The Bloodhound, also referred to as the St. Hubert’s Hound or the Chien St. Hubert, is a Belgium breed that was bred tracking and hunting. This is one of the oldest hound breeds in the world. They typically grow to be between 23 and 27 inches tall and they usually weigh between 80 and 90 pounds. They have a short smooth coat that is waterproof. Their coat colors vary between black and tan and red and tan. Red Bloodhounds can also be found. They have folds of skin around their face and neck which help to gather scent and direct it towards their nose.
To care for this breed you will need to rub down their coats with a wet towel a few times a week. Their toenails will also need to be clipped on a weekly basis. Their ears also need to be tended to on a regular basis. For exercise this breed needs daily runs and lots of play time. To keep their minds stimulated you may want to introduce tracking games. This breed has a few health concerns that you should be aware of: hip dysplasia, inverted eyelids, and bloating.
The Bloodhounds name may sound morbidly scary and even a little sinister but this breed of dog is affectionate and mild-mannered. This rather shy dog possesses an astonishing ability to track people and animals by using its incredible sense of smell. The breed is useful in law enforcement and search-and-rescue operations.
Origin of the Bloodhound
The Bloodhound is likely to originate in Europe, specifically France. They were bred to do one thing and that is to track human beings by scent.
However, there is a legend that asserts that they were first developed by monks of in St. Hubert monastery in Belgium. This is why they are also known as the St. Hubert Hound.
Bloodhound Appearance and Abilities
Bloodhounds are large, powerful looking dogs. They can weigh as much as 100 lbs or more. They are rugged and strong, perfectly fitting for a working dog.
Distinctively, they have wrinkly extremely loose skin that can be pleasant to touch. They have a thick coat that come in black, liver, or red with tan, sometimes speckled with white.
They are great scent trackers. Their hefty snouts help filter scents and they can distinguish different kinds of odors. Bloodhounds can follow scents for long duration of time over great distances. Because of this ability, they are commonly used in law enforcement and search-and-rescue missions and on top of all that the bloodhound has great stamina.
Temperament and Tendencies of a Bloodhound
Bloodhounds are naturally dominant. Hence, they are stubborn and independent especially when still young and immature. They are also boisterous and bouncy as pups. Training is essential to neutralize this behavior as they grow old.
As they mature and if they are properly trained, they become noble and mild-mannered. However, being somewhat shy and aloof is inherent. Bloodhounds are great with children and display great patience. They may bark at strangers but they will rarely display hostile aggression.
If there is something Bloodhound owners find objectionable about them, it is their propensity to drool a lot. They are slobbery creatures. They also have a distinct odor that some may find offensive.
Bloodhounds can be easily distracted mainly, because of their advanced sense of smell. If they catch a scent, it is difficult to get their attention.
Bloodhound Training and Care
Training Bloodhounds requires patience and perseverance. If you want to train them, do it in areas with less distraction and scent, if possible. Train them in short and frequent sessions a few times a day.
Socialization and training such as potty training must be done early. Crate training is a great method for them. Positive reinforcement is the only way to train Bloodhounds effectively. Do it with praises and pats on the back and head.
Dealing with Bloodhounds means you need to show natural authority. Firm leadership is essential to keep them manageable and help them avoid dominance problems.
However, remember that they are very sensitive creatures. Bloodhounds are sensitive to the tone of their master’s voices. When addressing bloodhounds, it must be in neutral tone which is not too gentle and not too excited or loud. They are very vulnerable to reprimands and praises.
Bloodhounds are fairly inactive indoors. Apartment living conditions are just fine but they must have occasional exercises outside.