It is believed that this is relatevily old dog breed and that there are records about otter dogs since the 11th century. We are not sure about the breeds ancestry, but it is fairly certain, that they are Bloodhounds descendants. Other breeds involved in the breeding process were most likely French Griffons and different rough haired terriers.
Originally, the Otterhound was bred to hunt. And they are amazing scenthounds with extraordinary sense of smell, webbed feet, which helps them in water and rough oily weather resistant doublecoat, which enables them to hunt in harsh weather and in water.
In the Book Otterhound – A complete anthology of the dog is said, that the Otterhound has a Bulldog's courage, a Newfoundland's strength in water, a Pointer's nose, a Retriever's sagacity, the stamina of the Foxhound, the patience of a Beagle and the intelligence of a Collie.
4) Family companions
This is not only extraordinary hunter, but also loving family companion. They are totally devoted, always happy, friendly, clownish and always ready for any adventure. You can be sure, that you will never be bored with the Otterhound. But they have higher exercise needs, so they are well suited for active families.
Most dogs are lapping from the surface when drinking. Otterhounds, sometimes choose different drinking strategy and they immerses its entire head in the water and drink from the bottom of the of their water bowl. As you can imagine, after that, they drool a lot from their beard, so they think it is the perfect time for putting their soaked beard on your lap.
6) Vocal dogs
Majority of the scenthounds were bred to be vocal during the hunt and they still are these days. And the Otterhound is no exception. They are known for melodious, deep and loud baying, but not only that. Actually, sometimes it might look that the Otterhound is having a conversation with you, because they have wide range of vocalizations, from grunts to groans.
This is a large dog with strong and athletic body. According to the official FCI breed standard, the female size should be around 61 cm and 36 kg, which is 24 inch and 80 pounds. The males are larger, with height around 69 cm which is 27 inch and weight around 52 kg, which is 115 pounds.
It is true that this is a friendly and affectionate dog, but because of their stubborn personality, they are not pushovers to train. You will have to be, lets say, more stubborn than the dog is. And of course very patient and firm. Do not use any harsh training methods, because the Otterhound is pretty sensitive dog. Comined this with their strength and size, this is not the best choice for unexperienced or novice dog owners.
As you can probably imagine, this is a highly energetic dog breed with high exercise needs. And it can be anyting, starting from long walks, jogs, swims to task oriented playtime or some dog sport. The Otterhounds are good at obedience, agility and especially in the tracking events. If you want to have a healthy and happy dog in your home, regular proper exercise is a must.
Even though the Otterhound is a very old dog breed with great temperament and personality, they are very rare. They are on the list of Vulnerable Native Breeds as identified by the UK Kennel. It is estimated that there is only something around 600 purebred Otterhounds in the world.