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BaxterBoo Blog
February 12, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Bloodhound

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  • Height: 23"- 27”
  • Weight: 80-110 pounds
  • Historical function: Tracking
  • Modern function: Tracking, companion
  • AKC classification: Hound

Physical Characteristics:

The Bloodhound has a distinctive look with a wrinkled face, droopy jowls, long, low-set thin ears, and soulful, sad looking eyes. The wrinkles and long ears help retain scents to enhance their tracking ability. The coat is wrinkled and short and can be black and tan, liver and tan, red and tawny, and red.

History of the Breed:

The Bloodhound has a history that extends back to the 7th Century in France. They were refined by monks in Belgium. The name Bloodhound comes from the idea that the hound was from pure breeding. Bloodhounds are famous for being able to discern human odors even days later, over great distances, even across water. Its extraordinarily keen sense of smell is combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct, producing the ideal scent hound, and it is used by police and law enforcement all over the world to track escaped prisoners, missing people, lost children and lost pets.


The Bloodhound is patient, well-mannered and gentle with all ages of people, especially children. Outdoors, the dog is very energetic and less likely to be obedient with the lure of interesting scents. Can be willful.

  • Best suited for: Law enforcement work, both for criminal investigations and rescue operations. A great family companion with calm, confident leadership. These dogs don't respect weak or harsh training which will bring out the stubborn nature of the breed. Needs an enclosed yard for safety.
  • Preferred living conditions: These dogs will do okay in an apartment as they are fairly inactive indoors, but they do require a long daily walk. Ideally, they would have at least a medium-sized yard to explore.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: An average shedder that is easy to groom with occasional brushing and rare bathing. Clean and check the ears, wipe the face of drool.
  • Exercise needs: Daily long walk, though keep in mind they may get distracted when an interesting scent catches their attention.
  • Life expectancy: 9-11 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to gastrointestinal ailments, especially bloat. Feed several small meals and limit exercise after eating. Hip dysplasia and eye problems may also occur.

Breed Club Links: American Bloodhound Club Perfect Pairings: Groom Mitt Pet Bath

Have any stories about a Bloodhound? Please share!

Photo courtesy of John Leslie.

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