Listen: this nose knows. The Bloodhound's sniffer is so smart, this breed has testified in court! She was, by the way, the first dog to take the witness stand. Seriously, there's no beating this dog's sense of smell. A Bloodhound can follow trails that are nearly two weeks old. One even successfully followed a scent for 135 miles, clear across the state of Kansas.
You can always spot a Bloodhound by their long ears and distinctive, droopy jowls. Those floppy ears aren't just cute, by the way. They sweep scent particles toward those brilliant noses, which is part of why this breed is such an efficient tracker.
Though we're more likely to picture Bloodhounds chasing down clues with Scotland Yard, these dogs originally lived in Belgian monasteries. They came to England with William the Conqueror in the 11th century. These large and medium-energy dogs can grow to between 80-110 pounds and live an average of 7-10 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
|Breed's original pastime||Trailing|
|Average lifespan||7-9 years|
|Date of origin||1500s|
|Original function||Trailing rabbits and hare|
|Today's function||Lure coursing|
|Average size of male||Height: 25-27 Weight: 90-110|
|Average size of female||Height: 23-25 Weight: 80-100|
|Energy level||Low energy|
|Playfullness||Not very playful|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Medium tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BLOODHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Bloodhounds are calm and friendly dogs. They're usually good with family pets and other dogs and friendly with new folks. Bloodhounds are lovable and snuggly, but independent-minded and not especially playful.
Like most dogs, Bloodhounds will do better with supervised or older children.
WHAT IS BLOODHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This breed makes for vigilant watchdogs, but your Bloodhound won't be especially protective. Bloodhounds will bay and bark when they're excited or have caught a scent, and their unique howl may take some getting used to.
Your Bloodhound will also appreciate having his own space to sleep, relax, and escape from household bustle.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BLOODHOUND?
Training these dogs can be challenging; Bloodhounds can be stubborn and don't usually have good recall. Start early and be patient and consistent with your furry friend.
Keep in mind that these are not off-leash dogs. Compelling scents will distract this very active breed. They'll follow their noses anywhere, so your Bloodhound will need a sturdy fence or playtime in an enclosed area when it's not on a leash.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BLOODHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Bloodhound's coat is short, tight, and thick. A Bloodhound's nose will often lead them into smelly spots, so plan for frequent baths. Those charming, droopy ears will drag on the ground and into a food dish; remember to clean them daily to avoid infection.
They're seasonal shedders whose bath schedule can be reduced with regular brushing.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BLOODHOUNDS HAVE?
This breed has a tendency toward bloat, a condition that requires immediate attention from your veterinarian. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) and contact your vet at once if you suspect your dog might be suffering from this ailment. A raised feeding bowl and staggered meals might help mitigate this condition.
Bloodhounds can tend toward obesity; be careful to moderate feeding. They also like to eat non-food items (rocks, socks, knives, etc.), so keep an eye on yours and have the emergency vet's phone number readily available.
Feeding your baby Bloodhound a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia.