About animals

Otterhound (otter hound)


Otterhound is a unique endangered animal that can hunt productively due to its amazing scent. The issue of the origin of the breed causes a lot of controversy. Otterhound is considered an old English breed of hunting dogs, the ancestors of which participated in the creation of bloodhounds and Airedale terriers. The first mention of the breed is found in written monuments of the 12th century.

History of occurrence

There is no specific data on where Otterhound originates, it is only known that the dog was first noticed in the 12th century. England is considered the homeland. The Otterhound breed has enjoyed interest from the royal court for several centuries. The name of the breed translates as "otter hound." Dogs hunted for otters in the distant 12-13 century.

Elizabeth I and other people of royal blood could not imagine hunting without these wonderful animals. The talent of dogs consisted in speed and insight, and mainly in the subtlety of scent. This advantage allowed the dogs to mark the trail of the otter even 8 hours after appearing on the spot.

A peculiarity of the dog is the ability to hunt in water and even under water. The otter is no doubt quirky, but the hours-long pursuit did not exhaust Otterhound, the dog caught the target. In the Middle Ages, hunting for otters was widespread, proved to be extremely popular.

Each noble court did not neglect such entertainment. The excitement caused a sharp decrease in the number of otters. In the mid-19th century, the British government issued a ban on the capture of otters, the Otterhounds lost relevance.

The number of Otterhounds began to approach a critical point. Fortunately, fans of the breed began to breed dogs. Through their efforts, the population was saved and increased. Today, the Otterhounds are popular in the world.

The breed is considered the oldest. The slightly controversial history of origin in no way affects the enormous popularity of dogs. At the end of the 20th century in Russia, dogs climbed to the peak of popularity. Later, fashion for miniature dogs went, the demand for Otterhound puppies significantly decreased.

Otterhound - the name of the breed speaks of the purpose of the dogs. Otter - from an English otter, hound - “hound”, a dog for hunting an otter. In ancient times, otters bred and caused great harm to fishermen, stealing the catch. Dogs are many hundreds of years old; animals are not indigenous, but are bred specifically to fight otters. Oterhound is a unique dog that has membranes between the fingers, allowing the dog to feel comfortable in the water and tire without swimming tired for hours. The blood of the dogs has not been fully studied, griffons and water spaniels, bloodhounds, and already hardcoated Old English Terriers are clearly visible.

One thing is clear: the dog met the expectations placed on the animal. Able to pursue an otter in icy water for hours. Able to pursue prey even under water. The Otterhounds were kept in monasteries to protect fish gardens from otters.

Unfortunately, the threat of extinction of a unique breed is still relevant. 1000 individuals are known in the world, and several dozen puppies are born per year. The English Dog Club is trying to preserve the breed.

Oterhound is playful in character, trusting and friendly to strangers, completely unsuitable as a watchdog. The pet has developed a tendency to see only good things in people. The doggie is so naive and pure that the concept of "malicious intent" does not even enter his head.

Breed description

Summary table of characteristics:

Other nameotter hound, otter dog
Life span10-13 years old
Heightmale: 69 cm, female: 61 cm
Weightmale: 41–52 kg, female: 29–41 kg
Wooltwo-layer, rigid
Colorblack, black with tan, gray, liver with tan, wheat, cream blue
Characterrugged, friendly, balanced
Usinghunting hound

The curly hair of the dog aroused admiration of the monarchs. Thanks to the peculiar appearance, the dog is at least memorable. Possesses complaisant disposition, gets along well with children. Her scent allows you to track down even extremely cunning game.

The Otterhound dog breed has been created for centuries. Despite the strongest hunting instincts, Otterhound is a good-natured and sweet dog. Will not bark for no reason, has high intelligence. It gets along with children, although it does not like to become a living toy. Respects the owner, but requires mutual respect for his own person.

A positive disposition makes the pet an honest and loyal companion for children and family. It will turn out to successfully maintain a dog in an apartment. A dog of high stature, agile and nimble, will not cause trouble to household members.

Otterhound puppies are restless. Able to turn the house upside down in the shortest possible time. To at least a little pacify the ardor, you will need to engage in education. Due to reason and intelligence, Otterhound will learn simple commands at the age of 7-8 months.

An important point will be full walks. In order for the puppy to form muscles properly, you will have to regularly take the baby out for a run, 15 minutes is enough.

  • Growth at the withers varies from 61 to 69 cm. Otterhound is a large dog with a powerful skeleton and muscles. Despite its cute appearance, it is a hound created for hunting.
  • Weight, on average, 43 kg (normal 36-50 kg). Puppies are a little like adults. Weight and height gain rapidly after a year of life.
  • The head is large, the skull is massive. Ears hang, muzzle friendly, not elongated.
  • Strong limbs, especially the hind limbs. It shows tremendous pushing power, quickly overtakes prey.

A potential breeder is required to study the description of the Otterhound breed before purchase. The animal requires serious education and training, it is better to soberly evaluate their own strengths.

If you do not deal with the dog properly, the animal becomes uncontrollable. Otterhound puppies are expensive if purchased in kennels. Thoroughbred representatives will cost fifty thousand rubles, you have to seriously think about buying, weighing the pros and cons.

  • country - Great Britain
  • body - slightly stretched, muscular, chest deep,
  • the head is large, somewhat narrow, densely covered with hair,
  • the coat is wavy, thick, long, tough, waterproof,
  • color - any typical for hounds,
  • bite - scissor-shaped, non-linear arrangement of incisors or a reversal are allowed.
  • ears - hanging, long, densely covered with hair,
  • life expectancy is 10-13 years,
  • group 6 (large hounds without working trials).

Oterhound externally is a large shaggy dog. The appearance of the dog indicates incredible strength and independence. Strong body, sweeping movements - adapted for tireless work throughout the day. To work actively in water, as on land, the dog is given features that are absent from other hounds - a double waterproof coat and powerful, webbed feet.

The ears of the dog emphasize its unique working features: long, hanging and ... folded in a tube (in curl). Set low, tightly pressed to the head.

Dog hair is special. In the assessment, the focus is on quality: the presence of a waterproof, short and thick undercoat. The outer hair looks coarse, tough, wire-like. At the exhibition, the dog appears in its natural state. Allowed to be groomed (without tassels), long, without towels and suspension, wool. It is permissible to comb out, to cut - it is impossible.

When walking, the hound hounds do not raise their paws high, it seems that the dogs are “dragging” their legs. The property does not prevent the dog from running tens of kilometers tirelessly. With increasing speed, the "dragging step" instantly becomes a free and active trot, smoothly turning into a gallop. Demonstrate a dog on a long leash.

Soft coat and lack of undercoat is considered an unacceptable defect. Long (more than 15 cm) hair is not allowed; when wet, the cover becomes heavier, which affects the working qualities of the dog. Excessive aggressiveness, cowardice, other deviations in the psyche lead to disqualification. Any deviations from the accepted standards are considered as flaws, are punished depending on the degree and impact on the state of the otterhound.

Origin history

The modern otterhound is a vulnerable native breed native to the UK. In the United Kingdom, no more than 30 puppies are registered each year.

The Oterhounds were supposedly derived from the Bloodhound. The first written mention of the breed dates back to 1100 years. At that time, otters were classified as parasites, they were exterminated not only for food, but also to protect fish in ponds. We used various hounds, but many of them, for one reason or another, were not suitable for such work. Oterhound in the form in which it is known today, was formed approximately in the XVIII-XIX centuries. The exhibition was first shown in 1861 in Leeds. As a separate breed recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1910. At the same time, the Association of Oterhound Breeders was organized. The breed was recognized by the International Cynological Federation in 1974.

At the end of the 70s of the 20th century, the number of otters was greatly reduced and hunting was prohibited. Only 2 kennels remained, in which purebred otterhounds were preserved (65 dogs in total). They were registered by the English Kennel Club and became the core of the breed, the progenitors of all modern otter hounds.

Otterhound was one of the fundamental breeds in breeding airedale.

Today in the world about 1000 otterhound. A little less than half of them live in the USA, the rest in the UK and other European countries.

From the history of the breed

Mention of this breed has been found since the XII century. These large and shaggy dogs have long been used for hunting otters even by monarchs: King John of England, as well as Elizabeth I. The Otterhounds are one of the descendants of the bloodhounds. A little later, in order to obtain an exact copy of the old Vendee hound, these dogs began to cross with water spaniels. The otterhounds were originally bred for hunting. The first dogs of this breed at the beginning of the 20th century were imported into the USA, and in 1907 the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Currently, there are only about 1000 dogs of this breed in the world, of which about 350 are in the United States. These dogs are also found in England, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Australia, Canada. Otterhounds are a rare and endangered breed of dogs (for example, only 51 puppies were born for the whole of 2006). These dogs are also on the list of Endangered National Breeds, which was compiled by the English Kennel Club. To save this breed, everything possible is now being done.

Otterhound breed: size, weight, color and temperament

The growth of the Otterhound male at the withers is about 67 centimeters, and the average weight is 52 kilograms. Females are slightly smaller, at the withers 60 centimeters and weighing about 36 kilograms. The breed standard indicates these numbers as a guide, not an absolute value.

This dog is very fond of walking and playing outdoors, but do not forget the fact that they are independent and can easily be absent from the owner, simply because they so wanted. This dog is best suited for experienced dog owners who know how to work with it and love to do it.

The weatherproof double layer consists of a coarse, thick top layer, which is 5 to 15 centimeters long, with a thick undercoat. The coat of this breed is designed to protect the dog from cold water. Any tone is acceptable, be it cream or white. White color can be either monophonic or white with black, but not brown spots. The most common colors are black, tan, and gray.

The dog is quite active, so you should devote enough time to playing and walking in the park to maintain its health. They can be great jogging or cycling companions. This trait of temperament is very similar to that of a fox terrier.

Swimming is their favorite pastime, so those who have pools or they live near a river, lake or stream should be expected to be constantly in the water. Oterhound is still not for the city. They need space, and it would be better for them to run, play every day in the yard or mess with children than to walk on a leash around the city in a limited space.


The breed is quite difficult to train, so it is not very suitable for novice dog owners. As mentioned above, they are independent and independent and can be very stubborn during training. The best motivation for them is a treat, so you should always have it with you.

The training process should not be long, and it is very important that you finish it when you consider it necessary, not succumbing to the dog’s desire to do this as soon as possible. Consistency is the key to training a dog. Training should be tempting so that the dog has a desire to train, and you should never give up and make concessions.

No matter how well trained the dog is, you should not walk it without a leash and even more so give freedom in the park or square. Seeing small animals, they will begin to chase them at the level of instincts and immediately run after them, not listening to your calls and commands to return home or be near.

Therefore, you should not leave her alone with other pets. Their instinct to pursue is too strong, and one day he can gain the upper hand, and another pet can suffer, whether it be a cat or a rodent. As you know, rodents are in even greater danger than other pets.

Otterhound loves to bark, and barking can sometimes be unpleasant, especially when he goes into a howl. Therefore, take this fact into account, especially if you are the owner of an apartment, not your own home.

It should be noted that the otterhound breed is dirty, so be careful. They will jump, and bathe in dirty puddles, and then as it is necessary to run ahead of you into the house, dirty and wet through. While swimming, they believe that they are, as if, are in a small pond, and begin to splash in the water, spilling and splashing it around them.

Oterhound Breed History

The Otterhound breed was created for hunting otters by crossing an Airedale, a hare and a griffon. Translated from English, otter means otter. In old England, otters bred in large numbers, ate a significant percentage of the fish, which could become the catch of fishermen. Otter hounds became salvation. Thanks to the subtle scent, the otterhounds caught the smell of an otter on the shore a few hours ago.

The Otterhounds were in the kennels of many of the monarchs of England. In the 20th century, the breed's popularity declined. In the 1970s, otters became an endangered species. The existence of otterhounds became unnecessary. Having made considerable efforts, specialists saved the breed, but it is impossible to regain its former relevance.

Today, hunters in rare cases use otterhound to hunt raccoons, badgers, martens. Representatives of the breed are active and hardy swimmers, capable of being in the water for many hours. In most cases, the Otterhound is turned on as a companion.

Otterhound Care

Proper care of the Otterhound is not difficult. It will be required to fulfill the points:

  1. Wool. The dog should be combed no more than once a week.Curls are not prone to entanglement, the difficulties are minimal. The dog sheds infrequently and slightly, especially with proper nutrition.
  2. Bathing as it gets dirty. Since ancient times, dogs have hunted in water, a love of water procedures lives in the blood. Otterhound is a typical Englishman, clean to the point of pedantry, you will rarely have to bathe a dog. Remember, bathing products wash off natural lubrication from wool and skin. Bathing is allowed when the dog is very tired during a walk.
  3. A cool shower can be arranged at least daily. Often owners of wonderful animals are faced with the fact that pets are already waiting in the bathroom, wanting to freshen up more quickly.
  4. The daily diet is filled with vitamins so that the dog's coat and skeleton do not experience a lack of trace elements.
  5. Vaccination. Each animal must undergo the vaccination procedure, bypassing the risk of contracting unpleasant and even deadly diseases.

It is better to keep the Otterhounds out of town in a private house. An otter hound can jump out of windows. The dog needs a courtyard and a spacious aviary, in the apartment the otterhound is uncomfortable.

Otterhound loves to dominate. If you feel the owner’s weakness, do not hesitate to sit on your neck.

Oterhound loves children and will never harm them; it will remain gentle, caring, patient.

Otterhound needs physical activity, and considerable. During walks, the dog seeks out smells and goes in search of a source. Dogs will not die without physical exertion, but will turn into thick lumps, slow and always sleepy.

Otterhound is recognized as a clean dog, the weakest link is ears. Ear care is provided regularly: sulfuric plugs form in the auricle, if you do not remove the formation, it is likely that serious inflammation will develop.

How to feed a pet

Dogs of this breed eat everything that they offer. Demonstrate a strong stomach and intestines, disruptions rarely occur. The only thing is not to offer the chicken chicken meat and bones. Foods are not good for dogs.

Oterhound eats raw meat without difficulty, without experiencing trouble with digestion. Undesirable microorganisms are found in raw meat, there is a risk of infection.

The dry food sold at each pet store includes vitamins. Desirable for the presence in the daily diet of the animal. Dogs rarely suffer from indigestion or constipation, are able to eat exclusively dry food. Fresh water is always available for the dog. Change is recommended at least once or twice a day.


For centuries, otterhounds have been used to exterminate otters in rivers and lakes. Dogs worked as packs and on their own. They tracked down, chased and killed the animal. The sharp scent allows them to feel the track of an otter up to 12 hours old even if it passes through water.

Otterhound can pursue game on land and on water. This skill makes it unique.

The Oterhounds are wonderful swimmers, they also dive very well. With good preparation, the dog can work all day. Without a break, follow the trail on the ground for up to 12 hours, and swim in the water for up to 5 hours. The dog is very strong, courageous and dexterous enough to cope with a toothy 7-kilogram creature. Otterhound follows the track with a voice.

With the prohibition of hunting for otters, the Otterhounds had to look for themselves in other industries. They are mainly used to search for drugs and to hunt for another small animal. Some dogs compete in agility, tracking and more.


Otterhound is a large, wire-haired dog with a massive head and straight legs, a strong body and a sweeping gait. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced.

  • Height at the withers of males - 69 cm., Weight - 52 kg.,
  • Height at the withers of bitches - 61 cm., Weight - 35 kg.

The head is impressive, well covered with stiff hair, which forms a small beard and mustache. The skull is domed. Stop distinct. The muzzle is strong, deep. The nose is wide with open nostrils. The lips are large, form undeveloped bryl. Jaws strong, large, scissor bite. The eyes are set moderately deep, the color depends on the coat color. The ears are long, set at the level of the angle of the eyes, hanging, reach the nose. The auricle has characteristic folds, the front edge is folded and wrapped inward.

The body is very strong with a long, powerful neck. The top line is straight. The back is wide. The loin is strong, short. The chest is deep, rather long, not too wide, with well-curved ribs. The tail is set high, thick at the base, tapering towards the end, held straight or with a slight bend. On the underside of the tail, the coat is longer and more plentiful. The limbs are strong, with a strong skeleton. The front legs are absolutely straight. Back with moderate angles. In a natural stance from the hocks, they stand perpendicular to the ground. Paws are round, large, with curved fingers and strong, thick pads. Compact, but can bloom. Between the fingers of the membrane. The hind legs are slightly smaller than the front.

The coat is long, dense, stiff, coarse and water-repellent, but not wire-like. The length of the coat is 4-8 cm. On the head, lower legs, the coat is softer and shorter. The undercoat is expressed. Wool may have a light grease. The colors are all permitted in hounds. Small white marks are allowed on the chest, head, legs, and tip of the tail.

Nature and behavior

Otterhound is a friendly, friendly dog ​​with a loud and sonorous voice, which it gives only when necessary. Pleasant, balanced character, nervousness or aggression are disqualifying factors. Very passionate in work, devoted to the owner. Very attached to all family members. Active and hardy while walking at home, he behaves calmly. Does not apply to neat dogs. With pleasure falls out in the nearest swamp.

Oterhound is a wonderful family dog ​​that adapts to any living conditions, gets along well with children. Usually it finds a language with dogs without problems. Small animals can be regarded as potential prey.

Otterhound is very energetic, with vivid hunting instincts. It was created for hard work, hardy and focused on only one thing - persecution.

Otterhound can be somewhat independent and stubborn. At a young age, he is overly active, which complicates the process of education and training. The owner will need patience and a lot of time to achieve good results. Oterhounds respond best to positive learning methods. Some are trained with a clicker.


The average life expectancy is from 10 to 13 years, like that of a rottweiler. The breed is prone to the following diseases and pathologies: bloating (expansion of the stomach and inversion of the intestines), hip dysplasia, multifocal retinal dysplasia, epilepsy, sebaceous cyst, panosteitis (lameness), allergies, arthritis, severe and potentially fatal arbitrary bleeding.

Proper care

The process of molting takes place all year round, so comb them with a brush should be about once a week to avoid folding the wool. Some individuals should be combed out two, and sometimes three times a week. Cutting wool is not a good idea at all. After you do this, it will take up to two years for the wool to grow in full.

The otterhound dog is prone to smear, especially when it comes to food and drink, so the beard should be washed and dried daily to prevent tangling and bad smell.

Ears should be checked regularly for signs of irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton swab if necessary.

If possible, clean your dog’s teeth weekly to prevent plaque, stone, and gum disease. Nail care should be done on a monthly basis.

Disadvantages of the breed

A very cunning dog, instantly catches the owner’s weakness and, if this happens, will become a capricious dog, seeking his own. Education is required, and rearing is supposed to be done with a hard hand. Although the good-natured character conquers the charm of everyone around

With insufficient physical activity, it directs energy into a destructive channel, using furniture, household shoes. The dog is a true “perpetual motion machine”, overly hyperactive.

“Domesticity” is harmful to the dog’s health; it is able to spill, grow fat and turn into a sleepy, phlegmatic bumpkin.

Otterhounds on the hunt

The Otterhounds have a great scent, allowing them to be good hunters on the trail. They are equally capable of chasing game both on land and on water - for this, the characteristics of the otterhounds are truly unique: greasy and tough two-layer wool, as well as strong webbed feet. For hunting otters in the wake of these dogs after 1978, when the killing of otters became a prohibited act, they were no longer used in England. However, they continued the hunt for nutria and mink.

Otterhound character

The Otterhounds are very friendly and kind dogs, not without a sense of humor, abuse they do not understand and do not perceive. Their sonorous voice is used very often. At the same time, these dogs are very stubborn, so their training requires patience. They are not deprived of intelligence, especially when they need some goodies, if they wish, they can even open the refrigerator. Perfectly apply to other representatives of the animal world, including dogs. They get along well with children, but you need to be vigilant: because of their clumsiness at a young age, the Otterhounds can unknowingly harm small children or older people.

Otterhound Care

Despite their thick coat, the Oterhounds do not fade very much. Every week, pets need to be combed out to avoid the formation of tangles. Thick fur on their paws also attracts dirt. Dogs should be cleaned regularly. Long ears and a beard from the Otterhounds often fall into a bowl of water and food, spraying them around the apartment. This aspect also cannot be ignored. It is best to keep these dogs in private homes because they can jump out of windows even from the fifth floor. Otterhounds need regular exercise and serious physical activity - without them they can turn into clumsy fat dogs, spending most of their time in a dream. These dogs have a definite plus: in spite of the fact that their undercoat is covered with skin fat, it does not smell like a dog from otterhounds, unlike other dogs with a similar coat.

Content Features

Oterhound well adapt to life in the apartment, subject to good physical and mental stress. The most suitable option would be free maintenance in the courtyard of a private house. The site should be well fenced. A low fence dog can easily jump or try to make a dig. When walking, it is worth remembering that the Otterhound is a hound. If the dog does not respond to commands flawlessly, it is best to keep it on a leash.

The instinct of persecution is still very strong. If the otterhound is really interested in smell, it is very difficult to stop it.

The owner should pay special attention to nutrition and injury prevention until the dog reaches the age of one. Oterhound needs many hours of walks, it will be happy to hike along the rivers, play on the beach. Should a dog see food and a sofa, preferences will become apparent. Otterhound has a long, hard coat, the undercoat is thick, oily to the touch. This type of coat provides protection in hot and cold weather, prevents overcooling after hunting in cold water.

Combing Otterhound wool with a comb and brush once a week. Particular attention is paid to areas on the beard, behind the ears, under the elbows, in the groin and on the tail, where the cones are most often formed.

At exhibitions, the Otterhound is shown in its maximum natural form. Trimming is not required.

The auricle is cleaned once a week from accumulated dirt and sulfur. Dental brushing is recommended weekly. Claws usually grind on their own. If not, they are cut to the optimum length as they grow. Do not forget about dewclaws. Brushes between fingers are trimmed for the convenience of the dog. Swimming is rare, only when necessary. Natural fat layer moisturizes the hair, skin and enhances water repellent properties. For washing, use a shampoo that does not dry the skin too much and is suitable for dogs with hard hair.

Oterhound Power

The feeding regime of these dogs depends on the purposes for which they are used, and, of course, on the dogs themselves. Otterhounds - dogs are large, their feeding is sometimes very expensive. Since some of them are prone to stomach upsets, it is best to feed them several times a day in small portions than immediately give a large amount of food. Do not feed dogs before intense physical activity or immediately after them.

Where to buy a puppy of Otterhound breed

The main livestock of otterhounds is concentrated in the UK and the USA. A small group of these dogs are Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada. In other countries, there are units of otterhounds. It is easiest to look for a puppy through foreign pedigree clubs, which have information about breeders, planned litters, puppies. Given the small number of dogs, it is likely that the puppy will have to stand in line for more than one year.

According to the English Kennel Club, the minimum price for a puppy is £ 700.