Have you ever thought about getting one of those big buddies to keep you company and to take care of?
Has a friend recommended the kind-looking Bloodhound, and then you started to wonder how a dog called a “Bloodhound” would be your new friend?
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about these affectionate, wise-looking guys. You’ll find out whether it’s the best choice for you or not.
The American Kennel Club gave the dog its formal classification in 1885, but the story goes back way before that.
The Bloodhound, a descendant of the St. Hubert’s Hound, was bred by monks from the St. Hubert’s Abbey in Belgium to help with hunting missions thanks to its strong sense of smell.
For centuries, the St. Hubert Monastery sent Bloodhounds to the King of France. It’s said that the dogs arrived in England in 1066 with William the Conqueror, and they were often given as precious gifts to kings and nobles.
Why are they called Bloodhounds? Maybe because they’re extremely good at tracking down the scent of wounded animals’ blood. The Bloodhound was first used for hunting boar and deer in medieval Europe. They accompanied royals on hunting trips.
Around the 16th century, they also were used to track people. For example, in Scotland, they were sent after cattle thieves. In the 18th century, Bloodhounds were used in England to help the authorities catch criminals.
The dog appears in literature in the works of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and paintings of Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873).
Bloodhounds are currently ranked 55th most famous breed in the U.S. Police and rescue teams always seek their assistance, and because they are so skillful, their testimony is accepted in courts of law.
Does that mean it can’t be a family dog? On the contrary, this breed is gentle, kind, affectionate, which makes it a great addition to your family.
The first thing that you’ll notice when you see a Bloodhound is the remarkably sad, mourning, wise look in its eyes.
It has a masculine, strong body structure. A Bloodhound’s weight ranges from 80 to 120 pounds. The male can grow up to 28 inches in height and the female to 25.
They have a relatively short life span of 10 to 12 years. If you maintain a healthy weight, proper diet, and good care, it can live even longer.
The fur coat of Bloodhounds can be black, tan, or red. Bloodhounds shed a lot and they have plenty of folds of loose skin.
Although they’re considered healthy dogs, Bloodhounds are susceptible to some health issues like hypothyroidism, dysplasia, epilepsy, eye problems, and bloat.
Do Bloodhounds drool? Yes, they do. A lot. Their drool can reach places you can’t imagine, like the ceiling.
So, keep some towels or grooming wipes on hand, because you’ll be doing some serious cleaning.
Bloodhounds are easy care-dogs. A proper diet, a simple grooming routine, and exercise can make a huge difference in the health and longevity of that sensitive, intelligent dog.
Bloodhounds are big dogs, so they need considerably large amounts of food. They need to be fed 4 to 8 cups of food daily, divided into two meals. A diet made of chunks of meat and vegetables wouldn’t only be rich in nutrients, but would also give the dog a chewing opportunity that Bloodhounds really enjoy.
A Bloodhound is a messy eater, so there are two things you need to consider: choosing non-messy foods that won’t get into its skin folds and narrow dishes so that its ears won’t get into the food.
Make sure not to overfeed a bloodhound and always consult a vet for a feeding plan appropriate for the dog’s age, size, metabolism, and activity level.
These big dogs also need a lot of freshwaters to stay hydrated. Although treats come in handy during training, make sure you don’t overdo it to avoid obesity.
Grooming and Health Care
Brush your furry friend’s teeth regularly and make sure you bathe and dry your Bloodhound at least once a month to reduce odor. It’s a good idea to invest in a good brand of shampoo for your dog.
Brush their fur coat with a rubber brush or slicker to keep it healthy and shiny, and to keep your furniture clean and hair-free.
It’s also essential to check their ears folds and the area underneath the neck to keep infections and irritation at bay. You’ll need to trim their nails one or two times a month to avoid discomfort and other health issues.
Your dog will be happy with a comfortable, thick-padded bed to sleep on, and it’ll help prevent calluses and hip and joint pain.
Be sure to follow the examination and vaccination schedule.
Bloodhounds need a great deal of exercise and physical activity. If they don’t get that, you and your neighbors will enjoy long bouts of baying and barking.
A good idea is to take it for long walks or to sign it up for training and obedience courses to challenge its mind and keep a healthy body.
Temperament and Personality
It’s really important to know how your new companion reacts to the world and how it likes to spend its time before you bring it home to get off on the right foot.
1. Is it really that Lazy dog pictured in movies?
Don’t be fooled by this wise, serene look on his face. This dog likes to play and move around big time. Not just that, if you don’t provide it with enough physical activity, you’ll learn to do that later the hard way.
A bored dog’s plan to drive you crazy will be as follows. It’ll chew on everything you hold dear, it’ll bark until you know it’s upset, and it’ll jump around and get all rambunctious.
Playing with this dog doesn’t require much equipment, but it’ll need a great deal of energy on your side. So, if you’re not an active person, you need to think twice before getting one of those playful dogs.
To keep your Bloodhound active, take long walks, or simply play hide and seek with it.
It’s always a good idea to include activities that involve following a scent, like teaching him to the material. You can also try placing treats under plastic cups to see how fast he can get them for you.
2. How is it around others?
Bloodhounds are gentle, sociable dogs. They show affection to their owners and their kids, as well as people they meet for the first time.
They love children and make fantastic play partners. However, make sure you always supervise a bloodhound with your child. Because they’re large-sized, they may accidentally knock down little kids.
Actually, if they don’t socialize often, they can become shy and suspicious of others.
Bloodhounds generally get along well with other animals, but they may show some aggression towards dogs of the same sex.
However, keep in mind that Bloodhounds don’t enjoy sharing their food or toys, which may cause some trouble with children and pets in your household.
3. Does it make a good watchdog or guard dog?
Bloodhounds have an exceptional sense of smell and very loud bark, so they’ll let you know if a stranger has entered your property.
But don’t expect too much. This dog is too friendly with people, which doesn’t make it a very good guard dog.
4. How big of a house do you need?
Although they can live in apartments, not small ones anyway, a house with plenty of room and a fenced area would be perfect for the dog.
The size of Bloodhounds and their playfulness will make it super hard to live in a cramped residence, especially if the dog owner has a family, too.
5. What else are they going to chew?
Bloodhounds are fond of chewing, hoping to find something to eat or just playing around whenever they’re bored.
The list of the things that they chew on is endless: batteries, remote controls, socks, or even rocks.
That may cause health issues and frequent visits to the vet or even object removal surgeries.
You can provide the dogs with appropriate chew toys that don’t pose a danger to his life.
6. How easy can training be?
You can start training your puppy as soon as you get it home, and by eight weeks, the puppy can do much of what you teach him. Don’t wait until the dog becomes too big and stubborn to listen to you.
Training Bloodhounds isn’t for amateurs, though. Bloodhounds enjoy a huge sense of independence and strong will and like to make decisions for themselves.
To train a Bloodhound, you need to be calm, patient, consistent, and firm. A good puppy training program would be helpful. Another good idea is choosing an adult dog, which will also be easier as the dog has overcome the annoying chewing phase.
7. Does it have a tendency to run away?
Bloodhounds have an incredible sense of smell that measures up to 4 times stronger than that of other dogs. They also don’t have a very good street sense.
These two facts, combined with the dog’s stubbornness and strong will, make a recipe for disaster.
So you can’t leave your dog outdoors in an unfenced area without a leash. If the dog picks up a scent that it likes, it’ll run after that scent for miles.
It won’t listen to you, and the droopy skin will cover the eyes, so the dog becomes almost blind. And it will most probably end up getting hurt in the process.
8. How noisy is a bloodhound?
Bloodhounds like to bark, or rather bay, which is somewhere between howling and barking.
They make a loud, deep, distinctive voice that carries a long way. They do that when they’re bored or when they pick up an interesting scent.
In a Nutshell
Bloodhounds are sensitive, affectionate dogs that you’d probably love to have as a companion for you and your family.
However, they may not be the option for you if you don’t have time available or don’t like to play a lot.
Abundant drool, barking, the need for large spaces are to be taken into consideration, too.