Breed Group: Hound Group
Shoulder Height: 23-28 in.
Weight: 73-119 lb.
Life Span: 7-8 years
Colors: Black, tan, liver, red
- The Bloodhound is one of the most distinctive hound breeds in the world, commonly employed by fire departments and police forces as scent dogs for missing people.
- Nobody is entirely sure how the Bloodhound came into existence, though some evidence points toward the Saint-Hubert Monastery in Belgium around 1000 A.D.
- They played an important role in the hunt in medieval times. They were worked on leash to find the boar before the pack hounds took it down.
- Their ability to track a scent is so reliable that the results of their tracking are admissible as evidence in a court of law.
An old European breed, the Bloodhound is a large breed with a face similar to the Basset Hound. With strong ties to police departments around the world, interest in the breed has been steady for many years, making the Bloodhound one of the most sought-after breeds in the hound group.
Bloodhounds have been described as gentle giants, rarely ever attacking a human even when they are commanded to do so. They have an even temper and are quite affectionate, especially with small children. The size of the breed does mean that supervision is required, but more often than not, pet parents have nothing to worry about.
The only personality issue surrounding the breed is their extreme level of willfulness because of their intense focus on a scent. They can be stubborn dogs and as a result may be challenging to train. Bloodhounds do not learn obedience very well and if they lock onto a scent they are interested in, they will continue to follow it to its source no matter what you may say in protest. The Bloodhound is not the brightest breed in the world, but still makes for a charming member of the family.
Their coat length varies from short to medium and is easy to maintain. However, they do shed, so be prepared for some dog hair on your soft furnishings. For a large breed, Bloodhounds do not require as much exercise as other breeds in their weight class, though regular walking is necessary for proper social training. Do not walk them without a leash; they will run off if they detect an interesting scent.
Bloodhounds are loveable companions, but do suffer from a variety of health problems that limit the lifespan of the breed considerably.
- The breed is particularly susceptible to bloat, which can be fatal. One survey found that over 30% of Bloodhound deaths were due to bloat.
- Bloodhounds also have an unusually high occurrence of eye ailments, such as cherry eye and entropion.
- Floppy ears mean that the breed can be prone to ear infections.
- They are one of the shortest-living breeds with the average lifespan being 6.75 years.
- Duke, the companion of the Beverly Hillbillies, was a Bloodhound.
- Ch. Heathers Knock on Wood is the most successful Bloodhound in the world, winning numerous Best in Shows and Best in Groups before dying of a rattlesnake bite he defended his pet parent against in 2008.
- The Bloodhound is a popular image in fiction. Pluto from the Disney cartoons was inspired by a pair of Bloodhounds. The Bumpus Hounds from A Christmas Story play a prominent role, especially in the climax. McGruff the Crime Dog is a popular mascot against crime and violence.
- Bloodhounds have appeared in two different classic video games: as General Pepper in Star Fox 64 and as the Laughing Dog in Duck Hunt.
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