This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
Otter-hunting is a very ancient sport, otter dogs being used during the reign of King John.
The Hounds in those days had not the beauty of the present-day Otterhound, as very different types of dogs were then used, e.g., a cross-bred Terrier, Foxhounds, etc.
One of the best packs of Otterhounds in this country are those belonging to the Dumfriesshire otter-hunt, the River Tweed affording the pack excellent hunting ground. It is an old-established pack, and has always given, we believe, the best of sport.
Looking at a typical specimen of this breed, one is not slow to recognise a "workman all over".
To a casual observer he has the appearance of a rough-coated—if such there can be—Bloodhound.
These dogs weigh from about 65 to 80 or 90 lbs., and the bitch Hounds 10 or 15 lbs. less, and of different colours, but grizzle (black and grey), and tan is the most general.
Fawn, yellow, blue and white and blackand-tan are frequently seen. The last-named colour should not be encouraged in these Hounds. White markings are common.
* The heights of the Crickhowell Harriers are as follows :— Doers, 17 1/2 to 18 1/2 inches : bitches, 17 to 18 inches.
His coat should be dense, of a wiry texture, shaggy in appearance, and of a water-resisting nature.
When judging these dogs, particular attention is paid to the coat.
A soft coat is decidedly objectionable, so is one that is thin.
About 25 inches.
Deeply sunk, thoughtful, showing the " haw " plainly.
Long and sweeping, hanging closely to the cheeks.
The peak is less prominent than that of the Bloodhound and the head shorter, but the flews large and loose. Like the ears, it is coverd by shaggy hair, softer than that on the body. Beneath the lower jaw there is a moustache. Large teeth and powerful jaws are indispensable in an encounter with an otter.
Of Foxhound-like conformation, the frame is of stouter build altogether.
Thick, of medium length, ending in very powerful shoulders and arms, and the chest must be deep, running and swimming demanding a sound heart and lungs. Dewlap loose. A strong back and loins, the latter slightly arched, an additional qualification of the breed. Should be shorter in the leg than a Foxhound, but have big-boned, muscular limbs, with large feet, close, and horny below.
These Hounds hunt both by scent and by sight, their scenting-power being developed to a remarkable degree.
The music of Otterhounds is rich, deep and mellow.