Otterhounds


Otterhounds

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Breed Notes

The Otterhound was developed in England as early as the fourteenth century to hunt and destroy otters that were decimating the fish in English rivers. The otter, often weighing up to 24 pounds, lived in holes dug in the riverbank and could swim great distances underwater. The British needed a dog that could locate and track them for long hours in the cold river water. Beginning with the Griffon dogs of France that is are cold trailers of great endurance and adding various hounds, including the Bloodhound, and water spaniels, the British developed a dog that met their needs. He is distinctive from other hounds with his shaggy coat and large size. With the decline of the otter population in England, the breed declined also. It is rare on both sides of the Atlantic today. The Otterhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1991.
The Otterhound has a cheerful disposition and enjoys human companionship. He is reasonably good with children. He possess a remarkably musical baying voice.
The head of the Otterhound is large, broader in proportion than the Bloodhound, with a high forehead. The skull is fairly narrow and slightly domed. Muzzle length should equal skull length. The muzzle is square with powerful jaws and deep flews. A scissors bite is preferred. The ears are long, thin and hang alongside the head. They are set level to or just below the eye level and are well covered in coat. The eyes are deep set with a serious expression. The lips are fairly heavy. The neck is not long and looks shorter than it is due to the abundance of coat that covers it. The legs are straight and well muscled with good sized, compact feet. The toes are webbed for efficient swimming. The back is long, strong and slightly arched. The tail is long, reaching at least to the hock. It is thick at the base and tapers to a point. It is covered with long hair and carried saber fashion. The coat is a double coat with an oily undercoat and an outercoat that is long (between three and six inches), rough and extremely thick. Coat color includes grizzle or sandy with black and tan markings. Average height is between 23 and 27 inches. Average weight is between 65 and 120 pounds.



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