Distinctive black hair on the muzzle, which is interrupted between the eyes; short ears, short tail is uniformly coloured. Dense fur, with coarse guard hairs measuring 120 mm in length in winter. All paws have 4 toes.
Predominantly moist areas near rivers, lakes and the sea, reed beds, wooded meadows, overgrown grasslands, wetlands, deciduous and mixed forests. Often takes over the abandoned or used holes of other animals, also lives under tree roots or in gaps between rocks.
Trunk length 55-80 cm, tail length 15-26 cm, shoulder height about 20 cm, body weight 5-10 kg, weight at birth 60-90 g.