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Bloodhound

Bloodhound

Easily recognisable because of their noble, wrinkly heads, droopy lower eyelids and long, pendulous ears, Bloodhound’s have powerful bodies and limbs, and are truly big dogs!

  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Potential health risks
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Cannot be left alone

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10–12 years
Weight: 41–50kg
Height: 58–69cm
Colours: Their short, smooth coat comes in black and tan, liver and tan, and red
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Hound

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
Bloodhound

Personality

These are gentle-natured, affectionate dogs who usually get on well with children and can live in harmony with other dogs and household pets. They are friendly dogs who will welcome both wanted and unwanted visitors. Although quiet in the house, they can be very vocal outdoors. They are family dogs and do not like to be left alone.

Bloodhound

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Belgium

The ancestry of modern Bloodhound dog breeds can be traced back to the monastery of St. Huberts where dogs called St. Hubert’s Hounds were originally used to track wolves, big cats or deer, or to follow the trail of wounded game. The pale white versions of the breeds went on to be known as the Talbot Hound whereas the black and tans were called Bloodhounds.

The Bloodhound was brought to Britain by William the Conqueror and it was used for stag-hunting - following a wounded animal sometimes for amazingly long distances.

The scenting ability of the Bloodhound is extraordinary and they can easily track a human over long distances even after several days – and so while their original role was to help with hunting, they have found also work in law enforcement and in search and rescue.

Health and Common Issues

As with many breeds, Bloodhound breeds can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. The droopy skin on the head of Bloodhounds can result in problems with the eyelids and eyes.

The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.

Exercise Needs

As adults, the Bloodhound has phenomenal stamina and needs two-plus hours daily - but this needs to be sniffing exercise and not just mindless walking. Primarily tracking dogs, once on the trail of an enticing smell, they will be desperate to find its source!

Because of their size and growth rate, they must not be over-exercised as puppies. Care must be taken in the first year to ensure their bones and joints are given a proper chance to grow.

Space Requirements

This is a big dog who needs a lot of countryside to sniff in! They will appreciate a big garden too - and you can use this for scent games at home.

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Bloodhound is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming Bloodhounds

There is little grooming needed for this breed, as the coat is short and smooth. A brush over once in a while will suffice to remove loose and dead hairs. However, regular checks should be made of their ears and eyes to ensure early diagnosis of any infections.

Training Bloodhounds

The Bloodhound has little to no interest in any form of training that doesn’t involve using their nose! While they should be trained to walk (run!) on a harness and lead, finding a class where you can learn scentwork and sniffing games can give your Bloodhound an outlet for using their extraordinary nose and will keep them healthy and happy.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Bloodhound makes a great dog for families as they are gentle and patient. They may be too big and slightly clumsy for smaller children however.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • When James Earl Ray, the murderer of Martin Luther King, escaped from prison in 1977, he was only recaptured thanks to a pack of Bloodhounds who tracked him down several days later in the mountains of Tennessee.
  • One of the most successful Bloodhounds who was responsible for tracking escaped criminals in Kentucky recaptured over 600 fugitives. In one notable case, the trail ran for 138 miles and was 104 hours old.
  • Such is the regard for their scenting abilities, in many states of the US, a Bloodhound’s evidence in court cannot be challenged.

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