Recognised by their noble and dignified expression of solemnity, wisdom and power, and loose, long pendulous folds of skin around the head and neck, the Bloodhound is one of the most docile of pure breeds but their determination in following a scent trail is legendary. Known as the breed whose “nose has eyes”, police departments around the world have utilised the skill of the Bloodhound. One dog was credited with over 600 arrests! The Bloodhound has been known to follow a trail successfully for over 250 kilometres.
The Bloodhound’s body is large and strongly built. They have a noble, narrow and wrinkly head with droopy lower eyelids and long thin ears. Their coat is short and smooth, and comes in tan, liver and tan or black and tan.
Extremely affectionate, the Bloodhound’s nature is somewhat reserved and sensitive to either praise or correction from their owner. They are quick to learn but may prove obstinate in formal obedience training. They have a gentle nature and are affectionate, patient and kind dogs that get on well with children and other household pets. Unfortunately they do not make good guard dogs despite their size.
Prone to drool, the swing of a Bloodhound’s enormous head can spread saliva across a room, their size, food requirements and short lifespan make them a questionable choice for the average owner but for those who admire this breed, there can be no other more devoted companion. They are best suited to people who enjoy the outdoors, active people and children over 10 years old.
Grooming and care
The Bloodhound has a low maintenance short coat, requiring only a brush once a week or less to remove loose and dead hairs. Their skin folds around their face, eyes and ears should be cleaned and checked regularly for early detection of infection. Keeping a towel handy helps to clean the frequent drooling.
Exercise and training
The Bloodhound has a mind of their own making them difficult to train. Obedience training is highly recommended at an early age. Patience and consistency are requirements when training this breed.
Being an active breed, the Bloodhound will need daily walks on a lead or a run around a fenced yard. Dogs off lead will start to track scents. Take care not to over exercise Bloodhound puppies in their first year to allow their joints and bones the chance to grow properly.
For the latest research in breed-related problems in Bloodhounds visit the University of Sydney’s LIDA (Listing of Inherited Disorders in Animals) website.