Did you know?
The Bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court of law.
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. – Josh Billings
Descended from the dogs bred by Saint Hubert, the patron saint of dogs, Bloodhounds are one of the oldest of the hounds. They were brought from Belgium to Britain by William the Conqueror in 1066, and take their name from the English “blue bloods” or aristocrats who took an interest in the breed.
Bloodhounds are scent hounds who track quarry by smell. Their extra long ears help stir the scent and channel it up their nose. This helps keep them on the trail of their quarry. Originally bred to hunt stag in packs, the nobility soon found they made excellent trackers of people and so they were used to find game poachers.
The legendary nose of the Bloodhound is able to find and follow human scent over great distances, even days later. This has led to his most famous work – tracking down criminals on the run which remains his primary purpose to this day. Bloodhounds are also used in search and rescue and cadaver search.
Photos displayed courtesy of Renée Saint-Louis, Anderlues Perm Reg’d, Quebec
The Bloodhound stands 26 inches (66 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh an average of 90 pounds (41 kg).
He has a short, smooth, weatherproof coat in black and tan, red and tan, or tawny. Grooming requirements are minimal. Eyelids and ears need special attention. Although he is a very clean dog, he does have a tendency to drool.
Bloodhounds are gentle, sensitive, and affectionate. With their long, low-set, droopy ears and sad expression, they look like they need a friend! They adore children and are good with other pets. However, their size and strength may be a problem in homes with very young children. As pack animals, they are happiest when part of a big family or with other dogs.
Intelligent, responsive, determined, and persistent, Bloodhounds are tireless trackers. Although he housebreaks easily, he is very stubborn. Training can therefore be an interesting and challenging experience for both dog and owner.
The image of the sleepy hound on the farmer’s porch is very misleading. Bloodhounds are large, active animals who need daily exercise. They are capable of great endurance when on the trail. As a scent hound, they should be kept in a fenced-in yard to combat a tendency to “follow their nose”.
Potential owners should be aware that a 2004 study in Great Britain found that Bloodhounds live an average of 6.75 years, which makes it one of the shortest lived dog breeds.