If all you know of the Bloodhound is that he’s the baying dog on the trail of the criminal in movies, you might be afraid of him, but these hounds are sweet and lovable. They’re also stubborn and require a deft hand at training.
With his sunken eyes, deeply furrowed face and loose jowls, the Bloodhound resembles a person in dire need of a facelift. The sad-eyed appearance is misleading, however. This is an affectionate dog with a sense of humor and a strong character, traits balanced by a reserved and sensitive nature. He takes his name from his long lineage as a “blooded” hound, one kept by aristocrats for centuries and prized for his ability to trail game and people. Today he is renowned for his man-trailing ability and under certain circumstances his “testimony” is accepted in court.
When it comes to living with a Bloodhound, the house-proud need not apply. Noble he may be, but the Bloodhound is also big — weighing from 80 to 115 pounds — and odorous. His capacity for producing drool is matched by few other breeds, and when he shakes his massive head, slobber goes flying: onto walls, furniture and clothing. In accordance with Murphy’s Law, this is most likely to occur just after you have finished cleaning your home or have just gotten dressed for a night on the town.
While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Bloodhounds love their people, especially children, and will pine without human companionship. They should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the Bloodhound should be with them.
Bloodhounds have short, easy-care coats in black and tan, liver and tan, or red and need only a weekly brushing or wipe down. That’s where the easy part stops. The wrinkles must be cleaned daily and kept dry to prevent infection. Be prepared to wash the face thoroughly after every meal and wipe the mouth after your Bloodhound drinks water—before he shakes his head and slings water and drool everywhere.
Be aware as well that the Bloodhound has what can best be described as a musty odor. You can’t wash it away or disguise it, so be prepared to live with it and love it.
Other Quick Facts
Bloodhounds descend from the St. Hubert hound, developed more than a thousand years ago in France.
Bloodhounds are not lazy. They are bred to follow a trail for hours on end and nothing pleases them more. When they get bored, they are hugely destructive.