The Otterhound is an ancient British breed of scent hound and the first record of otter hunting was during the reign of Henry II, in the 1100s. During

    this period the otter was classed as vermin and hunted not for sport but to protect the fishponds which were an important source of food stocks
    particularly around the monasteries. At this time a variety of hounds were used for the purpose of protecting the stocks.

    The Otterhound, as we know it today, appeared sometime in the 1700s and books provide evidence that the rough-coated Otterhound was
    considered to be the ‘classic’ form of the breed by 1800. As well as hunting through the centuries, Otterhounds from the famous packs of the time
    were shown at early dog shows (the first recorded being at Leeds in 1861) and through into the early 1900s under Kennel Club rules.

    J . C . Carrick & hounds

    In 1889 the Dumfriesshire Otterhounds were started by Mr. Wilson Davidson and Mr. D. J. Bell-Irving and one or two others. Colonel Joynson imported from France a Griffon Vendéen bitch called “FRIVOLE”, which, when mated to a Bloodhound dog called “BAXTER”, from them was bred a rough-haired black and tan dog, BOATMAN by name.  BOATMAN hunted otter with the Dumfriesshire pack and was freely bred from indeed. He was considered a very fine hound, and there is no doubt that every hound in the Dumfriesshire Otterhound kennel today traces back to him in several different lines.

    By the 1870’s the classic Otterhound being hunted and shown was
    a strain of hounds bred by J. C. Carrick of Carlisle: the black and tan grizzle. Practically every prize winner at all the top dog shows between 1867
    and 1873 was either a Carlisle Otterhound, former Carlisle Otterhound or bred from one.


    Eventually, in 1910, the Association of Masters of Otterhounds was formed and hereafter hounds were only shown on the flags at their show at Rugby.

    In the early 1970s hunters reported the dramatic reduction in the numbers of otters in our rivers, the Association then set about a formal study and
    the conservation work necessary and came to the conclusion that the otter was at serious risk because of the changes in farming practice which
    created disturbance to their habitat and death from the widespread use of chemicals on the land.

    It was decided that hunting should cease at the end of the 1977 season and in 1978 otter hunting was banned in England (Scotland followed two
    years later). The Masters of the two remaining purebred Otterhound packs, The Dumfriesshire and The Kendal & District got together with
    respected breeders and the Kennel Club came to the rescue of this wonderful breed which was facing extinction.

    Remaining purebred hounds of breeding age were registered and distributed to people desperate to save the breed.  
    From there the Otterhound Club was formed and it still very active today, promoting and protecting the ancient and noblest breed of hound.

    Since then members of the Otterhound club, breeders together with pet owners, have kept the breed going in its current form, but the numbers that are available for breeding is quite small and the gene pool is likewise small. It is an endangered breed, with some of the lowest number of registrations in the UK of any breed. To ensure the breed is maintained the Otterhound club runs and supports various shows in the UK, seminars and fund raising events to support the excellent work the breeders, members and owners do tirelessly each year.

    For more detailed History : https://www.otterhounduniversity.com/history.html

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