The Otterhound is the king of water, its nose can detect a submerged trail that is half a day old. Otterhounds can swim for hours. With few otters now these great shaggy dogs are used on mink hence sometimes are called Mink hounds. But more and more have become redundant and almost jobless, and they are now an endangered species.
Otterhounds wear a heavy, oily water repellent coat that resists cold and moisture. Webbed feet and a strong body also help them survive the wet conditions. Otterhounds make intelligent, faithful pets and are very gentle for their size.
Their colour ranges from wheaten to black, to some with brown and black markings on a white background. Males stand between 24 and 27 inches, with females between 23 and 26 inches. The breed standard states they should have a square , muscular body with loose reaching motion. The head should be a large, narrow, slightly rounded skull with a parallel square muzzle.
Other features are rounded, dark , deep set eyes and long , low, folded ears. The tail is long, thick, tapered, feathered, and slightly curved. It is carried high on the move (head down tail up !). The coat consists of a thick, rough, firm 2-4 inch outercoat, which is shorter on the front and rear, and a short woolly undercoat.