Bloodhound pros and cons
Owning a Bloodhound has advantages and disadvantages. Pros of owning a Bloodhound include the dog's affectionate and gentle temperament. Bloodhounds are superb tracker dogs with an exceptional sense of smell. Bloodhound dogs are good natured and are best suited for owners who have an interest in tracking.
Cons of owning a Bloodhound are as follows. Bloodhounds are big dogs that can be clumsy around the house. This breed is not ideal for the elderly or for families with young children. Bloodhounds are more appropriate for physically fit owners who can handle a large dog and who have the energy and indurance that is required in order to provide a Bloodhound with enough daily exercise. Bloodhounds tend to follow scent even when walking on the street and owners need to be able to have a good control over this oversized pet. Other challenges with owning a Bloodhound include the difficulties in obedience training that owners may experience with this stubborn and willful dog. Bloodhounds drool a lot, which is a disadvantage to people who like to keep their home spotless. Bloodhounds are loud dogs that enjoy the sound of their voice. Barking can be an issue. Bloodhounds are not suited for apartment living. This large dog needs a large space and a country home with a nice fenced yard is ideal.
Bloodhound male weight: 40 to 49 kg (90 to 110 lb)
Bloodhound female weight: 36 to 45 kg (80 to 100 lb)
Bloodhound male height: 63 to 68 cm (25 to 27 in)
Bloodhound female height: 58 to 63 cm (23 to 25 in)
Bloodhound coat: short and smooth
Bloodhound coat colors: black and tan, liver and red
How many puppies do Bloodhounds have on average?
Bloodhound litter size: 6 to 12 puppies
Average lifespan of a Bloodhound
Bloodhound life span: 7 to 11 years
Other names for Bloodhound breed: Saint Hubert Hound, Chien de Saint-Hubert and Flemish Hound
How much does a Bloodhound cost?
Bloodhound price starts at $400 and up per puppy, depending on many factors
Imagine how interesting the Bloodhound's life must be - the superb sense of scent enables the scent hound breed to successfully follow trails of any specific scent that can be over 100 hours old. The Saint Hubert Hound is able to follow any scent, even human. The determined dog can stay with the trail for over 100 miles and potentially longer. A Flemish Hound's olfactory sense has nearly 300 million receptors. In comparison, humans only have about 6 million receptors. This large and sometimes stubborn dog is used worldwide for rescue and criminal searches. Many Bloodhounds will follow the drift of scent a good distance away from the actual footsteps of the quarry. This method enables them to cut corners and reach the end of the trail more quickly. Sticking close to the footsteps is called "tracking". The freer method is known as "trailing", and is held to reflect the dog's concentration on the individual human scent. Having lost a scent, a well-trained bloodhound will stubbornly cast about for long periods, in order to recover it.
The bloodhound is handled on a tracking harness. A tracking harness usually has a metal ring above the shoulders, to which a leash is attached. This way the hound's neck is not jerked up when the leash becomes taut, as it would with a collar. The leash is at least long enough to allow the hound to cross freely in front of the handler. Some Bloodhound handlers prefer quite a short leash, giving better communication with the hound. Others liking something longer, maybe 20 or 30 feet.
The proven scent following talent earned the dog a reputation that is respected even in the court of law. In some countries the Bloodhound's evidence is admissible in the court of law. One Flemish Hound was able to bring about over six hundred criminal convictions and arrests. The owner of this scent hound breed will quickly learn that the scent tracking instinct is so strong that the dog may simply run away by following a scent. Only let the dog off the leash in a fenced area, and the fence needs to be tall enough for the dog not to jump over it.
This strong hunting breed needs long daily walks, which can be a disadvantage for an owner who is not physically fit. Insufficient daily mental and physical exercise will cause behavior problems and the dog may become difficult to handle. The Bloodhound breed can be stubborn when it comes to training. An owner needs to be an undisputed boss in the relationship with the dog. The owner needs to be firm but also gentle and consistent. The breed's main job is to be a scent hound. As you are walking your dog on the street, be prepared to let him follow a scent as this is his way of exploring the environment. Unlike other scent hounds, such as Foxhounds that can be very vocal as they are trailing a scent, Bloodhounds are normally silent when trailing. This silence during trailing was helpful during hunting, as the dog could quietly locate the prey in a discreet way so that the hunters could get closer to the hunted animal without frightening it. Going after a scent is mentally exhausting for your dog and makes a great exercise. The dog will constantly try to follow a scent and as an owner, you will need to get used to this behavior as the behavior is not possible to change because it is instinctual. Invest in a good tracking harness and let your dog enjoy exploring the world with his nose. Though Bloodhounds really enjoy following a scent, they often show no interest in the person that they have been trailing. Training the dog to identify the person they trailed can be difficult. An accepted method of identification is when the dog jumps up and places his paws on the chest of a person whose scent the dog trailed.
The Saint Hubert Hound is not ideal for living in a small apartment. A large, fenced yard comes in very handy. Without proper socialization the dog may become timid and suspicious of strangers. Be sure to start socializing him early. One of the advantages to owning a Bloodhound is that this dog has a stable temperament and can get along fine with other pets at home, as long as he was socialized to them at a young age. This dog needs an owner who is physically strong as the scent hound will try to pull the owner in different directions during walking - wherever the scent is guiding them and the owner needs to have enough physical strength to guide the dog. Not an ideal breed for older and more frail people for that reason. The Flemish Hound will usually bark for a reason - for example if someone is at the door - the dog will bark to alert you that someone is there. A helpful tip for when you are having guests - ask the guests to ignore the dog for a few minutes when they are entering your house. This way the dog will have a chance to sniff the guest without raising the excitement level and the dog will be easier to manage around guests.
Are Bloodhounds good with kids? Bloodhounds are not recommended for families with younger kids as the breed tends to be food possessive. In general, Bloodhounds do best as a one owner dog rather than a family dog.
Do Bloodhounds drool? Yes, Bloodhounds are known for abundant drooling - be prepared to do a lot of cleaning up as an owner. Some owners choose to keep clean towels nearby to take care of the excessive drooling, other owners like to use grooming wipes to take care of the drooling. Grooming wipes may be more sanitary as you don't have to reuse them and can always have a clean, fresh wipe whenever the circumstances call for one.
See video below where an owner of the breed is sharing her experience about what it's like to live with a Bloodhound dog.
Do Bloodhounds shed? Yes, Bloodhounds do shed and they shed more abundantly during the shedding periods that occur twice a year. Short coated dogs such as the Bloodhound are easier to manage with a hound brush. Brush the dog's coat with a hound brush a couple of times a week.
Shedding is not the only a con associated with owning a Bloodhound. Bloodhounds are also famous for their drooling. The excessive drooling is due to the dog's facial anatomy and owners of Bloodhounds often have a convenient towel to clean up the mess whenever the need arises.
Bloodhound care involves more than brushing the dog's coat. The long ears and skin folds need to be cleaned on a regular basis. People considering this breed should know that Bloodhounds drool a lot. Cleaning around a jaw is important for that reason. You may find pet grooming wipes helpful.
Train your Bloodhound puppy to have his teeth brushed. Dogs need to have their teeth brushed every day to prevent plaque from forming. When a dog's teeth do not get proper dental care, bacteria that naturally lives in the mouth will form plaque that will later harden into a yellow tartar around the dog's teeth. Tartar harbors plenty of harmful bacteria that can result in various health issues, bad breath and tooth loss. Prevent tartar from forming on your dog's teeth by regular teeth cleaning. Use dog toothpaste as human toothpaste is not safe for dogs. Dental chewing toys or treats are also a good way to help keep your Bloodhound's teeth clean and healthy.
Trim the nails as necessary. It is much easier to get a puppy accustomed to these grooming procedures rather than an adult animal. With patience, and consistency your dog will be comfortable with the procedure within a few weeks regardless of his age.
Bloodhounds have long, hanging ears that need regular cleaning to prevent ear infections. Use dog ear wipes that make it easy to keep your dog's ears clean.
Where to get a Bloodhound puppy or adult dog? A breed specific rescue center is a place where you can find many perfect Bloodhounds that are waiting to be adopted. There are many reasons why Bloodhounds end up in a rescue center and most get there due to no fault of their own. The owner of the dog may be unable to care for the dog for whatever reason or someone in the family develops pet allergy. It may be difficult to get much information about the dog that you are getting from a rescue center. Be sure to observe the dog's behavior, his demeanor around other dogs and people and find out all you can about the dog's past and his general behavior from the rescue center staff. It is likely that the older dog you're getting from a rescue center is already house trained and knows all the basic obedience commands. Older Bloodhounds are more relaxed than younger puppies and their temperament is already established. What you see is what you get is often the case when you are adopting an older dog. Bloodhound puppies and younger dogs can also be found at rescue centers. Check with your local rescue center to find out about the Bloodhounds that may be available for adoption.
In case you are getting a Bloodhound puppy from a reputable breeder, be sure to find out as much as you can about the dog's health history as well as health history of his parents and grandparents. Ask to see the parents of the puppy and pay attention to their temperament. To quickly assess the temperament of all puppies in a litter, use the puppy personality test. Establish the rules as soon as the Bloodhound puppy enters your house for the first time and stay consistent. It may take a while before you have the dog housetrained. Consistency during housebreaking is very important to achieve the desired results.
The Saint Hubert Hound is not the easiest breed to train, which is a con to owning a Bloodhound. The stubborn temperament makes this dog a challenging student. Nevertheless it is important to have this large and strong breed well-controlled by the owner. Obedience training is highly recommended and you need to start training the Bloodhound in the first few months of its life, otherwise the training can be difficult because of the dog's stubborn temperament. This impressive looking dog needs plenty of walking every day to stay in good physical shape. Mental stimulation is just as important. Scent tracking activities help to mentally stimulate your Bloodhound. Play various games with the dog starting at a young age. The scent hound will appreciate activities that involve following a scent. A simple game that you could try with your Bloodhound doesn't require much equipment. All you need is a plastic cup and a treat. Put a treat under the cup and see how quickly the dog will learn to knock over the cup in order to get the treat. Come up with different games to play with your Bloodhound that involve finding items by scent. Teach your dog names of his toys and ask the dog to find the toy by its name. To teach your dog the name of his toys, every time you get a new toy, let the dog know the name of the toy several times. Let the dog only play with that toy a few days and consistently keep naming the toy so that in a few days your dog will know it by the name. Once a Bloodhound knows a few toys by the name, you can train him to lead you to a specific toy. There are so many games that you can play with your Boodhound to stimulate his mind and to bond with the dog in the process.
From a young age it is very important to properly socialize your four legged friend in order to raise a stable and confident dog that will be comfortable in any environment. Introduce your puppy to people of different ages, to men, women and of course children. Take your dog to the park, to a busy street, take the dog in a car with you to different destinations. The more various experiences you provide to your puppy, the more stable and confident your dog will be as an adult. Just don't overdo it - exposing the dog to different environment in small doses. The important part is to try to keep the dog confident and relaxed and your own energy can be very helpful. When the owner is relaxed and at ease, the dog feels that there's nothing to worry about and will also follow with the same attitude. Never let other dogs hurt or play rough with your puppy. Only let your dog play with other peaceful dogs, preferably of different sex and about the same age as your puppy.
Bloodhound health issues
Bloat is a common issue for a large dog breed such as a Bloodhound. Do not overfeed your Bloodhound to minimize the possibility of developing Bloat. If your Bloodhound is displaying any signs of Bloat, such as enlarged abdomen, the dog is acting restless and is heaving but nothing comes out. Call your veterinarian immediately as this disease can be fatal if not treated right away. Bloodhounds are also susceptible to various eye diseases such as dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, cataracts and entropion. If you are noticing any issues with your Bloodhound's eyes, get in touch with your veterinarian. The size of the dog increases the possibility of hip and elbow dysplasia. Knee problems and cancer are also known to affect this breed. Bloodhounds are also at higher risk of heart disease. If your dog is tiring easily, coughing and fainting, pay close attention as these could be signs of heart issues. All of these symptoms need to be mentioned to your veterinarian. The dog breed is among those with the shortest lifespan, from 7 to 11 years. Bloat and cancer are among the most common causes of death for this breed.
Providing the dog with a comfortable orthopedic dog bed helps to keep his weight evenly distributed while the dog is sleeping. Orthopedic dog beds with removable covers are easy to keep clean.
Overweight dogs are susceptible to all kinds of health issues and it is important to keep your Bloodhound in a healthy weight. Human food is not recommended. Feed your Saint Hubert Hound with a high quality, age-appropriate dog food twice a day.
Feeding your dog twice a day helps to lower the possibility of bloat, because when the dog is not too hungry, he tends to eat slower. When a dog is only fed once a day, he will be very excited to see the food and will try to eat it as soon as he possibly can, which results in gulping more air along with his food. Feed your dog when the dog is in a calm state of mind as excited dogs tend to swallow more air and that may increase the chances of developing a bloat.
A slow feeder dog bowl helps to slow down the dog during eating and that helps to minimize the amount of air that the dog swallows along with his dog food.
The Bloodhound breed was initially developed in Europe for hunting deer, wild boar, and since the Middle Ages for tracking people. The Bloodhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.