According to the Kennel Club, this is the second Rarest British Breed. It is in fact one of the oldest UK breeds. Otterhounds have been around in one form or another from the 11th century. In 1977, otter hunting was voluntarily stopped when the huntsmen realised the drop in otter numbers was due to infertility in male otters due to run off of chemicals from agricultural land. The Kennel Club allowed registration from two of the pure-bred packs, Dumfriesshire Otterhounds and Kendal & District Otterhounds, to ensure that the breed was not lost. Some of the hounds went into private homes and seemed to make the transition effortlessly. This adaptability is still one of the strong features of the breed today. Hounds are currently, or have in the past, fulfilled the following roles:- Search and Rescue, Military Mascot, Show Dogs, Family Pets and PAT Dogs.


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