Description: Although sad in appearance with their wrinkly foreheads, the Bloodhound is an affectionate, sweet and gentle giant whose nose cannot be matched by any other breed. They are black and tan, liver, red or tan, and are covered in loose, wrinkly skin. Bloodhounds received their name due to the fact that they have such pure blood, meaning their breeding standards were untainted. This pure record is largely due to church dignitaries who took care of the breed and were determined to keep it unpolluted. Their noses are unlike anything else in that Bloodhounds, or the Chien de Saint Hubert, can track any scent even two weeks after it being fresh. Their long ears help to waft scent into their noses as they sniff the ground, and the scent travels up their nostrils into a membranous structure which is estimated to hold as much as 250 million scent (olfactory) receptors - 40 times that of a human! The Bloodhound is a powerful dog that is larger than the other hounds and can take up more space than most dogs. Their skin is thin to the touch and extremely loose. Bloodhounds are powerful, yet graceful. The Bloodhound is good with children and other animals with their gentle, loving nature. They have a tendency to drool, but is otherwise a very clean dog. They are also prone to bay quite a lot, and need an area in which they are allowed to make noise. Inside the house they can be quiet, gentle and placid creatures, but when outside and tracking a scent, Bloodhounds can often be stubborn and independent about being called off a trail. An outstanding ability as a scent hound, Bloodhounds are superior in tracking abilities to all other hounds and dogs alike which has made them extremely useful in police investigations. One Bloodhound is known to have tracked down over 600 criminals. Another is known to have caught 23 escaped convicts in a day and a half! Often these dogs are used in pursuing lost hikers or children because of their gentle actions. Bloodhounds will follow a scent to no end but will not attack the source. The Police force, as well as thousands of families around the world, would not be what they are today without the St. Hubert Hound, the Chien de Saint Hubert, or the dog most unanimously known as the Bloodhound.
Other Names: St. Hubert's Hound, Chien de Saint Hubert
Height: Females: 23 - 25 inches; Males: 25 - 27 inches.
Weight: Males: 90 - 110 lbs.; Females: 80 - 100 lbs.
Colors: Black and tan, liver (red) and tan, or red, often having small patches of white on the chest, feet and tip of tail.
Coat: Smooth, short, thick and hard. It is also weatherproof.
Temperament: Bloodhounds are determined, responsive, gentle, affectionate, and sensitive. They are good with almost anyone they come in contact with and will be friendly with them. They can be stubborn when on a trail and will not be called off. They can be difficult to train and when outside become rather independent. Inside they remain calm, quiet and affectionate. They are reserved with strangers.
With Children: Yes, Bloodhounds are good with children.
With Pets: Yes, they are good with other pets and dogs. Friendly towards almost anyone.
Special Skills: Bloodhounds are scent hounds and have the best tracking nose of any breed.
Watch-dog: High. Bloodhounds will bay at an interesting scent they might find.
Guard-dog: Low. They are used to track down lost hikers and children because they do not attack the source of the scent, and are friendly towards most creatures.
Care and Training: Bloodhounds' short coats requires a rub down with a wet towel several times a week. They can also be groomed with a hound glove. Toenails need weekly clipping. Care should be taken to keep their ears clean, as they are floppy and hang low to the ground. The Bloodhound requires daily exercise, long walks being the best. They have dewlaps and flaps of skin hanging all over which should be cleaned.
Special Needs: Attention, ear cleaning, exercise, fenced yard and a leash.
Learning Rate: Medium - Low. Because Bloodhounds are stubborn they seem difficult to train and do not like obeying their master's every whim.
Activity: Indoors: Low. Indoors Bloodhounds are usually calm and quiet and relaxed. Outdoors: High. Outdoors, Bloodhounds can be very active due to the scents they might find around the house. They do require a lot of space since they are large dogs.
Living Environment: The edge of a national forest with no neighbors within earshot. Loves the hunt, needs a big family and other bloodhounds. Bloodhounds love to bay and therefore should be in an area that is not largely affected by loud sounds. They also need a rather large yard and room to run. Bloodhounds will not be moved by their master when on a scent, and therefore need an enclosed yard with a fence. They should also be kept on a leash when outside of a yard or house due to their disobedience. Bloodhounds do best in rural homes with a patient owner.
Health Issues: Inverted eyelids, ear infections, hip and elbow dysplasia, and bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Bloodhounds can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Other health concerns include: cardiac problems, luxating patellas, thyroid disorders, gastric torsion (twisted stomach), skin-fold dermatitis.
Life Span: 7 - 11 years.
Litter Size: 7 - 8 puppies.
Country of Origin: Belgium
History: The Bloodhound is one of the oldest hound breeds, originating from ancestors who were bred in Assyria around 2000 - 1000 B.C. It is thought that these dogs were taken to the Mediterranean by the Phoenicians, and then from there spread north into Europe. Their ancestry, thought to be the St. Hubert hound can be traced to the seventh and eighth centuries in Belgium. Bloodhounds were brought to Great Britain by William the Conqueror in 1066. The Bloodhound is said to be the result of pure breeding thanks to monasteries and church dignitaries. Their name comes from the English blue bloods who helped nurture the breed, as well as their untainted blood. The original Bloodhounds were black or white; the whites being named Southern hounds, and the blacks being named Saint Hubert hounds. The Bloodhound was introduced to America in the mid 1800s, and has since proven itself as a useful companion dog. Bloodhounds at one time were the only dog accepted as an evidence-finding dog in the U.S. court of law. They have since found hundreds if not thousands of criminals, lost children, hikers and others. The Bloodhound has an olfactory system the size of a handkerchief and can smell over 40 times better than that of a human being. It is estimated they have at least 250 million olfactory receptors, and can smell out a trail over 2 weeks old. In the past these dogs were used for hunting by the church dignitaries, and are still used for that purpose by common people today. Bloodhounds these days are widely used as family pets, tracking dogs, and police dogs.
First Registered by the AKC: 1885
AKC Group: Hound
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 6), KC (GB), UKC