Bloodhounds - Breed Information
The Bloodhound, most commonly known as a reliable tracking dog, is also a sweet and loving companion animal.
This dog can be trusted with small children and other house pets, and has a sweet, gentle disposition. Its scenting ability can take over at times, single-mindedly taking him off in directions unknown. This dog can be somewhat difficult to train.
The mature Bloodhound will stand 23 to 27 inches high (58 to 69 centimeters) and will weigh 80 to 110 pounds (36 to 50 kilograms).
History of Breed
Also known as the Flemish Hound, the Bloodhound is over a thousand years old and was perfected by the monks of Saint Hubert. This dog was brought into England and later into the United States by the Normans. Many breeds around the world can trace their lineage back to the Bloodhound.
A notorious scent hound, the Bloodhound does not thrive on the kill but rather on the hunt. A famous Bloodhound named Nick Carter, born in 1900 and handled by Captain G.V. Mullikin of Lexington, Kentucky, is said to have had 650 finds including one from a trail that was 105 hours old.
Color and Coat
The coat of the Bloodhound is short, hard, and smooth. The color combinations found in the Bloodhound are black and tan, liver and tan, and red and tawny.
Personality and Temperament
These big, goofy dogs are true sweethearts, so gentle in nature they will allow children to climb all over them. Bloodhounds can have a tendency to drool, howl, snore, or wander away following an interesting scent. They can also inappropriately sniff people. They should be monitored around small children only because they can accidentally knock them over.
Training a Bloodhound requires infinite patience and consistency. These dogs are intelligent enough to know a pathetic look can get them what they want. They can be energetic and strong willed while young, but by age two settle into a wonderful companion animal. They bond easily with their owners and become very loyal and devoted. They are also rather friendly towards friends, neighbors, other animals, and strangers.
The Bloodhound is known for its amazing scenting and tracking abilities. Normally solitary trackers, the Bloodhound’s unusually large nasal passages allow it to detect as few as one or two human skin cells under optimal conditions. Bloodhounds are said to have detected trails that were over 100 hours old.
The physical stamina and tenacity of the Bloodhound allows it to follow these trails for many hours, over long distances. Bloodhounds have been known to follow a trail 100 miles or more once they detected the scent. The ability of the Bloodhound to track is so reliable that Bloodhound evidence is admissible in court.
Since the innate urge to track is impossible to overcome in the Bloodhound, this dog cannot be kept in an unfenced yard, and usually cannot even be walked without a leash. The tracking instinct takes over once the dog detects a scent, and the dog is compelled to follow that scent to the end of the trail, wherever that may be.
The Bloodhound is an energetic breed that will happily walk all day long. They love to run and require a good deal of exercise. Avoid excessively long walks until the dog is fully grown, as it needs all of its strength and energy as it matures to develop strong bones and muscles.
The Bloodhound has a long muzzle with a black nose, drooping ears, wrinkled skin on the face, and a mournful expression. His body is powerful with straight legs and very thick bones.
Eyes are set deeply in the sockets with the lower lids falling away to reveal part of the inner surface of the lid. His back is exceptionally strong, and the tail arches gracefully so that it is carried higher than the topline.
Typical Health Concerns
The most common health concern with the Bloodhound is bloat. In order to prevent this condition, the dog should be fed several smaller meals each day rather than one large one.
The Bloodhound may also suffer from stomach cramps, ear infections, or hip dysplasia. A padded bed is recommended to keep his joints comfortable.
The Bloodhound has a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom. An average shedder, the Bloodhound can be groomed with a rough cloth or hound glove. Vigorously rubbing the coat with a chamois or rough towel will give shine to it.
Bathe only when necessary, even though the Bloodhound has a distinctive and sometimes offensive doggy odor.
The insides of the ears should be cleaned on a regular basis.
Country of Origin
The Bloodhound originated in Belgium.
Average Life Span
The life expectancy of the Bloodhound is 10 to 12 years.