This distinctively shaggy looking dog breed is renowned for its prowess in hunting otters. It possesses great swimming skills because of its large webbed feet. It is also a good hunter on land and was used for hunting bears and raccoons. They are believed to be a crossbreed of bloodhounds and terrier breed and originated from France. They had such a high sense of smell that many farmers depended on them to chase the otters that ate their fish. In a bid to eliminate Otters, the hunt for Otters became a sport and their population greatly dwindled. Later on, a law was passed to ban the hunting of Otters to preserve their population. This made the Otterhound’s skills obsolete, and their population began to dwindle as well due to lack of popularity. Due to the Otterhound Club, this dog breed was preserved.
The Otterhound has a great sense of smell. It stands at 24 – 26 inches tall and weighs 70 – 100 pounds. It has a bulky rectangular body frame and is generally concealed by its long shaggy coat. Its muzzle is medium sized with a dark tipped nose. Its teeth close with a scissors bite and its long hair extents to cover its muzzle and eyes. Its ears droop to the side of its head down the neck, and its thick outer coat covers it completely. It has a long tail that makes a slight upward curve.
The Otterhound is a loyal and lovable family dog. It provides good companionship to both young and old. It is a smart dog and independent-minded probably due to its natural instincts of hunting otters. They are welcoming to strangers and will cheerfully usher them into their environment. They may be hard to train as they come across as stubborn at times.
Apartment life is not recommended for this breed, as they are free spirited animals that enjoy the outdoor life. They are good swimmers hence a regular swim as part of their exercise will do them good. They should be taken for a daily walk or jog under close supervision of the owner lest they stray away
They are generally health and are prone to what is common to other breeds such as: hip dysplasia, stomach bloating and thrombocytopenia.
The Otter hound should be feed on a high-quality diet full of all the necessary nutrients. They should not be overfed lest they become overweight. The amount of food depends on the age weight and metabolic rate of the dog
Coat, Color and Grooming
It has a double coat that looks shaggy and has a rough texture while its undercoat is light and soft. Its coat comes in different colors that range from tan or wheat with black markings. Its coat should not be clipped as the shaggy look is its natural form but the hair around the muzzle should be washed frequently.
With family and other pets
It is a great family dog to have as it blends well with the entire family. It is friendly to both strangers and other pets, but the owner should be cautious when bringing around non-canine animals.