Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: France/Belgium
Average Size: 58-70 cm
Average Weight: 35-50 kg
Average Life Span: 8-11 years
Grooming Requirements: Low
Exercise Requirements: Medium

History

The Bloodhound is a breed that has been in existence for over 1,000 years. The breed was refined in Belgium, though most hound dogs have origins in France. Its name dates back to the 1300s, where Bloodhound implied that it was a hound of regal ancestry.

While it was originally bred to hunt boar and other animals, it has taken on a different utilitarian role in modern times. This breed is immensely skilled and valuable, particularly because of its phenomenal tracking capabilities. Its powerful nose makes it a great resource in instances such as rescuing victims from natural disasters and finding missing persons. The Bloodhound can locate a missing individual using a very minimal amount of human skin cells. The target of this breed must be alive in order for the Bloodhound to track it down.

They are used individually or as part of a pack. Its focus is on finding its target. Once this is completed, the dog’s master takes over and the Bloodhound recognises that its work is done.

Appearance

Common colours for this breed include black, liver, red, tan or a combination of these. Patches of white may occasionally be seen. Its coat is short and lays smooth, covering a layer of noticeably thin skin. Bloodhounds are generally clean in nature, requiring little grooming other than brushing.

The Bloodhound has yellow-brown eyes that appear droopy and wear an expression of solemnity and intelligence. Its thick tale curves towards the end, and is carried medium to high on the back of the body.

With females often a little smaller in size than males, the Bloodhound averages 58-70 cm in height and 35-50 kg in weight.

Temperament

First and foremost, the Bloodhound is a dog with a purpose. When it is at work, it is relentless and does not tire easily. When it is not working, it requires a considerable amount of exercise in order to satisfy its physical needs.

Its job requires it to have a strong and willful nature, so it is important for owners to display leadership in order to teach the dog to be obedient.

Despite its keen nose and strong work ethic, the Bloodhound is able to be affectionate, docile and playful when at home with loved ones. It is tolerant of small children and other animals. This breed develops a strong connection with its family, often displaying physical and emotional distress during long periods of separation.

Health

The Bloodhound is prone to developing a gastrointestinal condition known as bloat, which can be fatal. Risk can be minimised by feeding the dog several small meals per day rather than one large meal. Like many breeds of similar size, the Bloodhound is at risk for hip dysplasia. Its droopy ears can cause moisture to be trapped within the inner ear, though regular cleaning will reduce the chance of infection.

While sleeping, this breed is prone to snoring and drooling, both of which are harmless to its health. The Bloodhound has an average lifespan of 8-11 years, which is not atypical for its size.