The Otterhound originates from Great Britain. He was bred as a prey dog especially for otter hunting. He feels especially comfortable in active families with children. Unfortunately, there are very few otter dogs left in the world.
The Otterhund is a dog breed recognized by the FCI. There he is listed in group 6, section 1 under standard no. 294.
The Otterhound is a dog that has been large dog breed. He is of robust and strong stature with a broad back and short loins. The straight tail sets high and is moderately long. The long hanging ears are heavily coated and set at eye level. Eyes and flews are also drooping.
The long rough hair coat is dense and shaggy structure but does not shed. The undercoat has an oily and water repellent property. The coat color can be gray, brown, yellow, blue, red and white as well as color combinations. Slight white markings are permissible on the head and chest as well as on the paws and the tip of the tail.
The Otterhound feels comfortable only in a reference group with a clear hierarchy. He is intelligent, affectionate and always happy and the optimal family dog. He is very fond of children and shows no aggression towards humans.
He needs a lot of space and plenty of activity. For the city apartment or even a kennel attitude he is not suitable. Regardless of wind and weather, he needs a lot of exercise or sports activities.
The Otterhound loves extended walks in nature through forest and meadows. Curious, he looks for tracks to follow.
As a true water rat, the Otterhund is happy about every pond. He takes every opportunity to jump into the water. Instead of hunting, dog sports also offer the Otterhund a lot of exercise and movement. In flyball, agility or even in tournament dog sports he likes to show his skills.
As a thoroughbred hunting dog, the Otterhund possesses a great deal of stubbornness. Since he stubborn and stubborn can be, he needs a loving and consistent upbringing. Nevertheless, absolute obedience should not be expected from him. The Otterhund likes to forget everything around him when he likes a track, which he follows pedantically and precisely.
The right food
The otter dog tends to overeat, which can lead to Overweight can lead. Therefore, the food should be limited to a maximum of two portions per day. It is best fed in the morning and evening after the walk.
The feed should have a high meat content have, which is usually about 70 percent. Vegetables are also important for a healthy diet of the otter dog. The proportion of vegetables is usually about 20 percent. The grain content in the feed should be a maximum of 10 percent.
The amount should be adjusted according to weight, age and exercise.
Fresh and clean water should always be available.
Since the Otterhund hardly sheds, extensive grooming is not necessary. It is quite enough to keep the dog brush intensively once or twice a week. A control of the heavily hairy eyes and ears of the dog should not be forgotten.
During a walk through nature dirt or mud accumulate in the dense fur of the dog. These should be plucked out or brushed out. A bath is only recommended in absolutely exceptional cases. It should then also only be used with a mild Shampoo for dogs be bathed.
A regular dental care should start in puppyhood, so that he gets used to it faster. The claws should be pruned weekly or every two weeks.
The otter dog needs a lot of exercise and movement, to really let off steam. During a long walk he enthusiastically chases after balls, sticks or other Toys here. These he returns to his owner to chase after them again.
A cozy dog basket or -pillow must not be missing. Here, the otter dog likes to gather strength for the next excursion into nature or for dog sports.
The Otterhund also likes to train his excellent sense of smell. Treats can be hidden well on the way or in the apartment. With pleasure he searches for them with his fine nose.
A leash and drag leash, a suitable collar as well as a Transport box should not be missing in the basic equipment. This includes of course Food and water bowl, first aid kit for dogs and Brush.
Origin & History
The Otterhound was bred specifically as a prey hunter for otter hunting. In the Middle Ages in England, a huge population of otters hunted the fish in the lakes. In order to protect this valuable food source, otter hounds were used to hunt otters. Over time, this hunt became an event of the nobility.
The popularity of the dog breed probably originated during the reign of King Henry II of England, who invented the title "Master of Otter Hounds" for himself.
As ancestors of the Otterhund are considered various French running dog breeds (e.g. French Griffons, Southern Hound). These were crossed with English Hounds (e.g. Bloodhound), thus completing the Otterhound breed. The form of the Otterhound known today was created in the 19th century.
The otter dog was able to ford deeper waters with its thick fur and large body size. As an enduring runner, it could track otters for several hours.
The otter dog was a true specialist in following "cold" tracks. With its excellent nose, it could even follow tracks that were several hours old.
At the end of the 19th century, the demand for otter dogs was no longer so strong. The otter was placed under nature protection and otter hunting was prohibited from 1978.
In the meantime, there were already specialized hunting dogs for other huntable animal species. Many otter dogs were therefore euthanized and only a few animals were bred. Some animals even reached the USA.
Today, there are no more than 1,000 otter dogs in the world. The dog breed thus belongs to the most endangered breeds of farm animals.
First 1974 was approved by the FCI the first breed standard for the Otterhund was established.