Bloodhound – Everything You Need To Know

Bloodhounds are purebred scent hounds that hunt together, called Sagaces. This comes from the Latin term “sagacious,” which marks their remarkable quality as scenthounds. Initially, they were bred by medieval Europeans to chase deer and boars. They are very active and never lazy to accompany you for long walks, hikes, and jogging. In addition, he can perform excellently in search and rescue operations.

Bloodhounds are lovable family dogs but would need meticulous care. If you are a novice owner, he will take over you owing to his stubborn streaks. However, they are kids-friendly and can coexist with other pets. Generally, they are warm with strangers. Bloodhounds are one among the unique dog breeds that are ranked 45th by the AKC. They are much sought after for their sweet demeanor and lovely appearance. Read on to know more about this pawmate!

Bloodhound Overview

Bloodhounds are active dogs who are primarily known for hunting by scent. Therefore, daily exercise is necessary for these canines, and positive training methods encourage them to perform competently. Although they have hunting instincts, they will coexist with other pets exceptionally well. 

Bloodhounds are happy to live in a large fenced yard. However, they are unsuitable for homes with smaller kids because they can be rambunctious. Never leave them unsupervised with children. Although their coats need minimal care, their grooming needs are higher owing to their skin folds and their susceptibility to ear infections. 

Bloodhound Pros and Cons

Loyal and protectiveHigh grooming needs
Pet friendlyEscape artist

Bloodhound Basic Information 

  • Name: Bloodhound
  • Origin: France  
  • Group: Hound
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Male: 25-27 inches Female: 23-25 inches 
  • Weight: Male: 90 – 130 lbs  Female: 80 – 100 lbs  
  • Coat: Short, flat, and glossy
  • Color: Black and tan, liver and tan, red.
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Agility, conformation, hunting, obedience, rally.   
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Medium to high
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 6 puppies 
  • Other Names: St. Hubert Hound, Saint Hubert Hound, Chien de Saint-Hubert, Flemish Hound
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Hunting
  • Life Span: 11 to 15 years  

History of Bloodhound

The history of Bloodhounds dates back to the 7th century. It is believed that St. Hubert (Belgium) and his monks perfected and bred these dogs. Also known as Flemish Hounds, Bloodhounds descend from this lineage. The Normans brought the canines later to England and, further, to the United States of America. William the Conqueror brought a handful of Bloodhounds when he arrived in England in 1066. To this day, Bloodhounds are employed for man trailing and search and rescue work.

Bloodhound Highlights

  • Bloodhounds are great family companions.
  • They are kid-friendly but need supervision initially.
  • Bloodhounds are not suitable for first-time owners.
  • Bloodhounds are pet friendly and can co-exist with them.
  • Early socialization and training are mandatory for these dogs as they can be rambunctious.
  • A bored Bloodhound can be a destructive dog.
  • Bloodhounds are great escape artists and diggers.
  • Although they can adapt to apartment living, large homes with fenced yards are ideal.

Bloodhound Personality

Bloodhounds are giant dogs standing 24 to 26 inches tall and weighing 80 – 110 lbs. A long face with wrinkles, droopy jowls, loose skin hanging, deeply set eyes, and floppy ears are remarkable features of this breed. The hollow, sunken eyes of Bloodhounds will leave a dignified impression in your heart. Bloodhounds boast short and flat coats that come in black and tan, liver and tan, or red. Finally, they bear powerful forequarters and hindquarters that keep them agile.

Friendliness Overview

Affection level High
Family-friendly High
Kid-friendly High
Pet-friendly High
Stranger -friendly High

Adaptability Overview  

Good for apartment living Low
Good to new owners Low to medium
Sensitivity level Medium to high
Tolerates being alone Low to medium
Cold-tolerance Medium
Heat-tolerance Medium

Bloodhound Physical Features

Head: Their heads are narrow and long, muzzles are long, and noses are black. Their eyes are sunken and diamond-shaped, varying in colors from deep golden to yellow. Their soft, floppy ears are elongated and hung low. 

Neck: Bloodhounds have a long neck with an additional wrinkled skin hanging loose around the neck and head in deep folds with the dewlaps pronounced.

Topline: Their topline is symmetrical and has a black coat. Their shoulders are muscular and sloped appropriately at the back. The loin is deep and a little arched.

Body: The body is long, straight, and proportionate to the head, with skin hanging loosely. The chest is not so deep, and the ribs are well-sprung with white markings.

Tail: The tail stands high with a little curve on the topline at the back.

Forequarters: Their forelegs are straight and sturdy, divided by a deep keel chest. Their elbows are set squarely.

Hindquarters: The hindlegs are strong and muscular, with well-bent hocks aiding in free movements and balance.

Coat: They boast wrinkled, short skin that is rough textured. The hair on the ears and across the head is soft.  

Color: The color of the coat includes black and tan, red, red and tawny, and liver and tan.

Gait: Their gait is free, with the stern carried slightly high over the back. Their stern also bears some white markings.

Bloodhound Temperament

Gentle, kind, and affectionate, Bloodhounds are lovable dogs. These dogs do well with children but would not like to glue with them and would not like getting pestered by them. On the other hand, Bloodhounds welcome all the attention of their owners. They thoroughly sniff whatever they find, including humans – sometimes an unwelcoming and rare ability found in Bloodhounds. Thus, Bloodhounds are a blend of these qualities rolled into one:

  • Even-tempered
  • Patient
  • Affectionate
  • Loyal
  • Outdoorsy
  • Independent
  • Determined
  • Attention loving
  • Gentle

Bloodhound Training

Training Bloodhounds is not a cake walk especially if they are novice owners. Thus, firmness and consistency are vital to handle these canines. Bloodhounds can go sniffing around, so training them on a leash is strongly recommended to keep their “hunting by scent” instincts in check. Since Bloodhounds are great droolers, they will have snoring and howling tendencies. However, these canines can be excellent human and pet companions when trained and socialized early. Training Bloodhounds for obedience is again a challenge. Their training methods should include the following:

  • Leash training  
  • Crate training  
  • Potty training
  • Firm training and consistent training
  • Positive training method with rewards and treats
  • Training for obedience
  • Training for prey drive and mouthiness
  • Early socialization
  • Training for wanderlust tendencies

Here are a few dog interactive toys and products that you can use while training:

ASOCEA Dog Extendable Teaser Wand
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Dog Training Collar with Remote
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Ultra Tug & Toss Dog Toy
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Dog Puzzle Toys
Buy at Amazon

Trainability Overview 

Easy to train Medium 
Intelligence Medium to high
Mouthiness tendencies High
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium
Prey drive Medium to high
Wanderlust tendencies High

Bloodhound Exercise Needs

Bloodhounds are highly energetic dogs. They need a secured high fence as they are excellent scent hounds and would require daily walks to meet their exercise needs. An idle Bloodhound is a destructive Bloodhound. Therefore, engaging him physically and mentally is mandatory to keep him happy. Remember, Bloodhounds would need a house with a large area or a strongly fenced backyard to play. If you live in an apartment, ensure you take them outdoors to exert their energy.

Exercising Bloodhounds is essential mainly for three reasons:

  • To keep the pet mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Avoid any other destructive behavior.
  • To keep the pet away from obesity.

Here are a few puzzles and dog toys to keep Bloodhounds engaged:

Nina Ottosson
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TOMAHAUK Snuffle Mat for Dogs
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TRIXIE Dog Activity
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LOOBANI Dog Food Puzzle
Buy at Amazon

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level High 
Exercise needs High
Intensity Medium to high
Playfulness Medium

Bloodhound Grooming

Bloodhound sheds moderately. His coat is short and rough textured and so has fewer chances of matting. Their grooming regime will include brushing them weekly. 

Trim their nails, check and clean their eyes and ears, and maintain their dental hygiene as a part of regular grooming. It is enough to bathe him once or twice annually with a mild bath shampoo for dogs. Remember that excessive bathing can remove the natural oils from your canine’s skin. Also, ensure his wrinkles and folds are kept clean, as dirt and bacteria may accumulate in these areas and cause infection. Some grooming product suggestions for your pet:

Grooming Kit
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Dog Shampoo
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WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Earth Rated Dog Wipes, Plant-Based and Compostable Wipes for Dogs
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Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Buy at Amazon

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmers
Buy at Amazon

Grooming Overview

Easy to groom Low 
Drooling tendency High
Amount of shedding Medium to high

Bloodhound Health

Bloodhounds are relatively healthy breeds. However, like any other breeds, they are prone to health conditions stemming from their lineage. Thus, to keep them healthy, it is vital to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular health checkups and ensure that he is updated with vaccinations. The lifespan of Bloodhounds is 11 – 15 years. Some inherited health problems are listed below:

Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia occurs when the elbow joint bones don’t align properly. This misalignment causes abnormal pressure at the joint, leading to chronic rubbing and being prone to severe osteoarthritis. Symptoms include: 

  • Mild to moderate pain  
  • Lameness in the forelimbs

Although the symptoms begin to show as early as four months, some dogs will not show these signs until later in life. Further, the disorder may also injure the elbows, but one of them may be heavily affected. 

Hip Dysplasia: A disorder that affects canines in their growing phase. It leads the hip joint to relax, resulting in discomfort and dysfunction. In addition, the cartilage and bones in the dog’s hip start to wear away as he develops. This leads to arthritis, muscular atrophy, and decreased mobility over time.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: A life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested dogs, especially if they have an overfed meal, eat rapidly, drink excessive amounts of water, or exercise vigorously after eating. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus leads to bloating in the stomach. Your dog cannot vomit to get rid of excess air in his stomach, and blood flow to the heart is prevented. Blood pressure lowers, and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog may die. Suspect bloat if your dog is drooling excessively and is not throwing up. He might be restless with rapid heartbeats. If you notice the above symptoms, take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible.

Hypothyroidism is when a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are: 

  • Lethargy 
  • Gaining weight 
  • Reluctance to work out 
  • Hair loss

Entropion: Entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward, irritating the eyeball from eyelashes rubbing on the surface. In critical cases, entropion can cause a corneal ulcer. The treatment for this disease is surgical.  

Ectropion: Ectropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls outward, causing irritation, dryness, and damage to the eyeball and conjunctiva (the tissues surrounding the eye). The treatment for this disease is surgical. 

Epilepsy: A brain disorder that causes seizures. In most cases, there is no cure for epilepsy in dogs. Therefore, dog owners should maintain a seizure-free environment. 

Skin Fold Dermatitis: Pyoderma is an inflammatory skin disorder that develops in skin folds such as facial folds, lip folds, armpits, and groins. Pyoderma is commonly linked with acute moist dermatitis. To avoid this type of condition, it is better to thoroughly dry your Bloodhounds with meticulous care after a bath or wash. 

Ear Infections: This is most common in dogs with floppy ears. Fungi and bacteria can cause ear infections to thrive in the warmth and darkness provided. 

Health Overview

Overall health Medium
Weight gain tendencies Medium
Size Medium to high

Recommended Tests for Bloodhound

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Cardiac Evaluation

Bloodhound Diet and Nutrition

Bloodhounds are high-energy dogs and would require four to eight cups of high-quality dog food that is divided into two meals. Several commercial kibbles are high in proteins, but consider supplementing the kibbles with rich quality lean meat and canned dog food. Depending on his size, age, weight, and activities, consult your veterinarian and feed him the amount of food he will need. You can divide his meal time into two or three as per his veterinarian’s suggestions. Here are a few nutritious suggestions for your Bloodhound:

Blue Buffalo
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IAMS Minichunks
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Purina ONE
Buy at Amazon

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Dog Food
Buy at Amazon

Bloodhound Living Condition

Bloodhounds require the following living conditions to lead a happy and healthy life:

  • A fenced yard or ample space to run around.
  • A regular exercise regime.
  • If you live in an apartment, you must ensure that you provide time for his physical exertion.
  • Experienced pet owners.

Did You Know?

  • Bloodhounds could be seen in many fictional plots like Mickey Mouse’s Pluto.
  • An ideal Bloodhound’s nose has 230 million scent receptors.
  • Nick Carter, a dimed private detective, found many cases with the aid of Bloodhounds.

Bloodhound Club Recognition

  • ACA – American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR – American Canine Registry
  • AKC – American Kennel Club
  • ANKC – Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI – American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC – Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC – Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA – Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI – Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB – Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR – North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC – National Kennel Club
  • NZKC – New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC – United Kennel Club

Adding a Bloodhound to Your Family 

Adding Bloodhounds to your family will need proper research about their parent breed, cost, breeders, health, and certificates. Then, get your Bloodhounds from a reputable breeder who will provide you with vaccination and gene testing certificates. Also, ensure the health of the puppy’s parent breeds.

Rescue Groups

American Bloodhound Club Rescue

The Canadian Bloodhound Club Rescue

Southeast Bloodhound Rescue

Find a Dog

Bloodhound Videos


Bloodhound – AKC Dog Breed Series

Bloodhound – Top 10 Facts


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