Temperament: Friendly, Independent, Inquisitive
- Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 90-110 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
- Group: Hound Group
The world famous “Sleuth Hound” does one thing better than any creature on earth: find people who are lost or hiding. An off-duty Bloodhound is among the canine kingdom’s most docile citizens, but he’s relentless and stubborn on scent.
The Bloodhound possesses, in a most marked degree, every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces). He is very powerful, and stands over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds. The skin is thin to the touch and extremely loose, this being especially noticeable about the head and neck, where it hangs in deep folds.
About the Bloodhound
Bloodhounds are large, substantial dogs standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 110 pounds. Their most famous features are a long, wrinkled face with loose skin; huge, drooping ears; and warm, deep-set eyes that complete an expression of solemn dignity. Coat colours can be black and tan, liver and tan, or red. Powerful legs allow Bloodhounds to scent over miles of punishing terrain.
As pack dogs, Bloodhounds enjoy company, including other dogs and kids. They are easygoing, but their nose can sometimes lead them into trouble. A strong leash and long walks in places where they can enjoy sniffing around are recommended. Bloodhounds are droolers, and obedience training these sensitive sleuths can be a challenge.
NUTRITION The Bloodhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Bloodhound has a short, dense coat that is shed once or twice a year. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove will remove the dead hair before it can fall onto the furniture. Brushing also promotes new hair growth and distributes skin oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy. Bloodhounds should be bathed regularly to keep them from developing a doggy odor. As with all breeds, the Bloodhound’s nails should be trimmed regularly.
EXERCISE The popular misconception is that Bloodhounds spend their days lazing on the front porch. The truth is that the Bloodhound, who was bred to follow a scent for hours on end, is an active dog who requires daily exercise. He will benefit from long daily walks—always on a leash, as he may not respond to commands if he has found a scent to follow. Additional exercise time can come in the backyard, which must be securely fenced because Bloodhounds are great diggers and escape artists.
TRAINING As with all breeds, early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. With a Bloodhound, it’s best to start obedience classes early; they tend to become set in their ways, and it’s better if the behaviour they hold onto for a lifetime are the behaviour the owner wants. Bloodhounds like to take charge, so an owner needs to be firm but kind. Training that involves positive rewards, such as treats and praise, is usually effective. The Bloodhound is affectionate and devoted and also stubborn and independent, so his training requires patience, consistency, and skill.
HEALTH Like other large, deep-chested dogs, Bloodhounds can experience bloat. Bloodhound owners should educate themselves to recognise the symptoms of this life-threatening condition, and know what to do should it happen. Bloodhounds are notorious for eating anything and everything, which can often lead to vet visits. The Bloodhound’s low-hanging ears should be checked daily for any sign of infection. In addition, check the Bloodhound’s skin wrinkles daily for odor or irritation, and if needed wipe with a warm, wet cloth and then dry thoroughly. As with all breeds, a Bloodhound’s teeth should be brushed regularly.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam