The Otterhound is reputedly one of the oldest English breeds dating back to Henry 11 in the 1100s.Otters were classed as vermin and hounds were used to protect fishponds holding food stocks, particularly near the monasteries. The history books show us the rough-coated Otterhound was developed by 1800.

In the early 1970s there were reports of dramatic reductions in the otter population, and the Association of Masters of Otterhounds undertook a formal study It was found the changes in farming practices were creating disturbances to habitat and deaths due to the widespread use of chemicals. It was decided to cease hunting otter at the end of the 1977 season and in 1978 otter-hunting was banned in England, followed two years later in Scotland.

To ensure the survival of the Otterhound the Masters of two remaining packs, The  Dumfriesshire and The Kendal and District, worked with several respected breeders and the Kennel Club to register the remaining pure bred hounds.

The Otterhound club was formed in 1978 and brought together enthusiasts who worked extremely hard to keep the breed going. As in all breeds it has been a real learning curve, but lets hope today’s custodians proceed forward with as much passion.  

Otterhound meet.

Otterhound Club meet at Dumfriesshire Kennels 1983

Breed Standard

For information on the Otterhound Breed Standard visit the Kennel Club site by clicking on the following link.