Coat Care

The double-coat is a coarse, water-repellent, wash-and-go masterpiece with minimal shedding. Its texture and quality are the essential features of an Otterhound. The coat is easy to groom and maintain. To us, it means 2 things:

  1. Otterhounds shed much less than basset hounds, labs, and golden retrievers, but definitely more than poodles and schnauzers.
  2. A ShamWOW and two towels get 4 hounds dry after a bath or a rinse after a day at the beach.

The coat needs weekly brushing to avoid matting, especially under the elbows and the belly. Plus, regular brushing further reduces shedding around the house. Good brush and a comb do the job in less than 5 minutes per hound. While brushing, we check for lumps, any skin abnormalities and ticks.

Coat trimming, shaving or stripping is not required. Furthermore, it is not recommended as it may take up to 2 years to get the coat back to its original length. However, some owners do trim hair on the feet and between the toes to minimize tracking mud/dirt/snow into the house. We don’t do it – it has never been a problem for us in SoCal.

As far as bathing – there is no need to do it too often. Our hounds get shampoo’d every 2-3 months or a few days before a dog show. We use Crisp Coat shampoo designed for coarse/hard coats, slightly deluted with water. In addition, the dogs get a thorough rinse with a garden hose after each run at the beach to wash off salt water and sand.

Then, there is the beard. Our dogs are not big droolers, but they do have fuzzy chins that tend to catch ‘stuff’ especially when wet. It is also not unusual for an Otterhound to drink from the bottom of a bowl. We’ve seen it! Our newest girl Bella is our first Otterhound with a talent to dunk her head in a bowl, blow a few bubbles and then have a sip of water. It might have been her sister Addie who taught her the trick 😉

My solution: towels strategically located throughout the house. After a while, beard-wiping becomes second nature!   However beware, even the best towel is not going to save you from a spontaneous shake that will result in dirt spots on walls and the ceiling. The  joy of owning an Otterhound !

One Response to “Coat Care”

  1. Very good written post. It will be useful to anyone who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.