The Otterhound Club of America
                Promoting, Protecting & Preserving the Breed Since 1960

Is It an Otterhound?

If you find a shaggy "rescue" dog with a large, long-but-not-wide head, and LONG ears (we're not talking Golden Retriever ears here - and it's the ear itself which is long - not just the hair on it), who is 23-28 inches tall at the shoulder, and 60-130 pounds and if at least most of the following also apply, PLEASE contact Otterhound Rescue:

  • those long ears are low set (the ear attaches fairly far down on the side of the head - not on top like an Airedale, or even as high as a Golden)
  • the dog bays - some Otterhounds also bark, but non-hounds don't bay - this is a prolonged deep and resonant sound, not clipped like a bark or high like a howl (some Otterhounds also "sing", which can be high)
  • harsh-textured outer coat 2-6 inches long (Otterhound will not have a downright silky coat like an Irish Setter or short like a Labrador)
  • a "lot of dog" (never as lightly built as a Greyhound or a Setter), with a big and long head, the chest deep, but probably not extremely broad, and with big webbed feet
  • long tail generally carried up (but maybe not in a shelter!)
  • the dog doesn't just lap water, but actually sticks his nose or most of his head underwater when he drinks

Left - the tan dog is a lightly built, short eared Otterhound 

Right - the black mixed breed is known to NOT be any part Otterhound 

Most common colors (though Otterhounds come in many color combinations, some are extremely rare):
  • black and tan (which may really be very light gray and blonde) with a "saddle"
  • wheaten/blonde or red grizzle
  • liver and tan (this may vary from a medium dark brown to very light)
  • white or off-white with patches (which may be very faint)
  • almost black, possibly with lighter markings on the head and feet
  • eye - some variation on brown, never blue
The color alone doesn't tell you - this one IS an Otterhound 

Check ear length - this Otterhound's ears are not very long (for an Otterhound, anyway)! 
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