The bloodhound dog breed

T he origins of the bloodhound dog breed, also known as the chien de Saint-Hubert, is very old.  It was bred in the Ardennes in Belgium by the monks of the Abbey of Saint Hubert, who carefully selected them. It would descend from the black or black-furred hounds that were employed in the seventh century by the monk Hubert who, later, was appointed bishop and who, canonized, became the patron saint of hunters.

But its origins are even more ancient, it is already mentioned in 550 B.C. quoted by Xenophon, later it spread in every corner of the Roman empire following the legions. In the eleventh century it arrived in England following William the Conqueror. In the same era, there were also introduced dogs of the same type but with a completely white coat, called “Talbot”. These imported dogs gave rise to a lineage. Those produced by the breeding of these chiens de Saint Hubert were called “bloodhound”, which comes from “blooded hound” which means “a dog of pure blood”, therefore of pure breed.  Coupled with molossoids was employed in the south of the United States first against the indigenous peoples and later in the search for fugitive slaves.

It was used a lot in different conflicts, especially during the first world war, as a brave and tenacious search and rescue dog. In America this breed has spread more and is used by the police to find missing persons.  It is certainly the most famous bloodhound in the world.  Selected for hunting large animals such as deer and wild boar, its sense of smell has been developed to follow the tracks left by wild animals.

In fact, the bloodhound is the hound par excellence, its infallible sense of smell is superior to that of any other dog. His sense of smell is so valued that for a long time in America the identification of a criminal made by him was accepted as evidence even in court.

Character of the bloodhound dog breed

From the time when it was used for hunting or for the search of slaves, over the years this breed has changed its character, until arriving at the current one; affectionate and docile.

The bloodhound is a peaceful dog, with a mild disposition towards all living beings, cats included, shy and reserved with strangers but very affectionate with the family, with children it is ideal as its patience is practically infinite, it rarely barks as it rarely loses its natural calm wisdom.

It is very easy to train it because it is an intelligent dog and sensitive to rebukes and rewards. therefore also suitable for those who have no experience in dogs. His main role would be that of hunting dog, but he easily gets used to living in an apartment, but he likes to run in open spaces and have fun.

He loves to be taken care of by his owner. He loves to be in contact as much as possible with people he considers friends. It is a very affectionate and faithful breed. If accustomed, it gives no problem to be in the house with the family. It is quite calm if not stimulated to activity.

Appearance of the Bloodhound dog breed

The bloodhound is a large hunting dog, the largest of all hounds, classified as a braccoid. The male can reach 67 centimeters at the withers for a weight that can reach 54 kilograms, the female usually a little less.  The thorax is wide and descending, the back wide and ample and very strong in relation to the structure of the dog.  It has well muscled and strong limbs. The tail, curved and in the lower part garnished with hair about 5 cm long.

The head and the neck attract the attention for the abundant, elastic and fine skin, which hangs in deep folds.
Its movement is impressive, rather slow and oscillating with some rolling, but soft elastic and loose. The idea one gets from it is one of calm, firmness and majesty.

The head is large but not wide, it has long ears attached very low on the skull, carried hanging forward. The eyes are small, hazel and sunken.

The coat is short and quite hard on the trunk, but soft and silky on the ears and skull. The colors of the breed are black-focused, unicolor fire and brown-focused. Black-focused specimens are among the most prized and sought after.

Health and Care of the Bloodhound Dog Breed

The bloodhound, on the whole is a very sturdy dog, the only blemish being the eyes which tend to flare up easily. It has an average life expectancy of around 12 years. It needs daily movement, therefore it should be taken out several times during the day. It also needs olfactory stimulation and enjoys searching for small prizes.

It has no particular needs as far as coat care is concerned, it is enough to brush it once a week and check the ears and eyes.

As far as diet is concerned, in spite of its rather large size it does not eat much. Meals should be given twice a day in adulthood and must be fed in a balanced and careful way.

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