- The Bloodhound is a large scent hound, originally bred for hunting deer, wild boar and, since the Middle Ages, for tracking people.
- Believed to be descended from hounds once kept at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert, Belgium, it is known to French speakers as le chien de Saint-Hubert.
- The Bloodhound is not particularly adept at advanced obedience work, but they should be trained in basic obedience.
- Please take note: The Bloodhound is a scent hound, and as such ‘the nose rules’ and so they will put their nose down and become oblivious to all around them and will follow the scent until its conclusion.
- Bloodhounds in America have been more widely used in tracking lost people and criminals – often with brilliant success – than in Britain, and the history of the Bloodhound in America is full of the man-trailing exploits of outstanding Bloodhounds and their expert handlers, the most famous hound being Nick Carter.
- Bloodhounds are well-known for their unparalleled sense of smell and their strong tracking instinct, which makes the breed a favorite among the police and rescue teams, as they are indeed able to track the scent of a person across long distances, even if it is several days old.
- The bloodhound is generally used to follow the individual scent of a fugitive or lost person, taking the scent from a ‘scent article’ – something the quarry is known to have touched, which could be an item of clothing, a car seat, an identified footprint etc.
- Bloodhounds in a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey had a median longevity of 6.75 years, which makes them one of the shortest-lived of dog breeds. The oldest of the 82 deceased dogs in the survey died at the age of 12.1 years.
- The bloodhound is handled on a tracking harness, which has a metal ring above the shoulders, to which a leash is attached, so that the hound’s neck is not jerked up when the leash becomes taut, as it would with a collar.
- The Bloodhound is a large scent hound originally bred for hunting deer and wild boar, but also used from the Middle Ages onwards for tracking human beings, and now most often bred specifically for that purpose.
- The Bloodhound is a dog that hunts by scent, making them a useful tool in todays society and they have found careers as mantrailers for police departments and search and rescue organizations.
- The bloodhound is immediately given a command to ‘go to work’, and will eliminate those not associated with the scent, such as firefighters in attendance, along with bystanders.
- Bloodhounds are extremely loyal companions, and if separated from their masters for long periods of time, are known to track there owners and stop feeding as a sign of distress.
- Bloodhounds have very heavy ears and are prone to ear problems, use Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor.
- Bloodhound temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books
- Bloodhounds, which are almost always used in a pack, do not attack upon reaching their quarry, as many erroneously believe, but surround him and bay, alerting the searchers.
- Bloodhounds are usually calm and quiet when indoors, though their size and the fact they tend to be exuberant jumpers, may make them look like a “bull in a China shop”.
- The Bloodhound is possibly descended from hounds once kept at the monastery of St Hubert in Belgium, but has been bred and developed in Britain since before 1300.
- Bloodhounds possess an unusually large skeletal structure with most of their weight concentrated in their bones, which are very thick for their length.
- Bloodhounds were used to track runaway slaves before the American Civil War, but it has been questioned whether the dogs used were genuine Bloodhounds.
A Bloodhound’s life expectancy can be anywhere between 11 to 15 years.
They are a generally healthy breed.
Due to their tracking instinct and strong sense of smell, along with their determination when doing their job, Bloodhounds can be willful and stubborn, which makes obedience training hard. They need a consistent and firm owner, but also one that is loving and uses positive reinforcement because Bloodhounds are sensitive to correction.
When the first Bloodhounds were exported to the USA is not known.
Bloodhounds were used to track runaway slaves before the American Civil War, but it has been questioned whether the dogs used were genuine Bloodhounds. However, in the later part of the 19th century, and in the next, more pure Bloodhounds were introduced from Britain, and bred in America, especially after 1888, when the English breeder, Edwin Brough, brought three of his hounds to exhibit at the Westminster KC show in New York City. Bloodhounds in America have been more widely used in tracking lost people and criminals – often with brilliant success – than in Britain, and the history of the Bloodhound in America is full of the man-trailing exploits of outstanding Bloodhounds and their expert handlers, the most famous hound being Nick Carter. Law enforcement agencies have been much involved in the use of Bloodhounds.
Like every dog, Bloodhounds need exposure to lots of different things when they are young to socialize them properly. This includes different people, sights, sounds and experiences. This will help them to grow up to be well-rounded dogs. Enrolling them in a puppy class is a great idea, as well as inviting visitors over and taking them out in public such as to the store or to busy parks.
The Bloodhound has the best dog nose in the canine world and he is used to track missing persons as well as escaped criminals. The Bloodhound uses his long floppy ears to sweep up the scent into his nose and the folds of skin around his face also play their part in retaining the sent he is pursuing. A wet, moist nose is essential for getting the best focus for the Bloodhound on the scent he is chasing. After long dusty trails of tracking and tracing, water will be important for the Bloodhound to keep his nose and nasal passages moist and ready to follow each scent that he can register in his olfactory system. Although the Bloodhound with his floppy ears and droopy eyes looks laid-back and lacking in energy, he is a very active dog and needs a good source of clean water.
Bloodhounds may benefit from a large breed dog food. For Bloodhounds who need help with weight maintenance, consider a healthy weight formula. Bloodhound puppies should eat a large breed puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.
Although their coats do not usually require extensive grooming, it’s important for bloodhound owners to pay attention to their droopy ears and facial wrinkles. From a health perspective, bloodhounds unfortunately suffer from a higher rate of gastrointestinal issues than others, including bloat. They can also experience ear, eye and skin problems. Wiping a bloodhound’s ears and coat with a warm, wet cloth can prevent bad odors or irritants building up, which can lead to infections. Finally, you may be aware that bloodhounds are notorious for drooling anywhere and everywhere – so your home may require more frequent cleaning if you have a bloodhound as a pet!
Bloodhound temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books
History of Bloodhounds
- In the 1870s, the Bavarian Mountain Hound was formed, a bloodhound breed of dog that could track the cold scent of wounded game in mountainous areas.
- In 2014, their Forestry Department was quoted in local media on the success of the program, ‘The agency’s three field investigators and their bloodhounds have put a serious dent in arson rates.