The Otterhound is a large dog bred in England for hunting otters. This hunt began since the otters ate fish and were competitors of humans for this type of food. Now hunting of otters is prohibited.
There are still many mysteries about the ancestors of this breed, but apparently they were south-English hounds and bloodhounds. Later these dogs interbred with water spaniel. The domed shape of the skull shows the Bloodhound influence and the water spaniel gave the Otterhound the ability to swim so well. The original purpose of this breed - hunting of otters, was left in the past, and now the main work of following a trail.
The breed is recognized by the FCI, AKC, KCGV, SCS.
The Otterhound is unusually charming. It has webbed toes of the paws, very coarse and dense coat with undercoat, which allows it to hunt its prey in the water and on the ground. Wild, fierce and tedious, it is a monster among the chasing hounds - its height at the withers is 56-69 cm and weight 29-52 kg. The body is slightly rectangular. The legs are muscular with strong bones, but the body as a whole is not rough. It possess an unusually sensitive nose, curious and persistent in the study of odors. The physique is lean, the skin is thick, the hairs are rough and thick, naturally formed clumps. Coloration may be different, but the most common is gray and speckled with white, wheat, black and tan, white-grayish, brownish-reddish tricolor, lemon and white and reddish-brown.
Character and behavior
Patience and composure are inherent in this breed. The dog is kind and polite, spirited and cheerful, calm and funny. It is well known for its boundless loyalty to the master.
The Otterhound has a very interesting and distinctive bark, typical for most hounds. This loud, deep voice may sound like a music to the hunter's ears, but your neighbors might not appreciate it the same way. This deep, loud, extended bay is music to a hunter's ears, but it might not play as well with the neighbors.
Training and education
The Otterhound is amenable to training, but only if it is conducted entirely with positive techniques and praised as at times it can be quite stubborn. Among its favorite activities are swimming and running.
These dogs are prone to epilepsy, hemophilia, hip dysplasia and obesity. The average life expectancy is about 10-12 years.
Grooming and care
It is better to raise your Otterhound in a house with a yard, because it needs space and movement, to spend its energy. The fur of these dogs needs grooming relatively rare and you can bathe them only when is absolutely necessary.
Children and other pets
This is a very social dog that gets along well with children and other pets. However, small rodents and birds may look like a prey to your puppy. It is very kind and gentle with strangers, so if you are looking for a guard dog, the Otterhound is not the right choice for you.
According to the latest researches, there are only about 1000 representatives of the breed in the whole world. Most canine specialists think that this is the most endangered dog in the UK. In 2011, only 15 new puppies for sale were registered in the locals Kennels. These dogs were never very popular and their numbers were low, even in the past when hunting was a famous sport.They are included in the Vulnerable Native Breeds list of the United Kingdom Kennel Club and every breeder in the country is part on the efforts and programs for saving the breed.