Home   »   Breeds   »   Otterhound   »   History

Looking for an Otterhound?

While there are allusions to otter hunting and Otterhounds in the time of King John, who reigned in England from 1199 to 1216, it is not until Edward II (1307-1327) that there is any sort of description of the kind of dogs that made up a pack of Otterhounds. This record has been left, fortunately, by William Twici, the huntsman. He makes mention of them as a "rough sort of dog, between a hound and a terrier."

The hunting of the otter never was a so-called major sport in England, but it appears to have existed from very early times. It was first practiced because the otters were preying on the fish in the rivers and streams to an annoying extent. Later it enjoyed a considerable vogue because it was the only kind of hunting possible from April to September.

The origin of the Otterhound is shrouded in mystery, but the earliest writers advance a number of logical opinions as to its origin. The French Origin of the Otterhound appears to be one of the most reasonable. The opinion of one such writer, Marples, states it is almost the exact duplicate of the Vend├Że hound of France. The two breeds are alike in both coat and body formation.

The Otterhound is a big dog with a hard, crisp and close coat, oily in nature that can withstand any amount of immersion in water. The breed ranges through many shades to black and tan. It is a peer among swimmers, its progress through the water being aided greatly by its webbed feet.

Otterhounds first made their appearance in the United States about the year 1900. They made their bench-show debut in 1907 in Claremont, Oklahoma, and registrations were recorded. While the Otterhound never has grown to wide popularity in the United States, what it lacks in smartness of appearance is compensated by its working qualities and unfailing devotion to its master.

More Info