A big sized scenthound known for its hunting skills, the Bloodhound is significant for its versatile temperament—-ferocious appearance and disposition when at work and a humble demeanor as family pets.
This powerful and sturdily built breed is characterized by the following physical features:
Head: Narrow and long in proportion to its length and body respectively, slightly tapered from its temples to the lower part of the muzzle.
Skull: Long and narrow.
Eyes: Deeply sunk, with the eyelids being in the shape of a diamond or lozenge.
Ears: Long, thin, low set, soft when touched, with the lower part getting curled in an inward and backward direction.
Wrinkles: Loose skin on the head that gets more prominent when the Bloodhound carries its head low.
Tail: Curved and highly set.
|Other Names||St. Hubert Hound, Chien de Saint-Hubert, Flemish Hound|
|Color||Liver and tan, black and tan, red|
|Group||Hounds, scent hounds|
|Average life expectancy (How long do they live)||10 to 14 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Big|
|Height of a full grown Bloodhound||Male: 25 to 27 inches; Female: 23 to 25 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Bloodhound||Male: 90 to 110 pounds; Female: 80 to 100 pounds|
|Litter size||8 to 10 puppies approximately|
|Behavioral characteristics||Friendly, curious, independent, affectionate, calm|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking tendency||Moderate to high|
|Climate compatibility||Is tolerant to heat|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Moderate except for seasons|
|Are they Hypoallergenic||No|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, NZKC, CKC, FCI, ANKC, KC (UK), UKC|
|Country||United Kingdom, France, Belgium|
The origin of the Bloodhound is not known though breeds similar to them were said to have been in existence since centuries used for hunting and tracking games by the nobles. The Bloodhounds of the present day are said to have taken their lineage from St Hubert’s Hound of Europe, though the original ones had become extinct in the 19th century.
The reference of the Bloodhounds was for the first time made in the 14th century. In fact, during the Middle Ages, hunters used the Bloodhound as a limer where it was put on a leash to track down the game before it was hunted. They were even used for tracking people since early times, a role that they carry out even at present. However, their usage gradually began to diminish as the society progressed and the wild boars went into extinction. Moreover, hunting of fox and deer also underwent a rapid decline. Their numbers decreased after the Second World War, and some of them were imported from Britain by dog fanciers of France with the intention of developing and improving their standards. Though their entry in the United States is unknown, Bloodhounds were said to be used in America to track the runaway slaves.
However, there are a lot of speculations regarding the fact that whether those dogs were real Bloodhounds or not. It is after 1888 that their importance in America increased when Edwin Brough exhibited three of his personally owned hounds at Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held in New York. Acknowledged by the AKC, it is the 45th of the 155 breeds this Kennel Club recognizes.
Because of the Bloodhound’s ability to track human smell, they have been used by police and other legal organizations to track down missing or lost children as well as other people, absconding prisoners, and lost pets. They are often made to sniff the scent of any article the missing person has touched like a clothing or car seat. Of the several successes met by the Bloodhound in tracking down people from hours to several days since they have been lost is a case in Oregon in the year 1954, when they traced dead members of a family after 330 hours since they had gone missing.
In 1805, the Thrapston Association for the Prevention of Felons which engaged a Bloodhound for searching thieves and poachers were the first to use these dogs for human tracking purpose as per records.
The National Police Bloodhound Association was formed in the year 1962.
The Bloodhound has a versatile temperamental quality and is perhaps a mixture of everything. It is gentle, calm and well-behaved and at the same time determined as well as stubborn, especially when it is out on a job. He is extremely loyal to its masters and members of its family, but a little reserved on encountering strangers, but not aggressive. Hence, in spite of having an expertise in sniffing and hunting, the Bloodhound does not fit the bill of an efficient guard or watchdog. They are good with children, but keeping their big size in mind, these dogs could be too much for toddlers, often knocking them down in pursuit of play. Because of their hunting instincts, your Bloodhound could be little aggressive with other dogs, particularly of the same sex. Their chasing habits could also be triggered at the sight of cats and smaller animals, particularly if they do not belong to its family.
They are great chewers and could end up biting anything available to them like batteries, towels, toys or socks, perceiving it to be their food. They are expert at digging holes and would not take much time in sneaking out of the lawn or garden the moment they trace a scent.
Always keep them on a leash because of their chasing instincts. Make it a point to fence your backyard securely since they are experts at digging and also a great escape artist.
They have a streak of stubbornness, hence employ tactful means while training the intelligent bloodhounds.
The National Research Council of the National Academies mentions that a Bloodhound having a weight of 90 pounds require about 2038 kcal on a daily basis. Dry dog food belonging to a reputable brand alongside a proper homemade diet having balanced nutrients would be fine for this big breed. Since they are prone to bloating never feed them too much in one go. Bloodhounds have an ill reputation in gulping down anything they get which has often lead to intestinal surgeries. Hence, keep a check on their eating habits.