The Otterhound is a rather old breed obtained from crossings among the Bloodhound with Rough-Haired Terriers, Griffons and Harriers. The otter, as the breed’s name suggests, is this dog’s preferred prey. Otterhounds were used in packs for controlling the otter population, since otter competed with fisherman for the natural trout supply in rivers. Several British Kings were titled Master of Otterhounds, including King John, Richard III, Charles II, Edward II and IV, Henry II, VI, VII and VIII and Elizabeth I. In the late 1800’s there were sometimes more than a dozen packs operating in Britain during every hunting season. In the 20th century, as the otter population diminished, so did the Otterhound’s popularity. By 1978, the otter became a protected species and the Otterhound’s existence was threatened. A concerted effort by several dedicated breeders saved the breed and brought these dogs to the show ring.
The Otterhound is a bold and exuberant dog, they’re friendly, cheerful, loving and devoted, and make a good companion. This breed is quite good with children, but may be clumsy with small children and therefore is not recommended for infants. They are a friend to all other dogs, family pets, and people in general, however it may chase non-canine animals (it can get along with cats in the family). Otterhounds are affectionate, intelligent, and independent with a mind of their own. They are also laid back, devoted dogs with a gentle nature that will make an excellent family pet with the right socialisation and obedience training. Training the Otterhound takes patience, because it tends to be quite wilful. Otterhounds have a harmonious, boisterous and powerful voice that carries for long distances. They like to bay; though they don’t bark excessively. Tidiness is not one of its virtues; the large, hairy feet tend to hold debris and mud, and the long hair around the mouth can hold water and food. The Otterhound needs daily exercise in a safe area or on a lead due to their natural instinct to hunt.
Read about the history of the breed – HERE
STATS AND FACTS
Most of these stats are from the UK Kennel Club. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.
|Group – UK||Hound|
|Bred For||Hunting Otters|
|Country of Origin||England, UK|
|Temperament||Amiable, Devoted, Intelligent|
|Exercise Needed||More than 2 hours a day|
|Size of Home Needed||Large|
|Height at Withers – Females||61 cm / 24 in|
|Height at Withers – Males||69 cm / 27 in|
|Grooming||More than once a week|
|Coat||Medium, Dense, Rough|
|Colour||Various – see photos|
|Life Span||10 – 13 years|
- The Otterhound has a sense of smell so acute that it can smell in the morning an otter that passed through the water the night before.
- With their webbed feet the Otterhound is a great swimmer with the ability to swim for hours without stopping.
- They are more rare than the Giant Panda and is considered one of the most endangered dog breeds in the world.
- They love their pack, but do not constantly demand attention. They will be happy to see you arrive home but will return to bed to finish napping.
- They treat their water bowl as if it is a small pond, splashing and spraying water everywhere! They love to stick as much face in the water as possible and this applies to all sources of water.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUB BREED STANDARDS AROUND THE WORLD
Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Otterhounds.
Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃
Enjoy this video about Otterhounds, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:
WEBSITES ABOUT OTTERHOUNDS
Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Otterhound breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer websites listed here.
Thanks for reading!