Endangered Dog Breeds #1 The Otterhound

Endangered Dog Breeds

The Otterhound

This month there will be a series of blog posts featuring dog breeds which have become rare in the UK.

We hear so much about the Labradors, German Shepherds, and Collies which are popular breeds. However, numbers are declining in rarer breeds and it would be such a shame to see them disappear completely.

Firstly, we take a look at a dog whose numbers have been declining rapidly in recent years. The gorgeous Otterhound.


The Otterhound is a scent hound of UK origin and descendant of the Bloodhound. There are less than six hundred dogs remaining Worldwide. Life expectancy is 10 -12 years.

Male dogs weigh approx 52kg  and are around 70cm tall.

The Otterhound was originally a hunting dog. It has extreme strength and remarkable endurance. They hunt on land or sea and have a rough oily coat and webbed feet.

Like all hounds, the Otterhound has a remarkable sense of smell.

They are excellent family dogs and have a sweet, friendly personality. They love children and have a joyful yet calm character.

Their coats are weatherproof and they shed so a weekly brush is needed, The shaggy, unkempt appearance is important and Otterhounds should not be clipped. They have a double coat which comes in many variations of colour.

The Otterhound has a deep, loud bark which can carry over long distances.

They were firm favourite breeds of many members of ancient royal families including King James I.

Why are Otterhounds endangered?

Originally Otterhounds worked in packs, accompanied by terriers who searched from the riverbanks. The hunting was originally to protect fish supplies but later became a sport. Otter hunting ceased when numbers declined and the animal became a protected species.

Otters are a fully protected species under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981


Find a Kennel Club Assured Breeder here

For more information on Endangered dog breeds:

The Bloodhound

The Welsh Corgi

The Skye Terrier


Thank you for reading.

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