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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Otterhound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 24" - 27"
  • Weight
  • 70-130 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Difficult
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Ok outdoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

none known


The Otterhound originated in Great Britain.

Date Of Origin

This breed has been in existence for at least a thousand years, however, it is not until Edward II (1307-1327) that there is any sort of description of the kind of dogs that made up a pack of Otterhounds.


This breed is believed to descend from dogs that date back to the 1100's and is probably related to the Bloodhound. It was originally developed for hunting otter, although this practice is now illegal. It was first imported in the U.S. in the 1900's.


This is a large, powerful, straight limbed dog. It has a large, narrow head. The muzzle and skull are approximately the same length, and the nose is broad. It has dark, deep set eyes and long drop ears that fold as they fall. There is a deep chest and long, high set, tapered tail. The feet are large, well knuckled, and webbed. There is a double coat with a woolly, oily undercoat and a medium length, rough broken outer coat. It has a mustache and beard. It may be and hound color or combination of colors.


This is a good natured, active, boisterous, and enthusiastic dog. It gets along with almost everyone including children and other dogs. It is vocal and may roam.


The otter, as this breeds name suggests, is this dog's preferred prey. The Otterhound has a sense of small so acute that it can small in the morning an otter that passed through the water the night before. Defying the cold and wet, it will dive into the water seeking its prey and its prey den.

Health Concerns

Bloat, bleeding disorders, hip dysplasia, seizures.

Additional Information

This breed does very well with an active family in a rural or suburban home.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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