Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): Chien de Saint-Hubert; St. Hubert Hound
The lugubrious-looking Bloodhound has been highly regarded through the centuries for its superb sense of smell that allows it to relentlessly track humans or animals. As a result, this breed is a highly regarded police dog for search and rescue teams, and a Bloodhound's evidence trail is admissible in a court of law. Despite its wrinkled face and its sometimes bumbling appearance, this dog is not an old spirit that prefers to lounge on a couch. These are slow-maturing sometimes-puppylike dogs that demand kind and consistent training over a longer time than you might think reasonable, making them a poor choice for the impatient owner. If allowed to run off-leash, they are prone to take off after a fascinating scent or to be tempted to chase other animals or cars.
Appearance / health:
The Bloodhound has features characteristic of all dogs that hunt by smell. The skin is extremely loose, especially around the head and the neck. Their overall structure is huge because of thick bones, and stands over more distance than other dogs. The head is narrow compared to its length. Bloodhounds have thin, soft, and extremely long ears, which fall in folds.
The Bloodhound does not require much grooming though it must be brushed regularly to remove hair. The frequency of bathing is low. The ears need to be cleaned daily to avoid infections. Bloodhounds tend to drool excessively.
Bloodhounds require a lot of activity to stay healthy, preferably around 90 minutes. They need to roam around outdoors in large open surroundings, and are ideal companions on a camping trip. However, they require the owner's constant supervision as any interesting scent might attract them to travel far distances.
Bloodhounds do not live as long as other dogs and aging occurs normally by the age of eight. They are prone to hip dysplasia (a condition marked by abnormal hip formation), eye defects, and allergies. Gastric torsion or bloat may also occur and can kill the dog within a matter of hours.
Behavior / temperament:
Bloodhounds are extremely affectionate and shy, and generally do not fight with other dogs. Highly determined trackers, they can tirelessly track a scent and it is difficult to call a search off once they set out. They need constant companions, either their owners or other dogs, and hate being alone.
The learning rate for Bloodhounds is low to medium. Owing to their strong willful natures, they may be difficult to train.
Bloodhounds are generally calm and mellow though they tend to bark and howl sometimes.
multi-purpose police work, incredibly powerful nose, droopy ears, awesome allaround, family pet
Expert Level Trainer, short lifespanA Bloodhound, real problem, family household, funny smell
fun teaching, endurance, different training methods, great communicators, confident owner
Love me some hound dogs!
I had always been in love with bloodhounds- their big ears, their wrinkles, their sad eyes, that bark! I still am, but I will admit, the bloodhound is probably NOT the best breed for my lifestyle. I am a single mom with a full-time job and have very little spare time. However, I am in love with my dog, so I find a way to make it work though it can be stressful at times.
I got Ruby from a breeder when she was 8 weeks old. We immediately began crate training at night and while we were at work (for the first three months or so). We continued to crate train her at night for about nine months- at that point she outgrew her crate. She also attended obedience training as a puppy.
So, why would I not have gotten this breed? They require A LOT of time and money. Some hounds come with a host of health problems that are genetic. My girl has recurrent ear infections, no matter how much I clean them- and they need to be cleaned pretty much daily. She needs to be bathed very frequently as she has oily skin and will smell if not bathed at least weekly. She is allergic to several things, so she must get cortisone shots to keep her from scratching herself silly and driving me crazy. She also now needs eye surgery for entropian (eyelids turn in and irritate the eye). So, if you do get one, get pet insurance! (I have it, thank goodness). Also, she needs a LOT of exercise- long walks. I don't always have time. Fortunately, I have a big yard and a pool. She swims laps when she's bored or hot. It's adorable.
But wait- it's not all bad! Despite the work, she's a wonderful dog. She is quiet when she is in the house, totally happy to find a spot and lay down and not make a peep- as long as she doesn't have access to trash- if she can find trash or food she won't lay down until she's found and consumed all of it. She's a great guard dog- she ONLY barks when there is a reason to (i.e. somebody at the door), so I know she means it. She is gentle with my three year old son, even when it comes to food. She's a great hiker and swimmer. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, bloodhounds are a great companion. I have read many times that they are bad off leash as they may catch a scent and take off, but I have never had that happen with Ruby. Bottom line, consider your free time and your budget before getting a bloodhound for a pet..
From nattlebunny Aug 1 2014 3:44PM
Dixie and Jesse Girl
These were the other kids in my family. They came in as these huge puppies with their characteristic wrinkles and sad eyes. I loved to hear them howl. I would often start them off annoying my parents. This breed is extremely loyal. You can never shake them. They want to ride with you and go anywhere you go. Beware of slobber stains down the side of your car even though it is very amusing to see their excitement. I would come home from school or anywhere and hear the pounding of their footsteps and howls, as I had to brace myself so they wouldn't knock me down at the door. They were humans. At least that's how they saw it. I would catch myself knocked off the couch by these huge creatures. When I say huge, I mean it. They slept with me nightly and it was as if I was cuddling another human being. Beware of walks. You may think its a good idea until you have two 80 pound a piece dogs dragging you in different directions because they have found a scent. It is interesting if you have the time and feel like getting lost to see what their latest obsession is. Usually small animals that they will never catch up to. I did receive an interesting gift from Jessie girl. She brought me a painted turtle one day. It was gorgeous and I knew that she must truly love me to bring me such a gift. I had to keep them from cornering a possum in my backyard one day as well. So if you have any small pest these dogs will solve your problem! Great for hunting even as guard dogs. With those long ears they can hear a pen drop and go straight to barking. Their size is sure to intimidate anyone. If you want a multipurpose, useful, outdoorsy breed. This is your dog..
From katherinelynn Nov 7 2014 12:16AM
Choke collars are not the best tools to use for dogs who pull. How many times have you seen people walking their dogs on a choke collar and the dog pulling?! This is because to properly use a punishment device, which is what a choke collar is, you should only have to give 3 or 4 firm, appropriate corrections and then your dog should never repeat the behavior again. People do not have the stomach to give their dogs a stiff enough correction to work in 3 or 4 trials. Further, weaker handlers do not have the strength to give their (large) dogs a strong enough correction for them to understand. Hence, while the correction will work in the short term, all too soon, the dog is back to pulling again and that level of correction has become simply a nag. Then the correction will need to be stronger to get them to attend to it.
For a dog who outweighs or out-muscles its handler, the use of a head halter is a better choice, as it gives one greater control of the weakest part of the dog's body, their head. Just as we can use a halter to guide a horse, so can we use the same technique to guide a dog.
Laura Garber, CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP
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