Otterhound is a British breed of scenthound. The first otterhounds were from Northwest England. The origin is dated sometime in the first half of the nineteenth century. The modern otterhound is not the original breed in most cases as the dog had been crossbred in the early twentieth century. The ancestor of most of these dogs found in the United States is a cross of the purebred with Griffon Nivernais and further crossbreeding with a mix of Grand Griffon Vendeen and Bloodhound. Otterhound males are usually twenty seven inches tall whereas the females are twenty four inches tall. Male otterhounds weigh a hundred and fifty pounds. Females weigh around eighty pounds. The breed belongs to the hound group and has a life expectancy of up to thirteen years. An otterhound can easily live longer than ten years.
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Otterhound is large with a rough coated and an imposing head. It has a dignified poise. Its form reflects strength. Known to have a sensitive nose, the dog is inquisitive and quite perseverant. The body of the dog is a bit rectangular. It has strong and boned legs, broad muscles, amazing balance and a certain degree of soundness. The head is around eleven to twelve inches from the tip of the nose to the occiput. The deep set dark eyes with pigment around the rim, the complementing color of the eyes vis-à-vis its coat, the long and pendulous ears and powerful jaws for a crushing grip are some of the characteristic features of an otterhound. It has a large nose that is dark and mostly pigmented. The nostrils are wide. It has a powerful neck and lots of hair.
An otterhould has clean shoulders, straight boned legs, large feet, arched toes, broad thighs and a dense coat. The coat is crisp, coarse and rough. The coat can be up to four inches long. Its ears are covered by hair and the tail is moderately feathered. The breed comes in a myriad of colors, not just solid colors but also mishmashes of different hues and shades of the same hue. It has a smooth and effortless gait.
Otterhounds do not need much grooming as they look amazing and elegant in their natural form and splendor. However, the coat must be brushed at least once a week. Most dogs need twice a week brushing. The texture and length of a specific coat should determine the frequency of brushing. You should trim its nails once a week. If the dog is not too fond of dragging itself on the ground then a frequent bath is not needed. The beard should still be cleaned from time to time. It may become a haven for debris, especially of food. The dog needs a secured and large fenced yard for its regular exercise. Otterhounds need long walks, jogs and other activities for physical exercise and mental health.
Otterbounds are amiable, even tempered and boisterous. It is a big and bouncy hound. It is a good swimmer and can even retrieve objects in the water. The dog is quite versatile and flexible given the circumstances where it is perfectly at ease. You should not have any issues managing an otterhound. Despite its size and the sheer strength it can generate, an otterhound is not unsafe to have in a family or house with kids.
Otterhounds should be trained to obey, track and engage in different kinds of activities. This will help it retain its agility. The breed is sensitive so only positive training methods should be used. Reward is a crucial component of any training program. The dog needs to be appreciated for what it does and to explore what it is capable of. There should ideally be only one trainer. A combination of praise in the form of various gestures and snacks or treats should be used to attain the best results with any type of training.
Otterhound is so named because it has highly effective at hunting otters. They have a waterproof coat, enabling them to be great swimmers. Their webbed feet are big and hence they are rather comfortable in water. These attributes made it a popular breed in medieval England. At the time, a massive count of large otters was preying on the fishes in stocked ponds and rivers. The hounds were kept by squires and also kings to protect the food source. Later, otterhounds became associated with various sports. At one point in time, otterhound packs were outlawed in Britain because otters became an endangered species. This just tells you how effective otterhounds were at their job. Today, otterhound is an endangered breed. There are only a few hundred of these dogs in the world presently. It is the most endangered of all dog breeds in Britain.