Canine Breed Menu



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Breed Organization
Otterhound Club of America
Native Country
Great Britain
Other Names
Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-13 Years
Litter Size
Average 5-10 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Hound
Breed Appearance
The Otterhound is a large, rough-coated hound with an imposing head. Originally bred for hunting, it has great strength and a strong body with long striding steps. This makes it able to perform prolonged hard work. The Otterhound hunts its quarry both on land and in water and it has a combination of characteristics unique among hounds; most notably an oily, rough, double coat and substantial webbed feet.

Breed Description
Head: Taller than it is wide. Well-domed skull. Stop not pronounced. Strong, high-set muzzle. Abundant flews. Slight beard and mustache. Strong, large jaws.
Ears: Long and pendulous, with feathering and a characteristic fold. Front edge folded or rolled inward.
Eyes: Color depends on coat color.
Body: Solid. Long, powerful neck. Chest well let-down.
Tail: Thick at the base, tapering toward the tip. Carried high in action.
Hair: 4 to 8 cm long, dense, thick, hard, and waterproof. Oily, woolly undercoat.
Coat: All recognized hound colors allowed: whole-colored, grizzled, sable, red, wheaten, and blue. May have slight white markings on the head, chest, feet, and tip of the tail. White dogs may have slight lemon, blue, or badger grey markings.
Size: Dog: approx. 67 cm. Bitch: approx. 60 cm.
Weight: approx. 32 kg.

This large, shaggy breed is believed to be descended from the Saint Hubert Hound and French griffons (the Griffon Vend´┐Że and the Griffon Nivernais) imported to England before 1870 after receiving Harrier and Wirehaired Terrier blood. Otterhounds were developed to hunt otter, pursuing it even underwater. After otter hunting was banned in England around 1970, the breed became rare. It is one of the ancestral breeds of the Airedale Terrier.

Otterhounds are courageous, tenacious, and stubborn. They are very resistant to cold, love water, and are excellent swimmers. They can spend an entire day hunting in the water but can also gallop about on dry land. Kind, even-tempered, affectionate, and playful, they make wonderful companions. Otterhounds require firm training.

In spite of the small gene pool, the Otterhound is generally a healthy breed, but is subject to many of the same complaints as all large, rapidly growing dogs.

Otterhounds need lots of exercise and weekly brushing. Being a hunting dog, special attention should be given to the ears.

Hunting Dog, Companion Dog.

Horse Herd