It is said that every sizable stream in Great Britain has its otter. To hunt this elusive and wily animal, a very distinct type of dog has been evolved. The requirements of the hunt demand the keenest of noses, the staunchest of "wills to hunt," the utmost courage, and the ability to stand the roughest of wet and dry coursing.
These qualities have been assembled in the otterhound, which may be described as a bloodhound clad in the roughest of deerhound coats. In general, he is all hound, with deep-set eye showing the haw. He is broader in the brow than the bloodhound and not quite so large, but he has the same fine carriage, on straight, strong, and heavily boned legs; large, sound, and partly webbed feet. The hair over the eyes is long and ragged, and there is a strong tendency toward beard and moustache.
He is a great favorite in Great Britain, but is rarely seen in America. In color he may be "hound colors," or "self-colored," fawn, brown, tawny, or black. The working dogs are so hardened by rough work that they are not particularly suitable as housedogs; when reared to it, however, their fine qualities render them exceptional companions even for children.
The Otterhound is a large, rough-coated hound with an imposing head. Originally bred for hunting, it has great strength and a strong body with long striding steps. This makes it able to perform prolonged hard work. Otterhounds generally weigh between 80 and 120 pounds (36 to 54 kg). They have extremely sensitive noses which make them inquisitive and perseverant in investigating scents. Consequently, they need particular supervision. They are friendly dogs with a unique bass voice which they use frequently.