Although the Otterhound was used to prevent otters from preying on fish in the rivers and streams of England, the breed’s origins are believed to be in France. Otter hunting has since been banned, but the Otterhound has found a place with some as an amiable companion. The breed’s webbed feet help facilitate its love of being in the water, whether it’s a river, pool, or puddle. The AKC recognized Otterhounds in 1909.

Large; females 23 to 26 inches, 65 to 100 pounds; males 24 to 27 inches, 75 to 115 pounds.


Any — usually black and tan, grizzle, red, liver and tan, tricolor, or wheaten.


Boisterous, amiable, easygoing; good with children. May be stubborn and less than responsive to training, especially when outdoors and a scent is detected.

Energy level:

Medium to high as a youngster.

Best owner:

Hunter or some other outdoorsy type.


Daily exercise, leash, fenced yard, training, companionship (human and canine), tolerance of baying, acceptance of wet beard, weekly brushing and occasional bathing.

Life expectancy:

12 to 14 years.