The Otterhound is British breed originally bred for hunting. It is in the same bloodlines as the Bloodhound and the Airedale Terrier. The breed has almost always been rare, even during the early 20th century when hunting was popular. The use of the breed to hunt otters ended in 1978 in Britain when it became illegal to kill otters. The breed is currently the most endangered in Britain and there are only between 350 and 400 in the United States.
The breed generally weighs between 80 and 120 pounds. It is a large breed with a massive head and a strong body. The coat of the breed is rough and oily. Its feet are large and webbed to enable it to hunt both on land and in water. The nose of the breed is sensitive and it tends to persistently explore scents.
The Otterhound is a friendly breed that can make a good family dog and an excellent hunter. The breed has a distinctive low bark and can make a good watchdog. The breed requires substantial amounts of exercise; it needs plenty of space to run, but it also needs an enclosed area with a tall fence as it can jump 5 feet or more.
The Otterhound has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.