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Otterhound

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Otterhound

Otterhounds are hefty, rough-coated hounds. Their double coats are weather resistant. The long outer coat is coarse and the dense undercoat is slightly oily, making it perfect for swimming in frigid water. The coat also makes it perfect for leaves, mud, snow and other debris to stick to it and end up all over your house. It is usually grizzle or wheaten in color with black markings. However, all colors are acceptable when showing. The large shaggy head is deep and narrow. The eyes are deep set with bushy eyebrows. The low set ears dangle and should reach the tip of the nose. The large nose should be black or liver, depending on the color of the coat. The muscular neck has an abundant dewlap. The feet are webbed for swimming. They can swim for hours without stopping. The tail curves up like a saber and can be carried over the back.

Temperament Otterhounds are bold, exuberant, affectionate, and devoted dogs. They are excellent with children although they should be supervised with young children and infants due to their clumsy natures. They also get along with other dogs, cats (if in family), and people. They will chase non-canine animals if not raised with them. Although they are a loving breed they also have a mind of their own. They enjoy roaming and have a tendency to snore. Though they don't bark excessively, the Otterhound has a harmonious and powerful voice that carries for long distances. Be warned that their baying may have your neighbors calling the police to report the nuisance. A bored Otterhound can turn your home or yard upside down in a single day.
Height, Weight Height: 24-26" ; Weight: 66-115 lbs.
Health Problems Prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, hemophilia, bloat and thrombocytopenia. This breed tends to gain weight easily.
Living Conditions The Otterhound should not live in an apartment. It does best with a large yard with a fence. They can sleep outdoors in cool temperatures if they have adequate shelter.
Exercise This breed is very energetic and needs lots of daily exercise off of their lead and in a safe area. They may roam if they pick up an interesting scent. They make excellent jogging companions and should have the opportunity to swim occasionally.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years
Grooming The coat of this breed should be brushed thoroughly to prevent matting. It should be groomed once a week. Wash the beard more frequently. Keep the coat looking as natural as possible without clipping. They are average shedders.
Origin Otterhounds originated from crossing Bloodhounds with terriers, griffons and Harriers. Per their name, they were used in packs for controlling the otter population in the British Isles. Otters would compete with local fishermen for trout supplies in various rivers. During the English hunting season, several of the British monarchies were given the title "Master of Otterhounds". They included King John (1199-1216), Richard III, Charles II, Edward II and IV, Henry II, VI, VII and VIII and Elizabeth I. By the 1800s, it was common to have several dozen packs participate in the hunting season. In the 20th century the otter population began to diminish and with it the demand for Otterhounds. By 1978, the otter was declared a protected species and the Otterhound population was close to extinction. Several dedicated breeders united to save the breed and brought them to the show ring. The breed has also been used to hunt raccoon, bear and mink. However, today they are primarily companion dogs. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Hound, UKC Scenthound