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Otterhounds are large, friendly and boisterous
dogs with a rough, crisp and shaggy coat.
Possible ancestors of this breed date back
to the 12th century during the reign of
King John of England. This type of dog was
used to control the otter population which
was depleting the food (fish) supply in
the rivers and streams.
Today's Otterhound was created in the 18th
century and is a crossbreed of the Bloodhound
along with many other rough coated French
hound breeds. The Otterhound was brought
to the United States in the beginning of
the 20th century and made its debut at an
American Kennel Club show in Oklahoma in
As a guideline, according to the AKC breed
standard, the height measured at the withers
for a male Otterhound is 27 inches (68.6
cm) and for bitches approximately 24 inches
The weight for a male Otterhound according
to AKC breed standard is approximately 115
lbs (53.6 kg) and approximately 80 lbs 36.4
kg) for bitches.
The Ottherhound has a double coat. The outer
coat is long, rough and shaggy and the undercoat
is wooly. The Otterhound's coat is waterproof
and may have a bit of an oily texture. Basic
grooming includes a weekly brushing which
will help prevent matting. The Otterhound
is an average shedder. The Otterhound should
be shown in his natural coat.
Any color or combination
of colors is acceptable in the Otterhound
breed. ~AKC breed standard
Otterhounds are friendly, even tempered
and devoted to pleasing its master. They
are affectionate and make a good companion
and family pet. Otterhounds should be supervised
around very small children due to their
large size which could unintentionally cause
injury. And although they're affectionate,
they can also be very independent. Otterhounds
should be socialized starting at an early
age and continued throughout their lifetime.
Although they are very intelligent, they
can also be stubborn which can challenging
when it comes to training. Training should
start early and the owner must be firm,
patient and in charge at all times. Otterhounds
get along well with other dogs, especially
if they have been socialized. An Otterhound
will bark or bay if he hears or sees something
out of the norm, making him a great watch
dog. Note his bay is very distinctive and
will carry a long distance. Otterhounds
should be taken on daily walks or jogs for
exercise and should always be kept on a
lease if not in a secure area. This breed
has an amazing sense of smell and will take
off on a scent. The danger here is that
there's a strong possibility the Otterhound
won't respond to your command and may get
lost or hit by a car.
Health issues which can affect the
Otterhound include hip dysplasia, bloat
and a potentially fatal bleeding disorder.
The average life span of an Otterhound is
between 10 - 13 years.
• The Otterhound has an extremely
• The Airedale
Terrier was developed from Otterhounds
and other terriers.
• The Otterhound has large webbed
feet making him an excellent swimmer.
• The Otterhound is considered a rare
breed - there are less than a 1000 worldwide.
• The first documented description
of this type of dog was in the early 14th
century by huntsman William Twici. He wrote,
"rough sort of dog, between a hound
and a terrier."
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Hound Group
CKC: Group 2 Hounds
FCI: Group 6 Section 2 Leash (scent) Hounds
UKC: Scent hound