Don't let that wistful, sad looking puppy con you into postponing training. You will regret it when the pup is your size and twice as strong. 

Many Otterhounds seem to be rather "soft" dogs, and just don't understand harsh corrections. Training may take a bit longer than with some breeds, but don't give up and don't lose your temper! Once your Otterhound discovers that you can "out stubborn" him and doing what you want him to do is not optional, you're most of the way there. Periodic practice sessions for any commands that you want your hound to be reliable at are highly recommended - but keep them short, positive, and fun, for your sake as well as your hound's.

Socialization is as important as basic obedience training for an Otterhound, so once your pup has had his shots and knows how to walk on a leash and sit, get him out and introduce him to the world! Bring him along to pick up the kids after school or to their soccer games, take him to a building supply store (many allow leashed dogs) or to pick out his own toys at the pet supply store. Take him for a walk in the busiest park in town, or on a nearby college campus. Take him anywhere that he can safely see new things and meet friendly people, as long as you are not going to be in too much of a hurry and end up getting impatient! Do a little low key obedience practice - "sit" for a cookie, or a 10 second stay at the end of his leash. Teach him to "shake hands" or "speak" - people seem to love big shaggy dogs that do tricks. 

Some Otterhounds compete successfully in obedience, some take on agility, and they excel as tracking dogs, earning more AKC tracking titles almost every year than any other breed (as a percentage of the number of dogs registered).

If you want to do something really worthwhile with your dog, these silly looking hounds can also be great therapy dogs 
and can bring a lot of joy to someone in a hospital or nursing home!

Otterhounds are bright dogs - at least when it comes to getting something they want. If it's food, they WILL smell it, and where there's a will... There are reliable reports of Otterhounds who've learned to open their crate doors, yard gates, screen doors, house doors, kitchen cabinets and drawers and the refrigerator.

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