Otterhound

FCI standard Nº 294

Origin
Great Britain
Group
Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds
Section
Section 1.1 Large-sized hounds
Working
Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Thursday 12 September 1974
Publication of the official valid standard
Wednesday 13 October 2010
Last update
Thursday 27 January 2011
En français, cette race se dit
Chien à loutre
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Otterhund
En español, esta raza se dice
Perro de nutria
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Otterhound

Usage

Big, strong hound primarily built for long day’s work in water, but able to gallop on land.

Brief historical summary

It is generally felt that the Otterhounds ancestry includes a French influence combined with original English hound strains. He is a kindly fellow with a typical loud baying call which he can use to good effect when he needs to indicate that he has found a prey that interests him, though today his primary purpose of hunting otters is banned. The breed has keen scenting ability. When following the scent of an otter on land the scent is called a drag and in water a wash. An Otterhound can follow a drag for up to twelve hours and when following a wash may swim for five hours. In addition to his oily coat he has webbed feet.

General appearance

Large, straight limbed and sound, rough-coated with majestic head, strong body and loose, long striding action. Rough double coat and large feet essential. Free moving.

Important proportions

Distance from nose end to stop slightly shorter than from stop to occiput.

Behaviour / temperament

Amiable and even tempered. Signs of aggression or nervousness should be heavily penalized.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Clean, very imposing, deep rather than wide, expression being open and amiable. Whole head except for nose well covered with rough hair, ending in slight moustache and beard.
Skull
Nicely domed, neither coarse nor overdone, rising from stop to slight peak at occiput. No trace of scowl or bulge on forehead. 
Stop
Distinct, though not exaggerated.

Facial region

Nose
Good wide nose, wide nostrils.
Muzzle
Strong, deep.
Lips
Plenty of lip and flew, but not exaggerated.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws strong, large, well placed teeth with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Cheeks
Clean cheekbones.
Eyes
Intelligent, moderately deep-set eye; haw showing only slightly. Eye colour and rim pigment variable according to coat colour (a blue and tan hound may have hazel eyes). Yellow eye undesirable.
Ears
Unique feature of the breed. Long, pendulous, set on level with corner of eye; easily reaching nose when pulled forward, with characteristic fold. Leading edge folding or rolling inwards giving curious draped appearance - an essential point not to be lost. Well covered and fringed with hair.

Neck

Long, powerful, set smoothly into shoulders. Slight dewlap permissible.

Body

Body
Very strong.
Topline
Level.
Back
Broad.
Loin
Short and strong.
Chest
Deep with well sprung, fairly deep, oval ribcage. Ribs carried well back allowing plenty of heart and lung room; neither too wide nor too narrow.

Tail

Set high, carried up when alert or moving, never curling over back and may droop when standing. Thick at base, tapering to point; bone reaching to hock and carried straight or in a slight curve. Hair under tail rather longer and more profuse than that on upper surface.

Limbs

Forequarters

Shoulders
Clean and well laid back.
Forearm
Strongly boned, straight from elbow to ground.
Pastern
Strong and slightly sprung.
Forefeet
Large, round, well knuckled, thick padded, turning neither in nor out. Compact but capable of spreading; Web must be in evidence.

Hindquarters

Generality
Very strong; well muscled when viewed from any angle, standing neither too wide nor too narrow behind. Hind angulation moderate. In natural stance, hindlegs from hock to ground perpendicular.
Upper thigh
Heavily muscled.
Lower thigh
Heavily muscled.
Hock
Hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out.
Hind feet
Hind feet only slightly smaller than forefeet. Large, round, well knuckled, thick padded, turning neither in nor out. Compact but capable of spreading; .Web must be in evidence.

Gait and movement

Very loose and shambling at walk, springing immediately into a loose, very long-striding, sound, active trot. Gallop smooth and exceptionally long striding.

Coat

Hair
Long 4-8 cms, dense, rough, harsh and waterproof but not wiry; of broken appearance. Softer hair on head and lower legs natural. Undercoat evident and there may be a slight oily texture in top and undercoat. Not trimmed for exhibition. Presentation should be natural.
Colour
All recognized hound colours permissible: whole coloured, grizzle, sandy, red, wheaten, blue; these may have slight white markings on head, chest, feet and tail tip. White hounds may have slight lemon, blue or badger pied markings. Black and tan, blue and tan, black and cream, occasional liver, tan and liver, tan and white.
Colours not permissible : Liver and white, a white-bodied hound with black and tan patches distinctly separate.
Pigment should harmonize though not necessarily blend with coat colour; for example a tan hound may have a brown nose and eye rims. A slight butterfly nose permissible.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males approximately : 69 cms. Females approximately : 61 cms.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Additional information from visitors

The exact ancestry of the Otterhound is uncertain, but there is a number of theories suggesting it is descended from various bloodhounds, mastiffs, foxhounds, bearded shepherds, harriers, terriers, griffons and water spaniels. This powerful working breed has been used for hunting otters since the 1100's, but it also makes a capable large game hunter, watchdog and rural companion. The Otterhound is a tall and massive dog, with a muscular body, sturdy legs, powerful neck and a large head. Even though the Otterhound is devoted to its master and loving of children, it is only moderately popular as a family pet. Kept primarily as working hunters, Otterhounds are excellent swimmers and are healthy, resilient and strong dogs, perfectly suited for both the outside and indoor life. However, they can be quite strong-willed and territorial, needing proper socialization and training. The weatherproof double coat is thick and rough, coming in all colours. Average height is around 27 inches.

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