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The Otterhound is a breed that unsurprisingly, counts otters as its prey. However, there are thought to be less than a thousand left in the world, making the breed endangered. Out of all of the dog breeds in the world, the Otterhound is considered the most endangered which goes some way in showing how unpopular they are nowadays. Itís thought that they were developed by crossing a Bloodhound with various Terriers. The breed is very much one that likes to hunt though, with its sense of smell absolutely second to none. Experts believe that this breed has such developed senses that it would be able to smell the next morning if an otter had passed through the night. Due to the nature of their prey, they are also renowned as highly accomplished swimmers.
This breed has a very distinctive coat, which can only be described as shaggy but rough. The coat can come in a variety of colors such as tan, grizzle or red Ė although it usually has black markings on it. It stands between twenty four and twenty six inches high, weighing anywhere between eighty and one hundred and twenty pounds. With this breed primarily described as a hunting dog in the past, itís no surprise that their body is athletic and bulky. Its ears are fairly long and flop down the side of the head, which is sat on a neck that is incredibly toned and powerful.
In terms of its temperament, the Otterhound is a loving dog who will generally get along with any family. They are excellent with other dogs and most children Ė although due to their size, it may not be advisable to have them in a family containing very young children. As it was used as a hunting dog in the past, it may not get along with non-canine pets, which is something for prospective owners to consider. However, while thereís no doubting that this breed can act as a superb companion, it does need stern training. Like a lot of breeds, if an Otterhound feels their owner is week, they are likely to ignore any orders. Due to this, any prospective owner must realize that strict training is required during the early stages of the dogís life.
This breed needs plenty of exercise but due to its hunting nature, they must be kept on a leash unless the owner is certain there will be no other distractions. They are happiest in a yard, although again this must be fenced so they do not follow their instincts. In regards to their health, generally they donít have that many problems. Hip dysplasia and bloat are fairly common, but in most cases the Otterhound will live a fairly troublesome life between ten and twelve years.
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