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The Bloodhound is often misunderstood as some fierce creature because of its historic work trailing fugitives and prison escapees.  Instead, while this work has proven valuable in that venue as well as finding those who are lost or kidnapped, the Bloodhound is actually very much a cousin temperamentally to its other Scenthound cousins.  Like the Beagles and Coonhounds, the Bloodhound is generally easy going, laid back and very gregarious, with a strong strain of tolerance and friendliness.  Perhaps no group of dogs exceeds the qualities that the Scenthounds in general offer to families with children.  True, there are some challenges to living with a Bloodhound.  Just watching the dog get a drink of water can seem somewhat dramatic but the overwhelming love that comes with them makes these prices small indeed to those that know and love this breed.
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General Information
Group(s): HoundsScent Hound Height: 23-32 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 65-130 pounds or more Longevity: 10-13
Colors: red, liver and tan or black and tan Coat type: smooth
Recognized Registries: FCI, NCA, UKC, AKC and others
Overall Appearance: This remarkably powerful dog has much of his/her athleticism masked by heavy and "extra" skin which forms folds and wrinkles creating a distinctive sad look but actually serves a multitude of purposes. The Bloodhound is substantial and powerful which is clear to anyone who looks past all that skin to the musculature and large feet of the breed.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: low to moderate; very rarely if ever a
General Nature: exceedingly genial
  with Children: EXCEPTIONAL although to be fair to the dog the children must be supervised and well behaved
  with other pets: generally good but some may be inclined to chase/trail cats and other animals
  with dogs: generally very good but most will not stand for being pushed around so the other dog must be reasonably well mannered
Socialization requirements: moderate: giving the Bloodhound puppy the opportunity to see that the world is a friendly place will only confirm their general expectation
Ideal home characteristics: Must appreciate this genial nature and distinctive appearance while also accepting the unique variations these present from minor things like getting a drink to having a potentially poor recall
Temperament Notes: very gregarious, often low energy, can be challenging to motivate
Training requirement: relatively minimal, socialization mostly with some basic manners training
Trainer notes: The Bloodhound's treasure is no secret.  That nose is their claim to fame.  But hardwired to that nose is a brain that drops all other matters when the nose delivers a scent of something interesting.  As a result, much training of the Bloodhound can be very challenging as the distraction created by a scent can be total and difficult to over come.  In fact some have theorized that the brain is on such an overdrive when engaged by the nose that the requests of a trainer are more like the background noise of a radio that you can't quite make out than a conscious effort to ignore the cues.  As a result, the Bloodhound is a dream to work with in some ways and an unusual challenge in others.  Additionally, their energy level is not exceedingly high (relative to other dogs) so training sessions must be kept short and totally fun in order to prevent boredom and burnout.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: ancient
Country of Origin: in its modern form, England but originally around the Meditteranean
Original Function: scenthound, trailing, man trailing
History: possibly dating to before the Christian era, but definitely recognized and treasured since before the Crusades
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: too large, too refined, incorrect coat coloration, loss of wrinkling
Health Notes: tendency to bloat, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart issues, eye problems
Health Testing: OFA, CERF, OFA for cardiac
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Bloodhounds?
  • How do you determine show quality from companion only quality?
  • What would you consider the ideal Bloodhound?
  • What criteria do you use in selecting breeding stock?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What health clearances do you get on your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • What do you consider the ideal Bloodhound home?
  • At what age do you send your puppies to their homes?
  • What suggestions can you offer in raising and training a Bloodhound?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
Web Sites: Bloodhound Rescue

Other Resources
Breed standard: Bloodhound Standard

Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the American Bloodhound Club

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