Other names/Nicknames:
  • None
Country/Date of origin:
  • England
  • 11th century
  •  23 to 27 inches
  • 65 to 120 pounds
  • Affectionate and protective of master and family.
  • Because they are pack hounds, Otterhounds get along well with other dogs.
  • Amiable, but not too intelligent.
  • Rather difficult to train.
  • Because it is so active, the Otterhound is not recommended for apartment living.

This hunting hound has a long history, but is short in numbers.  It was bred as a pack hunter to track and kill the river otter, which was considered vermin in England (because they were decimating the fish population in lakes and streams).  In the late 19th century, just before otter hunting was outlawed, there were more than 20 packs of Otterhounds that ran regularly.  The Otterhound hunts both on land and in water, tracking with a methodical thoroughness.  The breed has been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1910, but a puppy may be difficult to find.

Body Type:
  • A large, rough-coated hound that is about as long as it is tall.
  • Long, high-set tail is not altered.
  • Hairy, pendulous ears are not altered.
  • Feet are webbed for swimming
  • Disheveled-looking coat is double layered.
  • The long guard hairs are rough and feel harsh to the touch.  The undercoat is dense, short, and woolly.  Together they provide great water protection.
  • Oily coat has a distinct smell.
  • Any color is allowed.
  • Mop of hair over its eyes gives this dog a friendly appearance.
  • Medium grooming required.
  • Tends to shed
Health and Wellness:
  • Extremely healthy breed.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Prone to ear canker.
What you should know:
  • Otterhounds have a voice.  Its powerful bay leads hunters on a musical chase.
  • Owners are treated to a running commentary on life in general.  The bay is not as frequent as the grumbles, sighs, and pleasure groans that it feels obligated to share with those around it.  However, a family with an Otterhound must be prepared for a starlight howl on occasion.
  • Nothing makes an Otterhound happier than swimming.
  • A very rare breed and a puppy may be difficult to find.
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