This ancient breed takes its name not from the blood of its victims, but from its own. The name Bloodhound means a dog of the royal blood, a pedigree hound. In its native Ardennes, in Belgium, and also in France, it retains the name of its early ancestor, the Chien de St. Hubert. Bloodhound dogs, with their trademark droopy face, are natural born hunters. Despite their saggy, soft skin these dogs are a strong and muscular breed.
This "magic sniffer" of the dog world has a phenomenal ability as a scent hound, superior to other hounds, which made them legendary in police investigations as well as in search and rescue operations. The scenting ability of the breed is almost beyond belief. It is so specialized as a tracker that, once it locates its quarry, it is more likely to lick it than bite it. The Bloodhound prefers the hunt rather than the kill and is known for his ability to follow a scent for long distances. He is well known for his ability to find missing persons and trail criminals. These dogs are very affectionate and friendly toward people as well as other dogs.
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Bloodhounds aren't necessarily good family pets. They probably are not appropriate for families with small children. They're certainly not appropriate for first time dog owners. They do better in homes with multiple dogs. They do better the more space they have. They do better when someone is home a significant part of the time. They are more independent than many other breeds of dog, making discipline issues more likely. The breed certainly has more health issues than many. They need stimulation to keep them from finding a way to get into trouble. Bloodhounds shed a lot, drool, slob a lot and have a distinctive hound odor.
They can be destructive when bored or not exercised enough which they usually express in chewing and baying. Most do best as indoor/outdoor dogs; note, however, that this is not the breed for people obsessed with cleanliness in the house.
Other Names: Chien de Saint-Hubert
Country of Origin: Belgium
Utilization: Scent hound for large game, service dog, tracking dog and family dog. It was and it must always remain a hound which due to its remarkable sense of smell is foremost a leash hound, often used not only to follow the trail of wounded game as in the blood scenting trials but also to seek out missing people in police operations.
FCI Classification: Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds; Large sized hounds; AKC Classification: Hound
Size: Large (23-27 inches at shoulders)
Colors: There are three distinct coat colors: black and tan, liver and tan and red unicolor.
Litter Size: 8
Life Span: 9-11 years
Grooming Requirements: Bloodhounds need quick weekly brushing and regular ear cleaning and nail trimming. They are naturally looking dogs and do not need trimming.
Shedding: Heavy seasonal or year round
Personality: Gentle, placid, kind and sociable with people. Particularly attached to its owner. Tolerant of kennel companions and other domestic animals. Somewhat reserved and stubborn. Just as sensitive to compliments as to corrections. Never aggressive. Its voice is deep but it rarely barks.
Social skills: Bloodhounds usually get along with other animals if socialized from puppy hood.
Suitability for Children: Patient with children of all ages. However, because of their giant size, toddlers should not be left unsupervised to play with these dogs.
Exercise Needs: Bloodhounds require up to 90 minutes vigorous daily exercise to maintain fitness.
Train Ability: Slow to house train, slow to learn new things, stubborn.
Health & Behavioral Issues: The most common are hip dysplasia, bloat, eye problems