The Otterhound is a water-loving scent hound capable of chasing otter in frigid water. As its name suggests, the Otterhound used to hunt a lot of otters in England. The Otterhound is quite a rare breed; in the United States and Canada, the amount of Otterhound litters born each year is fewer than ten.
Body: Strong and sturdy with well-developed thighs, deep chest, well-sprung ribs, short, powerful loins, broad back, and level top line.
Coat: Rough, dense, coarse outer coat with a short, woolly, water-resistant undercoat.
Color: Any color or combination. Most commonly seen in variations of black and tan and grizzle.
Ears: Long, thin, low set, dangling and folded with fringed hair.
Eyes: Dark and deep set. Color varies with the color of the dog.
Feet: Large, and compact with dense pads, and arched toes; webbed for swimming.
Head: Large, narrow and covered with shaggy hair. Forehead is high, muzzle is square and deep, nostrils wide, jaws strong.
Legs: Forelegs are well-boned, straight from the elbows with strong, slightly sprung pasterns. Hindquarters are powerful with broad, well-muscled second thighs.
Neck: Long, muscular, powerful, and well covered with hair.
Weight: 65 – 115 pounds
Height: 24 – 27 inches
Tail: Long and high set, covered with dense hair and carried upward with a curve but not fully curled.
- Recommended for experienced dog handlers
- Get along well with other dogs
- May view cats and other small animals as prey
The Otterhound is a water-loving breed who will venture into frigid waterways to locate and enter the dens of the otter. No matter what the season is, or how cold or hot the temperature is outside, he will be water-bound and wet all over if given the opportunity. If he isn’t tracking dirt and mud into the house, he will be playing in the water bowl, with his large head, and spilling the water on the floor. “It’s just the nature of the beast!”
AKC Standard says, “The Otterhound is a large, rough-coated hound with an imposing head showing great strength and dignity, and the strong body and long striding action fit for a long day’s work. The Otterhound is amiable, boisterous and even tempered.”
Things to Keep in Mind
He is friendly, highly energetic, has an advanced sense of smell, and is good-natured. Though Otterhounds generally get along well with other dogs, he can be a deadly foe if attacked by a dog or other animal.
If you want to control his investigative personality and his desire to be in the water, you best keep him on a lead or in a securely fenced in area. He’s independently minded and often stubborn and best suited for an experienced dog handler who has the patience to work with him and the tolerance to accept that he won’t always respond to commands immediately.
This is an athletic, robust, and sturdily built dog. Though he is good with children he may unintentionally injure a small child due to his large size and strength. Toddlers and misbehaved children should be supervised.