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contact: web@otterhound.org
updated 26-June-2013



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 OHs 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 OHs also "sing", which can be high)
  • harsh-textured outer coat 2-6 inches long (OH 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
As dogs in shelters may have been clipped to remove matts, we've put together photos of shaved Otterhounds to give you an idea of what an OH looks like without its coat. Most common colors (though OHs 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

So what else might be mistaken for an Otterhound?

[Photo] [Photo] [Photo]
Left - the tan dog is a lightly built, short eared Otterhound
Right - the black mixed breed is known to NOT be any part Otterhound

[Photo]
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)!
[Photo]

  • If it's rough coated, tan or reddish with a dark saddle, and ears up on top of the head, it may be an Airedale or Airedale cross.
  • If it's shaggy and "bluish" gray, maybe with a white collar and/or white feet, it is more likely Old English Sheepdog or Bearded Collie or mixed.
  • If it's shaggy and tan in color, but the head and feet aren't really large as an Otterhound's would be, it might be a Golden/Poodle or Lab/Poodle cross.