Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: England
Average Size: 62-68 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 35-45 kg
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: High

History

The Otterhound is a type of dog bred for its ability to seek out animals with its unbelievably strong nose. The history of this breed is not entirely known, though it is thought to be from England and originally bred to hunt otters. Otters feed off of fish, which local fishermen found to be a nuisance. The Otterhound was bred from terriers and other hounds to track the scent of the otter in order to protect the livelihood of the fishermen. In the latter quarter of the 20th century, otters became an endangered species, so it was necessary for the Otterhound’s skills to be redirected towards sniffing out other animals such as mink.

Much like the otter, the Otterhound’s population is in jeopardy, as it is considered rare throughout the world. Several dozen Otterhounds are thought to be born each year, though dedicated breeders are devoted to increasing the numbers. The breed’s primary purpose is that of a hound dog, though its sunny disposition also makes it a wonderful companion.

Appearance

The signature characteristic of this breed is its rugged, natural coat, which is coarse to the touch. The Otterhound’s long coat is waterproof and extremely durable, which serves it well as it plays and works on land and in the water. The coat requires minimal brushing, as the breed standard states that it should look as natural as possible. All combinations of colours are accepted in terms of this breed’s coat, though the most common colours are tan, black, blue, gray and red.

Other characteristics of this breed include its webbed feet, which are beneficial for swimming. It also has large, wide-set brown or hazel eyes and long ears coated with thick fur.

The Otterhound is typically 62-68 cm in height and 35-45 kg in weight.

Temperament

The Otterhound is remarkably sociable and enjoys the company of people and animals alike. It has a joyful and upbeat personality and has a true love of hunting, taking great pride in a job well done. Though the breed is extremely focused when working, it can also make a wonderful family dog. The Otterhound needs considerable exercise, whether that is in the form of swimming, jogging or walking. It is important to always keep an eye on this breed, as it can be easily distracted by a scent.

When properly exercised, the Otterhound is happy to stay indoors with its family. It prefers the company of its owner and other members of the household rather than being left alone. The Otterhound is known to have a loud, traveling bay, though it can be trained to keep barking to a minimum. Due to its love of the outdoors and its tendency to bay, this breed is best suited in a home with a large yard.

Health

Since this breed is rare, it is fortunate that it is an overall healthy dog. It may be prone to conditions that are not breed-specific, such as gastric torsion, hip dysplasia and hemophilia.

Daily exercise will help keep this breed in good physical health and will help it avoid unnecessary weight gain. Its ears must be regularly cleaned to avoid ear infections from developing.

The Otterhound lives to be an average of 10-12 years of age.

Otterhound Organisations in Australia
No club information listed

Otterhound Organisations in the UK
OtterHound Club UK Home Page

Otterhound Organisations in the US
Otterhound Club of America – National Breed Clubs
Otterhound Club of America Rescue

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