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Breed Information

Pronunciation

Bloodhound

Description

The Bloodhound is a very powerful, massive hound with a long muzzle, drooping ears, and loose, wrinkled skin. His jowls and handing skin give the Bloodhound  a rather mournful, dignified expression. The neck is very well muscled and has pendulous dewlap. Its back is extraordinarily strong for the dog's size. Powerful shoulders allow the dog to work for long hours without a break. The forelegs are straight, solid and muscular and the skull is very high and prominent. The tail is carried in an elegant curve above the topline of the back. The eyes are set deeply in their sockets. The lower lids of the eyes fall away to reveal part of the inner surface. It has a black nose that sits on the tip of the long muzzle. The folds of the skin are said to aid in holding scent particles. A short, fairly hard coat of hair covers the body. The hair is softer on the skull and ears. The coat is easy to care for with a hound's glove and comes in black & tan, liver & tan, and red & tawny.

Temperament

The Bloodhound is a kind, patient, noble, mild-mannered and lovable dog. Gentle, affectionate and excellent with children. This is truly a good natured companion. These dogs are so good-natured that they will lie there and meekly let children clamber all over them. This breed loves all the attention they receive from them. To be fare to your Bloodhound, make sure your children do not pester or hurt the dog, because Bloodhounds will sit there and take it, which would not be fare to the dog. Very energetic outdoors and boisterous when young, determined and independent. It needs firm, but gentle training. With an owner who displays anything but a natural, calm but stern authority will bring out a streak of willfulness. The new owner of a Bloodhound will need to have plenty of patience and to possess great tact for consistent leadership for training to succeed. Clear rules need to be set and followed. If you show signs of being a meek owner, this dog will not listen to you. Do not expect too much by way of obedience from this dog. They  are naturally gentle animals but they are not easy to obedience train. If they catch a scent of something it can be hard to redirect their attention back to you if you are out of physical range of them. Males go through puberty in-between the age of 1 and 2 years. They can be quite a handful at that time and one really needs to make sure they are being a firm pack leader, but after age 2, with the proper leadership, training, stimulation and consistency, they will mellow out a bit. Socialize well to prevent them from becoming timid. It is very important that this dog is taken for a daily pack walk. Bloodhounds who are lacking in mental and or physical exercise will be hard to handle. A Bloodhound becomes devoted to its master and gets along well with people. This dog loves everyone and some will greet wanted and unwanted visitors happily. Others do not welcome unwanted guests. They can be protective of their domain, if no one is home, but out on a trail, they will welcome anyone. Some will bark and let you know when strangers are around. They can live in harmony with other dogs and household pets. Bloodhounds have a tendency to howl, snore, and drool a lot. He may sniff inappropriately or wander off on the trail of an interesting scent. Bloodhounds are able to follow any scent, even human - a rare ability in a dog. This breed has been said to successfully follow trails over 100 hours old. He is so determined that he has been known to stay with the trail for over 100 miles. The Bloodhound is such a sure tracker that the breed is used worldwide for rescue and criminal searches. The Bloodhound's evidence is admissible in the court of law. One Bloodhound brought about 600 criminal arrests and convictions. Bloodhounds can never be kept in an unfenced yard. There is a good chance instinct will lead them to wander off if they are off leash. They flee when they get on a scent, instinct drives them to find the end of the trail.

Height, Weight

Height: Dogs 25-27 inches (63-69cm) Bitches 23-25 inches (58-63cm)
Weight: Dogs 90-110 pounds (41-50kg) Bitches 80-100 pounds (36-45kg)

Health Problems

This breed is prone to bloat. You should feed two or three small meals a day instead of one large one. Avoid exercise after meals. Some suffer from stomach cramps. Prone to hip dysplasia and ear infections. A padded bed is recommended to avoid calluses on the joints. Some tend to get entropion, where the eyelids turn inward.

Living Conditions

The Bloodhound will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least an average-sized yard.

Exercise

Bloodhounds love a good run and need a lot of exercise. They should be taken for a long daily walk. However, if it picks up an interesting scent, you may find it difficult to get its attention. They have an incredible level of stamina and can walk for hours on end. They would greatly enjoy hiking with you, but keep in mind their urge to investigate any interesting scent. Do not overtire them with walks until they are fully grown. The Bloodhound is a big dog that grows rapidly and needs all its energy for developing strong bones, joints and muscles. 

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years

Litter Size

Average 8 - 10 - Some have been known to have up to 15 pups in one litter

Grooming

The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Groom with a hound glove, and bathe only when necessary. A rub with a rough towel or chamois will leave the coat gleaming. Clean the long, floppy ears regularly. Bloodhounds have a distinctive doggy odor, which is offensive to some people. This breed is an average shedder.

Origin

This breed is more than one thousand years old. It was perfected, not created, by monks of St. Hubert in Belgium. Later the dogs were brought by the Normans into England and then to the United States. It is also known as the Flemish Hound. Throughout the world, breeds such as the American Coonhounds, Swiss Jura Hounds, Brazilian Fila Brasileiro, Bavarian Mountain Hound, and many others trace their lineage back to this ancient scent tracker. Today, all Bloodhounds are black & tan, or red, but in the Middle Ages they occurred in other solid colors. The white variety, which existed in medieval Europe, was called the Talbot Hound. By the 1600's, this strain had died out as a breed, although its genes continue in dogs as diverse as white Boxers and tri-colored Basset Hounds. The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It revels in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves, and lost children. Today this plodding, sonorously voiced breed is both tracker and companion. Although affable in temperament, it is not easy to obedience train.

Group

Hound, AKC Hound

Recognition

CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR



In Loving Memory of Abraham,
May a Bloodhound Never be without a
"Loving Home" ever again!

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