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Bloodhound Dog Breed

First bred by the monks of St. Huberts in Belgium over a thousand years ago, the Bloodhound was brought to England by the Normans.

Other Names: Flemish Hound, St Hubert Hound, Chien de Saint Hubert

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Origin: Belgium

Breed Purpose: Hunting and tracking.

Kennel Club Dog Group: Hound

Height: Dog, 63cm – 69cm. Bitch, 58cm – 63cm

Weight: Dog, 41kg – 50kg. Bitch, 36kg – 45kg

Lifespan: 10-12 years

Exercise Needs: These dogs need plenty of daily exercise. The Bloodhound has incredible stamina and will walk for hours and still not be tired. They make excellent hiking companions but must be kept on a long lead as they will run off to follow a trail. Young dogs should not be over exercised to prevent bone disease developing as an adult.

Diet & Feeding Needs: These dogs have huge appetites and can be rather greedy. Care should be taken not to let them become overweight which will put unnecessary strain on their joints. They are prone to stomach cramps and bloat. Feed two or three smaller meals per day rather than one big one and raise water and food bowls. If feeding a BARF type diet avoid vegetables which can cause cramps due to gas build up.

Health Problems : Bloodhounds are prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections and skin infections which develop in the loose folds. They may also suffer with Entropion (the eyelids turning inwards). Provide the Bloodhound with a padded bed as they do develop calluses on their joints from lying on hard surfaces.

Physical Description: The Bloodhound is a large and powerful tracking dog. The head is large with a high domed skull, long drooping ears and loose jowls. The deeply-set eyes are hazel and the eyelids fall away to show the inner surface. The neck is muscular with a pendulous dewlap. The skin hangs in loose folds which collect scent particles which assist the dog in following trails and makes it the best tracker dog in the world. The Bloodhound has a powerful back and shoulders to work for long lengths of time tirelessly. The legs are long and muscular and the tail is carried in a slight curve over the back.
The Bloodhound’s distinctive feature is its mournful expression.

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Bloodhound Dog Breed Summary:

This dog is a gentle giant that is kind, patient and lovable.

Bloodhounds love being at the heart of the family and are especially good with children of all ages.

They are very active when young but more refined and laid back as adults. In the puberty stage they can be independent and aloof. They need an owner that is well-versed in modern dog training methods using firm but consistent techniques and someone who has the skills needed to guide this physically strong dog.

Bloodhound dogs generally do not make good guard dogs as they welcome everybody. They can have a problem with letting loose that typical hound type howl which can echo for miles and make for disgruntled neighbours. They also snore and drool.

Such are this dog's tracking abilities that evidence shown by a Bloodhound is admissible in a court of law. They can follow trails that are over a week old and will stay on scent for hundreds of miles, guiding the Police when all else fails.

For the Bloodhound, the enjoyment lies within the track rather than the kill and so successful are they that they are considered to be one of the best all round tracking dogs in the world. For example in 1987 a Police Bloodhound called Marquessa searching for a missing woman believed to have been murdered, led the team to a pile of wood. The team moved the wood aside but discovered nothing yet the dog still indicated for them to search the spot. They dug down and found a well that had been filled in where the murdered woman's body had been placed. The Bloodhound scented the body despite it being 35 feet underground!

This shy, gentle dog makes a wonderful companion for any family that has a genuine love and understanding of the Bloodhound breed, and it has a nicely sedate manner which suits many elderly or disabled people, and those quieter family environments.

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