By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 22nd October 2022



Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 22nd October 2022

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.

Bloodhound Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesSt. Hubert Hound, Chien de Saint-Hubert, Flemish Hound
CoatShort, dense
ColorLiver and tan, black and tan, red
Breed typePurebred
GroupHounds, 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 BloodhoundMale: 25 to 27 inches; Female: 23 to 25 inches
Weight of a full grown BloodhoundMale: 90 to 110 pounds; Female: 80 to 100 pounds
Litter size8 to 10 puppies approximately
Behavioral characteristicsFriendly, curious, independent, affectionate, calm
Good with childrenYes
Barking tendencyModerate to high
Climate compatibility Is tolerant to heat
Shedding (Do they shed)Moderate except for seasons
Are they HypoallergenicNo
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, NZKC, CKC, FCI, ANKC, KC (UK), UKC
CountryUnited Kingdom, France, Belgium

What does a Bloodhound look like

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.

Video of Bloodhound Puppies Playing

Bloodhound Mixes

History and Origin

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.

As working dogs

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.

Temperament and Personality

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.



A Bloodhound does not while away its time sitting and relaxing on the front porch as the popular television show. Rather, they are just the opposite to what was shown, active, energetic, needing a lot of exercises starting from daily walks to sufficient playtime.

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.


Their short and dense coat would suffice with a weekly brushing using a rubber hound mitt which would help in removing the dead hair. During spring and fall, when they shed more, brush it every day and also use a shedding blade for removing the excess hair. His wrinkles should be cleaned regularly using a damp cloth to minimize the risk of yeast infections. Ensure that the fold is never left wet as moisture accumulation could result in skin allergies. Bathe it when it gets dirty and the intervals should be frequent if your Bloodhound is out on a job regularly.

Health Problems

Since they are large dogs with a deep chest they could suffer from bloating. Ear infections, allergies, eye problems like ectropion, entropion and keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eyes are some of the problems they might be prone to.


They have a streak of stubbornness, hence employ tactful means while training the intelligent bloodhounds.

  • To help it accept its surroundings amicably, give the Bloodhound puppies socialization training. Having guests at your home and also asking your friends to get their pets along would help it develop a good equation with unknown people and other dogs.
  • To keep their chewing instincts under check, obedience training is a must. If your Bloodhound puppy is taught to follow commands, it would learn to take your “No” seriously and stop chewing the cloth or your watch which it has just taken in his mouth. You can leave plenty of attractive chew toys on the ground so that it can munch on to these playthings instead of objects in the house. Also, try distracting its attention by making a loud sound every time he picks up any item of your home for chewing.


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.

 Interesting Facts

  • A Bloodhound is a mascot for the 615th Military Police Company of the US Army.
  • Of the several films, it apears in some of them include The Beverly Hillbillies, Cats & Dogs, Best in Show, Lady and the Tramp and Lady and the Tramp 2, Cinderella and Cinderella 2, and the Aristocats.

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