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Bloodhound

 Photo of Bloodhound
Photo: by Claudia Krebs

Bloodhound Books

Group: Hound || Breed Standard

History

The Bloodhound (also known as the St. Hubert Hound) was, according to legend, first bred ca. AD 1000 by monks at the St. Hubert Monastery in Belgium. Undoubtedly, its origins do reside in France, home of many of the modern Hound breeds. Its excellent tracking skills were drawn on in breeding other scenthounds, such as the Coonhound, Swiss Jura Hound, Bavarian Mountain Hound, and many others. Originally bred specifically for the purpose of tracking human beings, they are nearly always used in a pack and do not attack upon reaching their quarry, as many erroneously believe, but surround him and bay, alerting the searchers.

Description

Height of adult dogs: 66 cms (26 ins); bitches: 61 cms (24 ins). Dogs usually vary from 63-69 cms (25-27 ins); bitches from 58-63 cms (23-25 ins). Mean average weight of adult dogs in fair condition 41 kgs (90 lbs); bitches: 36 kgs (80 lbs). Dogs attain the weight of 50 kgs (110 lbs); bitches: 45.5 kgs (100 lbs).

The acceptable colors for Bloodhounds are black and tan, liver and tan, or red. In the Middle Ages, they also occurred in other solid colors, including white (known as the Talbot Hound), but these no longer occur. The colors appear in other breeds descended from the early Bloodhounds, however. Bloodhounds possess an unusually large skeletal structure; most of their weight is concentrated in their bones, which are very thick for their length. The coat is typical for a scenthound: hard, and composed of fur alone, with no admixture of hair. Bloodhounds tend to be fastidious, and never have to be bathed, although they should be brushed often.

Character/Temperament

The Bloodhound is a scenthound, famed for its ability to follow a scent many days old, over vast distances. It possesses the keenest sense of smell of any breed of dog, as well as an extremely strong tracking instinct. One of the most affectionate and friendly breeds of dog, known as "Gentle Giants." This breed is a mellow, cheerful, affectionate dog who is nonetheless tireless in slowly and steadily following a scent. Because of its strong tracking instinct, it can be willful, and somewhat difficult to obedience train. However, with the proper amount of time and effort, this can be achieved.

Bloodhounds are extremely loyal companions, and if separated from their masters for long periods of time are known to mourn and stop feeding as a sign of distress. Affectionate, gentle, and even-tempered, they make excellent family pets but, like any large breed, may require supervision when around small children because of the possibility of knocking them over with their bulk.

Breed Health

The Bloodhound is prone to hip dysplasia, and is one of the breeds that is the most frequent victims of bloat. Consequently, Bloodhound groups are attempting to concentrate funds for research into bloat at a small number of veterinary schools, in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining valuable results.
Life expectancy is 10 to 12 years.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 11 Mar, 2008