The Bloodhound: A Wrinkled, Sweet, and Peaceful DogReading Time: 5 minutes
You might have seen the Bloodhound in movies where they are helping the police. Be it in search and rescue missions or in finding a criminal that’s hiding, this one is usually the chosen dog. There’s a good reason for this, too.
Bloodhounds have a phenomenal sense of smell and can pick up a trail and follow it very easily. Because they’re so determined to find what they’re looking for, they’re perfectly cut out for law enforcement.
But this is not their only job! Bloodhounds can be phenomenal company animals for the right owner. They’re their happiest in a large fenced estate where they can roam free and chase small prey.
Bloodhounds have a long history –they’re known by many different names depending on where you are, but they’re equally loved everywhere.
They’re part of the hound group along with breeds such as the Basenji and the Beagle. Because they are a kind of scent hound, they love to follow trails and wander off in search of small animals. For this reason, they’re famous with the police.
There’s even a National Police Bloodhound Association dedicated to these persistent dogs!
The history of the Bloodhound dog goes all the way back to the Middle Ages.
Although scent hounds had been described and used in the first century AD, it was in Medieval Europe that these dogs were first bred. This breed was developed to be able to follow cold and old trails while out on hunts with clergymen and with royal families.
In fact, there’s even a poem dating back to 1350 that describes this hound. In it, they are chasing a pair of lovers who have eloped and disguised themselves as bears.
The first breeder of the earliest Bloodhounds were the monks of the St. Hubert’s Abbey in France.
In life, François Hubert — later known as the patron saint of hunters — was an avid hunter who dedicated his life to raising exceptionally apt scent hounds. He accomplished his goal by perfecting the Bloodhound.
Bloodhounds were brought to Britain in the 11th century by William the Conqueror. There, they were met with a lot of love and admiration. They became very prized and were taken on by several branches of the royal family. Even Elizabeth I kept packs of Bloodhounds to accompany her on her hunts.
When the French Revolution happened, the Bloodhounds declined in popularity since the noble hunts didn’t take place anymore. They were royal dogs in a country that despised royalty.
But thankfully, their popularity in Britain continued to soar. In fact, the modern Bloodhounds have England to thank for their existence, since it was here that they evolved the most.
Besides being used in England as scent hounds, they were also used to catch wrong-doers. There are written stories from 1805 that describe these dogs’ ability to catch criminals. Nowadays they are still used for this. They chase criminals and help police departments find mission persons. They’re particularly good at catching and following human scent.
There are also records of this dog in America. Benjamin Franklin wrote some letters where he made clear his wish to own some Bloodhounds. But their reputation in the New Continent plummeted after the Civil War. In the anti-slavery book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the writer Harriet Beecher Stowe described these hounds as “vicious beats.”
Thankfully, Bloodhounds no longer have this terrible reputation. While they’re still pretty rare as family dogs, Bloodhound puppies are nowhere close to being forgotten.
What’s in a Name…
When you think of the name Bloodhound, what comes to your mind?
For a lot of people, this name evokes an image of a vicious dog who is always looking for some blood. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because they were so prized by the nobility, they were seen as royal dogs. They were exclusive and only the royal families of Europe could have them. In other words, they were a “blooded” hound. Much like royalty, their blood was what made them special and stand out among all other dog breeds.
But in other countries, this puppy is known by other names. In France, they’re known as a St. Hubert hound because they were raised in the St. Huber Abbey. In Scotland, they’re known as a sleuth-hound because of their reputation as police enforcement dogs.
They’re very popular in a sheriff’s office, in movies, and in real life!
Appearance and Personality of Bloodhounds
The Bloodhound has a very particular look. It looks very different from other dog breeds and you can easily identify it if you see one. What makes them stand out the most is their droopy look, something that reminds people of old dogs and grandpas.
This dog’s neck is long and their body is well-defined and muscular. The shoulders look strong and slope backward and the ribs are protruding. Their front legs look straight and have large bones, the feet and strong and their thighs are muscular.
But what sets them apart the most is their loose skin that is soft and droopy to the touch.
A Bloodhound’s face is elongated and their nose sticks out. Their long ears fall down and very soft to the touch. The eyes sink into their orbits and the lower lid is droopy. They vary in color depending on the dog’s coat but can be yellow or hazel in most cases. Their coat can be black and tan, liver and tan, or red.
Finally, a Bloodhound’s wrinkly skin is especially noticeable around their neck and on their face.
These are the characteristics considered the breed standard. If a dog doesn’t follow this description, they can’t be considered purebred Bloodhounds.
Temperament of these Droopy Doggos!
A Bloodhound’s personality can appear very confusing and contradictory.
These dogs are stubborn and like doing things their way. They’re very intelligent and learn orders and commands quickly, but only do them if they so, please.
But at the same time, they like to please their owners and are especially sensitive to being corrected and reprimanded.
They’re very friendly but can be some of the shiest puppies around people and dogs they’re not familiar with. Despite this, their love of people and company override everything else. They’re great sniffing dogs but make terrible guard or watchdogs, as they would always rather lick a stranger’s hand once they’ve gotten to know them better.
His well-developed nose makes them want to take off running as soon as they’ve caught a scent. They’re very determined but aren’t quarrelsome at all.
A Bloodhound’s dream is to live in a large estate where birds, skunks, and squirrels are abundant and can be chased.
As always, their temperament is influenced by socialization and training. Although they’re not very easy to train because they’re so independent-minded, this is a very crucial step when raising a hound puppy.
5 Facts You Have to Know About Bloodhound Dogs
These are very unique puppers. Not only are they somewhat enigmatic, but once you get to know them you have even more respect and admiration for the breed. Here are five facts about the Bloodhound that you should know:
- Bloodhounds are not vicious beasts, as they were described in American literature. They’re friendly and love people.
- A police bloodhound is well-respected in the justice system. Their findings are even admissible in a court of law.
- They have lent their name to numerous organizations. One that stands out is the Bloodhound SSC, which broke the land-speed record in Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. They’ve also given their name to anti-aircraft missiles and anti-aircraft guns.
- These dogs can’t be walked without a leash or live in a yard that doesn’t have a fence.
- As puppies, they will chew and eat anything in front of them. They can be real homewreckers!
Are Bloodhound Puppies Easy to Train?
Owning a Bloodhound would be so much easier if only they were as easy to train as a Labrador. Instead, Bloodhounds are very independent and love doing things their way. Although they like making their owners happy, they still prefer to be free and respond to commands when they please.
That said, training these hounds is not an impossible task.
If you have patience and are persistent, then you’ll be able to make them obey your orders. If you think you’re not up to the task, you should enroll them in an obedience training school from a young age.
Are they Healthy Pooches?
Bloodhounds are generally healthy. But like all dog breeds, they can develop some health conditions over the course of their life.
One that is salient is hip dysplasia.
This means that the hound’s thigh bone doesn’t fit snuggly into the hip joint socket. It causes a lot of pain and difficulty walking. The only way to cure this is by getting a surgery done to correct the bone configuration.
Other health problems they may have in the future is elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and fold dermatitis.
The best way to prevent having to deal with these is getting your pup from reputable Bloodhound breeders. They should be able to tell you what medical conditions run in their family and what you should look out for.
Are You Ready to Get a Bloodhound Puppy?
If you think you have what it takes to become a Bloodhound parent, you can make the next move. If you decide to buy a puppy, get it from a good breeder. Breeders approved and recognized by the American Kennel Club and the American Bloodhound Club are your best bets.
Always look for Bloodhound breeder. You can look for good breeders on the American Kennel Club’s marketplace. You can filter out breeders based on your location and you’ll be sure that you’re doing business with someone who has the puppy’s best interests in mind.
The average price for a Bloodhound puppy is around $700. However, if you’re looking for the best-quality breeders, you can spend anywhere from $1,400 to $5,500. Bloodhound puppies for sale don’t come with a cheap price tag!
5 Tips for Future Owners!
If you’re ready to embark on the journey that is owning a Bloodhound, here are some tips we have for you.
- Grooming doesn’t have to be intense. You can brush your pup with a rubber glove once a week.
- Bloodhounds shed according to the season. Don’t be surprised if your house becomes particularly dirty when the seasons change.
- As a puppy, they will try to chew everything they see. Keep them away from batteries and other harmful objects.
- Don’t forget to fence your yard and always walk your dog on a leash.
- It’s important to feed your pup a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet. Ask your vet for specific guidelines.
A Dog of Royalty and Love, the Bloodhound Makes the Perfect Pooch for Anyone!
Owning a Bloodhound is something you’ll never forget. They look adorable and like old lazy dogs, but they’re anything but that! Bloodhounds love to get out of the house and search for trails. They’ll want to take off running even if you have them on a leash just so they can follow a trail!
Despite drooling and being stubborn, they’re marvelous dogs who are dedicated to their hounding instincts and their family.
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