AKC Group: Hound

Bloodhounds are an ancient breed that first appeared in Europe thousands of years ago. They descended from the black St. Hubert and white Southern Hound. Bloodhounds were bred to be durable hunters and make excellent police dogs.

Size: 23 to 27 inches, 80 to 110 pounds.

Color: Black and tan, liver and tan or solid red.

Life span: 10 to 12 years.

Health problems: Gastrointestinal ailments, bloat is common (and a leading cause of death!). Eye, skin and ear problems are frequent. The thick Bloodhound coat helps them to overheat quickly.

Bloodhounds are an easily identifiable breed — just look for loose skin around their head and neck, large hanging down ears and prominent jowls. Bloodhounds have deep sunken eyes, muscular necks and strong shoulders and powerful legs. The Bloodhound tail curls upward. The Bloodhound dog is a profile in dignity.

Bloodhounds get their name from their ability to track wounded prey from the trail of blood they leave behind. Police forces caught on and began using the dogs to track criminals. TRIVIA: the Bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in American courtrooms. (Their ability to follow the blood trail is THAT good!)

These dignified dogs are easygoing and mellow, not to mention endlessly patient. They love nothing more than stretching out and being cuddled, scratched and loved by their family. A Bloodhound will be your child’s constant companion. They will play and goof around together for hours! Nothing is more important to a Bloodhound pet than their loving family.

Outside, your Bloodhound will have endless energy. They love to run and explore. They can be shy at first, but they possess the ability to overcome their natural fears and become a friend to all — other pets included. Though they are protective of their home and family, a Bloodhound’s strength is not guarding. A Bloodhound howls in the face of danger instead of barking.

The smooth, short coat of a Bloodhound is easy to groom. Grooming should be done with a hound glove. A rub with a rough towel or chamois will leave the coat gleaming. Bathing should be kept to the bare minimum. Cleaning of the ears is essential (as are frequent checks of their eyes). Bloodhounds do retain the “dog smell” naturally (there’s very little you can do to get rid of it). Consistency, gentle handling and speech will keep the Bloodhound’s stubbornness out of way while training. Bloodhounds take to training slowly, so you will have to have patience. The great news (or silver lining) is Bloodhounds are intelligent dogs and are eager to please you.

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