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Inside the breed: Bloodhounds

imagesBloodhounds are excellent hunters and have been extremely popular for centuries. Bloodhounds’ history dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. There is evidence of a hunting dog at a monastery in the early eighth century that was named after the priest who cared for him, his name was St Huberts. Afterwards, the breed migrated and was modified in England images (5)becoming the Bloodhound we know today.

Bloodhounds have the best sense of smell amongst all dog breeds. This makes them a very useful dog not just for hunting but for search and rescue all over the world.

The loose skin and wrinkles around the face and neck may make this dog look a bit funny but all of this plus those long pendant ears are part of what makes them such incredible sniffers. The skin and ears help trap the odor when they put their nose to the ground so they can examine the particular scent.

Bloodhounds are big and sturdy, males weigh between 90 and 110lbs and their height at images (4)withers is about 26in. Females are a bit smaller at about 24 inches and weighing between 80 and 100lbs. They have a sturdy, powerful frame and a long otter-like tail. Bloodhounds have dark hazel or brown eyes that usually match their coat. Their coat is short and smooth and is usually black and tan or reddish brown. They need circular brushing to remove hair and can be bathed about once a month. The ears do require some additional care, these should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week to prevent excessive humidity that can lead to ear infections. Their nails should be kept short to avoid leg joint problems.

images (3)Bloodhounds are sociable, friendly and very gentle which makes them great companions for children and other pets. Though they can be stubborn following a scent they usually aim to please. These beautiful pups are quite strong and should always be walked on a very secure leash or harness. Remember they were bred to follow a scent at a reasonable speed so unless you invest some time in training, Bloodhounds will drag you to get to that scent.

Bloodhounds need to be walked for at least a couple of miles daily or allowed to run in a secure fenced-in yard for several hours a day. Bored Bloodhounds will try to find images (2)entertainment by wondering off after a scent, so it is important to never leave them unattended for long. Like most hounds, they have a loud, deep bark to alert their handlers.

There are usually six to twelve puppies in a litter. Bloodhound puppies are usually dark black, their coats will lighten as they mature. Bloodhounds take a long time to mature, they will have that puppy like attitude for about 3 years.

So if you’ve fallen in love with that wrinkly face and have plenty of space and time to exercise this gentle but big pup, then a Bloodhound might be the dog for you. Please make sure you are getting this pup from a rescue group, shelter or reputable breeder.

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This story was written by Agatha Weisz

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