Group: Hound Group

Origin: Great Britain

– Males: Ranging from 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder.
– Females: 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder.

– Males: Average between 95 and 115 lbs.
-Females: Averagebetween 65 and 100 lbs.

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Breed Profile

The Otterhound has been known in Britain since the 13th century where he was used to work in packs to hunt river otter that robbed the streams of fish. With his webbed feet and swimming endurance, the Otterhound is definitely a water dog. In North America, the Otterhound has been used to hunt mink, raccoon, mountain lion and bear. This is a rare breed with fewer than 1000 dogs worldwide. The largest population exists in the U.K and the U.S. as well as smaller numbers in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Canada. His ancestry includes the Bloodhound and he is an ancestor to the Airedale Terrier.

He is described as a boisterous, even-tempered dog with true devotion to his owner. This is an active breed that requires lots of outdoor activity, including being able to swim. They excel at tracking, enjoy obedience as well as agility and other dog sports.

The Otterhound is a large and strong dog weighing up to 125 lbs for a mature male. They are known to be affectionate but not demanding in attention. They generally get along well with other dogs and animals when raised with them or carefully introduced. Due to their size, caution must be exercised around small children and frail elderly people.

His outer coat is dense, rough, coarse and crisp and he has a water-resistant undercoat of short, wooly and slightly oily hair. The most common colour is grizzle or sandy with black and tan more or less clearly defined.


Health Issues

The Otterhound is generally a very healthy breed with an average life expectancy of 10 to 13 years with some living to 15 or 16. However, like many of the large breed dogs, the Otterhound may be susceptible to Hip Dysplasia and Bloat. In addition, Otterhounds are subject to a potentially fatal bleeding disorder and all breeding stock should be DNA tested for this disease.

If you are considering the adoption of a Otterhound puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information

In general, Otterhounds are not heavy shedders and brushing on a weekly basis should suffice in order to maintain the coat and keep it from matting. The hair on the Otterhound’s feet should be kept trimmed, especially between the pads. In addition, nails require trimming at least on a monthly basis and regular cleaning of the ears is an absolute must in order to keep them clean and free of problems.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Additional Information

  • Otterhound Database
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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