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Bloodhound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 23" - 27" (58.4 - 68.6cm)
  • Weight
  • 80 - 110lbs (36 - 50kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Black / Tan
    • Red
    • Tan
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Rescue heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

The Bloodhound is also known as St. Hubert hound, Sleuth hound, and Chien St. Hubert.


The Bloodhound originated in the St. Hubert monastery in Belgium. At the same time, virtually identical hounds were bred in Great Britain. Both breeds had a common ancestors and may have accompanied crusaders returning to Europe in the Middle Ages.

Date Of Origin

According to legend, the Bloodhound breed originated somewhere between 800 and 1000 A.D. It is generally accepted that the Bloodhound originated in the Middle Ages.


There is very little evidence to support any specific story about the Bloodhound's history. What we do know is that they existed in Belgium sometime after 800 A.D. and were brought to England shortly after. The English gave the name Bloodhound to this imported dog, completely transforming this Belgian hunting dog into one the highest quality tracking dog with the most exceptional olfactory organ of any breed known to man. Later on, this breed was mixed with the later-developed Basset Hound to increase the Basset's size.

Today's Bloodhounds are descended from those hounds, bred by Hubert, a 7th-century French monk who later became the Patron Saint of Hunters. Many strains, including hounds brought back to Europe by the Crusaders, have been blended to produce today's gentle giants.

The actual term "Bloodhound" did not originate directly from this breed's duties as a hunting companion, but rather refers to their status as the "blooded hound" (or full-blooded hound), and great lengths were taken early on to keep the strain clean.

Born in 1857, "Old Druid" was the first bloodhound champion. He was later sold to Emperor Napoleon III for his son, Prince Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, and taken to France. Photographs of him, of another famous hound, Cowen's Druid, and a woman named Countess, appear in a rare book from 1865 in the British Library, and may be one of the oldest remaining photographs of a bloodhound.

The Bloodhound was recognized by the AKC in 1885 and by the UKC in 1914.


The Bloodhound is a large, powerful dog with thin, lose skin that hangs in folds. It has a long, narrow head with a long, deep fore-face. The hazel to yellow eyes are deeply sunk, with heave lids. The very long, low-set ears fall in folds. This breed has a large nose, deep flews, and profuse wrinkles on the face and neck. There is a long neck with a large dewlap. The chest is deep ant the long tail is sickle shaped. The feet are large and knuckled. The coat is short and hard.

In the Middle Ages, the Bloodhounds were either black (St. Hubert) or white (Talbot Hound - extinct since the 1600's). Today, the Bloodhound is found in black and tan, liver and tan, or all red.


The Bloodhound is a good natured and outgoing dog. It is very affectionate and gets along with almost everyone, including children and other dogs and is particularly attached to its owner. It can be somewhat shy and tends to be sensitive. The Bloodhound is vocal, can be stubborn, and tends to slobber.

Training a Bloodhound involves finding the proper motivations for your particular dog, and may be very difficult. The Bloodhound's trainer must be patient and persistent, and the training should remain structured and fun. The Bloodhound is sensitive to both praise and correction, but never aggressive.

The Bloodhound requires a dog-experienced owner, in a home where the dominance hierarchy is clearly defined. Although they are not an energetic breed, the Bloodhound will require a daily walk as exercise. If allowed to roam off-leash, the Bloodhound must be confined to a fenced yard. If they catch a scent trail of interest, they will follow the trail with endless stamina and no amount of calling will bring them back.

The bloodhound is a family oriented breed and is not well-suited for long periods of isolation.


The Bloodhound is gifted with the most well-developed sense of smell of any breed of dog. The Bloodhound thrives on tracking scents while hunting, and not on the kill.

Besides hunting and tracking game, the Bloodhound is widely used by police around the world for searching for people. The Bloodhound is capable of picking up a "cold" trail, sometimes even several days old. They have been very successful in finding lost children, buried miners, and even buried treasure.

The Bloodhound is also a commendable companion dog but due to its friendly nature, it can not be trained as a guard dog.

Health Concerns

Possible health concerns for the Bloodhound include bloat, cardiac problems, ear infections, eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, luxating patellas, and thyroid disorders.

Additional Information

The Bloodhound requires a large-breed hound experienced owner. Hounds produce a unique sound called "baying" which is much different from a normal dog's bark. Baying for Bloodhounds can be extremely loud and may cause problems in suburban neighborhoods. The size of the Bloodhound may lead to unintentional damage to trinkets from the swinging of their tail or flapping of their ears.

Grooming a Bloodhound is easy and requires only twice weekly brushing with a soft bristled brush. The large, pendulous ears will need regular cleaning (likely 1 - 2 times weekly) to prevent infection caused by trapped debris.

On the popular 1960's sitcom Beverly Hillbillies, veteran canine actor Stretch portrayed Jed's Bloodhound Duke.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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