One of the oldest breeds that have been bred according to a standard was the Bloodhound. They were also believed to be one of the oldest dogs that came from Europe. The breed originated as early as the seventh century.
The most famous tale of their origins is the story of Saint Hubert, who was famous for being skilled at hunting and owning highly skilled deer-hunting dogs.
He eventually converted to Christianity and abandoned the hunt. He later became the patron saint for hounds and the hunt.
The Abbey of Saint Hubert in Mouzon, located in the Ardennes region of France, is famous for breeding dogs from the Middle Ages until the Renaissance.
The monks took special attention to breeding hounds.
They called those hounds ‘blooded’ or ‘of pure blood’ and thus where the Bloodhound got its name.
Another theory on how Bloodhounds got their name is because of their great ability to smell blood, meaning, they are highly skilled at hunting.
The Bloodhounds have been a respected breed. They have been widely used by the nobles during hunting, and even during diplomatic ventures. Nowadays, there are still few people who use Bloodhounds for hunting, but most are used as rescue dogs and pets.
Traits and Behavior
Even though they were used to hunt and track down people, they are not aggressive. Bloodhounds were bred to search and rescue people without harming them. This breed is very affectionate, especially to its family.
They are also great around children. Because of this friendly and affectionate nature, Bloodhounds are not suitable for guard dogs.
This dog is quite adamant at tracking scents. They would tirelessly keep at a scent for hours even on rough terrains and weather. Although intelligent, their stubbornness makes them quite challenging to train.
They are an independent breed that doesn’t like to be told what to do and don’t listen to commands well. Training this breed needs patience and extra effort. One trick to help with training a Bloodhound is food. This breed does well with food-based reward training.
This breed shows little to no aggression towards other dogs and non-canine animals. However, it is not uncommon that they show aggression towards same-sex dogs. But with training and socialization, this behavior can be prevented.
Pet Care and Diseases
Bloodhounds need long hours of physical and mental stimulation. It is because of their high energy and durable nature. If their exercise requirements aren’t met, they can become destructive. This breed is well known for being chewers, and they would chew about anything, especially if bored.
Bloodhounds don’t need any professional grooming. Regular brushing and baths are sufficient. However, their wrinkles and droopy ears require special attention.
Moisture that is trapped in between the folds of their skin can harbor bacteria and may develop into an infection.
The same can happen inside their ears. Owners should carefully dry the wrinkles after baths and check the ears for dirt regularly.
Bloodhounds have a life expectancy of up to 10 years. Unfortunately, they suffer from various diseases common in most purebred dogs. They are susceptible to infection, bloat, skeletal diseases, eye problems, and skin issues.
Bloodhounds have the most familiar appearance among the breeds in the world. They have a distinct wrinkled face, droopy ears, and ‘sad’ eyes. They are well-known for having serious expressions and large, drooling mouths.
This breed is a large and heavy breed among other hounds. An average Bloodhound stands at 25 to 27 inches and weighs about 90 to 110 pounds, with the females generally smaller. The dog should have a proportionate weight and height.
Because these hounds were bred for hunting and sniffing games, their noses were developed to fit such a purpose. As a result, they have long snouts with protruding noses. Their wrinkled jowls also help them smell scents.
The breed’s muscular and athletic body is covered in excessive skin which gives them their traditional wrinkly appearance. They come in tan and silver, as well as red coats, but, the most popular coat color is tan and black.
These dogs have an average life span of 10-12 years. The average litter size is about 5-7 puppies. Other names include Chien de Saint-Hubert, St. Hubert Hound, and Sleuth hound.
Because of their unparalleled sense of smell, the bloodhound was the first dog whose sniffing evidence was admissible in court.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Bloodhounds. Click this link: http://www.bloodhounds.org/