The Otterhound is said to have a sense of smell that is so good that they can detect the scent of an otter in the morning when the otter passed through the water the night before.
They are a large scent hound, rectangular in shape. Their head is rectangular, too, with long-hanging ears and a shaggy face with bushy eyebrows. They have webbed feet and a coarse double coat which is dense and very weather resistant. They come in all typical hound colours - grizzle, sandy, red, wheaten, blue, white with slight lemon, blue or badger pied markings, black and tan, blue and tan, black and cream, occasional liver, tan and liver, tan and white.
They were bred to hunt otter when otters were plentiful and endangered the fish supply.
Otterhounds are not the most trainable of dogs but are brave, lively, loving, devoted and friendly. They love water and can happily spend hours in it. They are loud with a baying call that can carry for a considerable distance. They are people friendly, good with children and get along with other dogs and even non-canines in the family but may well chase wildlife. They need a lot of exercise and, if possible, opportunities for swimming but they can be single-minded about running off if they get an interesting scent.
Their coat tends to attract the nature they like to ramble in and they need brushing and combing regularly but should not be clipped. They can be prone to hip dysplasia, thrombocytopenia, hemophilia and bloat.
Watch our videos about some of the dog breeds in the Hound group