otterhound, breed of large hound developed in England over centuries. It stands about 25 in. (63.5 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs up to 65 lb (29.5 kg). The water-repellent double coat is composed of hard, oily outer hairs and a thick, woolly undercoat. It is usually colored white and blue, but it may also be various shades of tan or black and tan. During the latter half of the 19th cent., when the hunting of otters in England was at its peak, as many as 20 packs of otterhounds regularly worked the countryside and riverbanks. Today it is still used as a hunter, frequently for raccoon, but is more often kept as a farm dog and pet. See dog.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Dogs