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The Bloodhound is a very well known breed of dog. The meaning of the name of this breed is 'hound of pure or noble blood'. It is also known as a Sleuth Hound, Chien de Saint-Hubert and St. Hubert Hound. It is a large breed dog, that was bred to hunt large game including deer and boars. More recently it has shown its talent at hunting humans. Its skills are second to none, they can follow a scent over multiple days and large distances. This dog is the ideal scent hound for someone who needs those skills, because as well as its keen sense of smell it does not give up the chase, once it has the scent. This dog is regularly used by police for tracking purposes. References to bloodhounds began to appear in English literature in the 14th century. From this writing it can be surmised that the breed was already well established by then. It is no surprise given this breed fantastic nose, which is second to none. During the Medieval period bloodhounds were used as a limer. A limers job was to find the animals and then the animal was hunter by the hounds. It should be noted that it did not usually take part in the kill. It is also interesting to note that this breed was probably used to track humans in early history. For example it has been suggested that Robert the Bruce (1307) and William Wallace (1270) were follow by Bloodhounds.


The Bloodhound weighs between 33 kg to 50 kg, they are 58 to 69 cm to the withers. The common colours for bloodhounds are red, liver and tan or black and tan. This dog is large and powerful. Its back in unusually strong. The head is narrow and long and in keeping with the rest of the dog. The muzzle is fairly long and the nose is normally black. The eyes are sunk deeply and have a diamond shape due to the unique lower lids being dragged down. The eye colour generally goes from yellow to hazel. The ears are very long and placed very low, they are one of the most distinguishing features of this breed. The bloodhound looks like it was given too much skin so the skin hangs loose, this mostly around the neck and head. Interestingly the folds actually assist the dog in scenting its prey. The dewlap is exceptionally pronounce. The tail is generally carried high. Generally the coat of this dog is fairly short and rough. Standard colours are normally black with tan, tan with liver, red with tawny and full red. Occasionally there will be patch of white.


This is a very gently breed of dog. It is an affectionate, warm hearted dog. This makes them excellent pets, and they can go well with children. Though clearly due to their size it is important to always supervise with small children (this rule goes for all large dogs though). Due to its nature of being a tracker dog. It is a tougher job than average to train. These dogs need a strong owner as otherwise they will tend to do what they want. These dogs by nature of very strong willed, for example if they find a scent they will try and track it and it will be tough to dissuade them of this. This breed loves to get attention, but make sure that children do not annoy the dog as the dog will tend to just take it.

Grooming and care

The coat of this dog is fairly easy to take care of. Generally the best solution is to have a hound glove and to minimize bathing unless it is absolutely necessary. The ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly as they can be prone to infection. It should be noted that these dogs do tend to smell like dogs. It does not shed overly. These dogs need a good run in the park and plenty of exercise. It should be noted though that they may pick up a scent and run with it, so the owner needs a lot of strength to be able to control this dog. It should be noted that whilst growing these dogs should not be over exercised otherwise this can lead to problems down the road.


Bloodhounds have a median lifespan of 7 years, this should be noted is one of the shortest breeds of dogs. Bloohounds tend to suffer from gastrointestinal problems. Bloat is the most common form of this, and should be looked out for as it is the leading cause of death for this breed. Bloat caused death in 34% of the causes of death, quickly followed by cancer at 27%. They also tend to get problems with eye, ear and skin.