Owning a Bloodhound
If you are reading this you are considering the possibility of bringing a Bloodhound into your home. This will be a life changing experience and with careful preparation for the better. Bloodhound owners will tell you that their breed is different to other dogs. You need to accept from the start that they are not attentive with the desire to please their master's every command. Owners learn to live with their strong wilfulness and realise this is not a breed for the faint hearted.
Bloodhounds are affectionate and courteous to humans and other dogs and extremely sensitive to their owners feelings, but do not like to be left alone for long lengths of time. They are not suitable as guard dogs but will alert the neighbourhood with their powerful bay and greet visitors eagerly.
Here are some points to consider
The bloodhound is noble and dignified in appearance. Large and heavy built. Females weigh approximately 45kg and stand 24 -25 inches at the shoulder. The male hounds can weigh 55-60 kg (a small person) and 27 inches at the shoulder. Ruled by the nose their desire to hunt is legendary. Enticing scent is every where, other dog walkers, joggers or deer are "fair game" and anyone on the leash is often dragged along in the search. They become deaf to commands and oblivious to danger such as traffic.
In the home they can be house trained, they have even been known to open doors themselves. They need a well fenced garden as a determined hound can clear a 4 ft wall or squeeze through a small gap. They need a good daily exercise what ever the weather. The exercise needs to include mental stimulation as a bored bloodhound can very quickly become destructive, the list of chewed items is extensive as it is varied.
The tail is held high most of the time and wagged with exuberance. It will clear everything in its path, ornaments are not safe. The nose will counter surf and tidy up any morsels left in reach.
They forget their size and can easily knock over furniture or stand behind you as a trip hazard., If you have a family with small children you must be aware that bloodhound puppies are strong and boisterous and can easily knock over a toddler. Having said all that their temperament is above reproach as a rule. They are loving and protective towards what they consider as theirs. They love children but will play as softly or rowdily as they are being played with.
The Kennel Club Standard
Noble and dignified expression, characterised by solemnity, wisdom and power.
Possesses in a most marked degree every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces). Very powerful, standing over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds. Skin relatively loose.
Affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs. Somewhat reserved and sensitive.
Head and Skull
Head narrow in proportion to length and long in proportion to body, tapering slightly from temples to muzzle, thus when viewed from above and in front having appearance of being flattened at sides and of being nearly equal in width throughout entire length. In profile upper outline of skull is nearly in same plane as that of foreface. Length from end of nose to stop not less than that from stop to back of occipital protuberance. Entire length of head from posterior part of occipital protuberance to end of muzzle 30 cm (12 ins) or more in dogs and 28 cms (11 ins) or more in bitches. Skull is long and narrow, with occipital peak pronounced. Brows not prominent. Sufficient stop. Foreface long, deep and of even width throughout, with square outlines when seen in profile. Head furnished with only a small amount of loose skin. Nostrils large and open. In front, lips fall squarely making a right angle with upper line of foreface.
Medium size, dark brown or hazel, neither sunken nor prominent, the lids being oval in shape and meeting the cornea – front window of the eye – perfectly without any irregularity in their contour. Eyes should be free from any interference from the eyelashes. Any obvious signs of eye irritation must be heavily penalised. The eyesight of the hound should be unimpeded.
Thin and soft to the touch, long, set on low and falling in graceful folds, lower parts curling inwards and backwards.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Shoulders muscular and well sloped. Forelegs straight, large, round in bone with elbows well set in. Pasterns strong.
Ribs well sprung, chest well let down between forelegs forming a deep keel. Back and loins strong, the latter deep and slightly arched.
Thighs and second thighs very muscular. Hocks well let down, bent and squarely set.
Strong and well knuckled up.
(Stern) Long, thick, tapering to a point, set high with moderate amount of hair underneath. Carried scimitar-fashion, but not curled over back or corkscrew any time. When moving carried high.
Elastic, swinging free.
Smooth, short and weatherproof.
Black and tan, liver and tan and red. Darker colours sometimes interspersed with lighter or badger-coloured hair and sometimes flecked with white. Small amount of white permissible on chest, feet and tip of tail.
Height of adult dogs: 66 cms (26 ins); bitches: 61 cms (24 ins). Dogs usually vary from 63-69 cms (25-27 ins); bitches from 58-63 cms (23-25 ins). Mean average weight of adult dogs in fair condition 41 kgs (90 lbs); bitches: 36 kgs (80 lbs). Dogs attain the weight of 50 kgs (110 lbs); bitches: 45.5 kgs (100 lbs). Hounds of the maximum height and weight preferred, providing that quality, proportion and balance combine.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
A Black and Tan , Black Blanket and Red
Liver and tan
The Bloodhound is a true Dual purpose breed with many competing at trials one week and winning at a Championship show the following week . There have been many Show champions over the years as there have WT Champions but only 5 have achieved the prestigious title of Dual Champion these are
Dual Ch Ledburn Boswell
Dual Ch Ledburn Barbarus
Dual Ch Easebourne Tarquin
Dual Ch Chasedown Virtuous
Dual Ch Brumbies Dulcimer
A short Insight on Bloodhound History
The earliest recorded use of the term bloodhound is found in a poem ‘William of Palerne , written in 1350 and roughly translated from a much earlier French text, though the French poem did not use any terms that could be considered the equivalent of ‘bloodhound’. Suggestions that William the Conqueror brought the breed over to England in 1066 are probably far fetched, though it is perfectly plausible that the Normans brought hounds of various types over from the continent in the succeeding centuries to satisfy their thirst for hunting. These may well be the ancestors of the bloodhound but to state that the modern bloodhound arrived from France in the shape and form we have today would be incorrect.
Medieval hunting typically utilised two types of hound - a heavier built ‘limer’ used a leash hound with phenomenal scenting ability to seek out deer or boar, and lighter built ‘raches’, hounds used in a pack to actually hunt the prey once the limer had located them. The limers were known to be trained using trails of blood and almost certainly would also be used to track wounded game, deer that had been shot with an arrow but continue to run for some time afterwards, hence ‘bloodhound’. The notion that the name ‘bloodhound’ means pure bred, as in ‘blooded stock’, has been proven by recent research to be a Victorian fancy. During the medieval period breeds as we know them did not exist in a pure state,with much interbreeding, though dogs selected for specific purposes or roles certainly did.
Early sixteenth century texts also refer to bloodhounds and ‘sleuthounds’ tracking people, the sleuthhound being referred to in Scotland in particular to track sheep thieves and the like. The same breed or different? By the eighteenth century it is clear the terms were clearly interchangeable, even if they had previously been regarded as separate animals.
The modern bloodhound retains the extraordinary scenting ability of their ancestors and although they are out of favour with law enforcement agencies in Britain due to their reluctance to arrest, and training requirements that don’t fit with police training methods, in America they are very much the preferred trailing dog and extraordinary accounts are told of their ability.
Due to their gentle nature Bloodhounds also excel at finding lost walkers, missing children etc. As a pet they are gentle and affectionate, but are also messy, destructive and because they retain the characteristics of a very switched on hunter tend to have a short attention span when it comes to training basic manners!