The Amazing, Placid Bloodhound

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Weight: 80 — 120 lbs
Height: 23” — 27”
AKC Rank 2008 #41
Lifespan: 7—10 yrs
Group Hound
Origin England

Dog Breed Info - The Bloodhound

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Breed Overview

Origin: Middle Ages. Original function, tracking. Today, search and rescue. Drools profusely.

The Breed probably goes way back to ancient times. This dog got the reputation of tracking scents of actual blood, which is not right. They followed the scent of animals of the “blue blood” hunting “Royalty of England.” This breed has been known in America since the mid 1800’s. They gained the reputation as “slave trackers.” They have since proved to be one of the most useful breeds, especially in law enforcement. They use their amazing sense of smell to track lost persons and criminals. After the person is located, the dog's job is finished.

It’s ironic that many people were afraid of the Bloodhound because they thought the name indicated the dog tracked actual blood and had a hunger for the blood, which is idiotic. The breed is well known in America but not one of the more popular house pets.

"How To Train Your Blo9odhound" is a 96 page hardcover book that gives you information about getting the dog, caring for it and basic training you can do at home. Bloodhounds are intelligent, complex dogs and one small book won't cover every aspect, but the book has a 5-star customer approval rating This is a worthwhile book for lovers of the breed.

Man-Trailing: How to Train Your Bloodhound


Can be stubborn. They will track a scent without training but needs formal training in obedience commands. This is a big animal and must be controlled at all times. clicker training works well but takes a lot of repetition.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Bloodhound puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some Bloodhound puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


For all it’s calm manners at home, the Bloodhound is a tireless tracker when out searching for something. The dog is tough, stubborn and independent, yet it is so gentle and placid that it is extremely trustworthy around children. This is not the “lazy” dog portrayed in folklore, but instead is an active companion. It is not the easiest dog to train. This dog can be reserved with strangers. Once this dog gets on the trail of a scent, you can’t call it off. Thus, it must be exercised in a safe area.

Bloodhound puppy, quiet as usual.
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Somewhat. This is not an aggressive dog. The Bloodhound may be wary of some dogs but generally is friendly.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes, very much a family dog. Should get along with family pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, generally accepts people, especially if socialized properly as a very young puppy.


No, not very playful.


Yes. Very affectionate. Needs to be with his family Bloodhounds are gentle, docile loving family dogs that need human interaction.

Good with children

Yes... this breed is laid back and quite tolerant. Older kids might enjoy this dog. Very young kids could get injured. Probably not playful enough for the interests of some children,

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Too big, too much exercise required.

Living environment

House with a big, fenced yard. The dog should never be out of the yard with out a leash. He will find a scent and disappear.

Energy level


Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. The Bloodhound is not a race horse, but has great endurance and needs good long walks daily. It needs plenty of exercise.


Fairly good. Will alert to people at the door.

The very intelligent scenthound, the Bloodhound.
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Guard dog

No. Too friendly. The Bloodhound instinct is to track but not harm his prey.




Clean facial wrinkles daily due to excessive drooling. It's essential to keep the wrinkles clean and dry to prevent infection!

Ear tips drag in food and need cleaning daily. The ear canals need regular cleaning too. Dog needs a bath frequently in warm weather.
Brush weekly or more to remove dead hair.

Bloodhound Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Bloodhound puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Bloodhound puppies turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway.
Bloodhound Breeders with puppies for sale.

Bloodhound Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Bloodhound Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Bloodhound RescueAt this time, there are only 266 dogs listed as available by Petfinder for the entire USA, so this breed is a bit scarce. Go online and search for Bloodhound Rescue or other types of kennels.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but the Bloodhound Rescue groups seem to be rare so check online. Also, try your newspaper ads for kennels and dog pounds and foster homes for the breed.

Health Issues For The Bloodhound
Below are the illnesses or medical problems listed for the breed by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Skin fold dermatitis—Infection normally affects the folds on the face where moisture and dirt are trapped in the skin folds causing inflammation. The vet will give you a cleansing shampoo to fight the infection and an antibiotic cream of some kind. In severe cases where the problem won’t subside, surgery might be the last resort to remove a few folds. Commonly found in bulldogs, mastiff’s, Bloodhounds, Pekingese and Pugs.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Cherry eye—One of a dog’s tear glands is in the third eyelid. The gland contributes a significant amount of fluid to lubricate the eye so it can not be removed. A congenital defect in a few Bloodhounds, it's breed related and allows the gland to bulge out because it is not held strongly in place. Thus, the gland prolapses out to a visible position as a reddish mass. Out of position, the gland does not move blood properly and so may swell. Since the gland is needed for lubrication in the eye, vets now do a “tuck and stitch” procedure that pouts the gland back in place and preserves the original function of tear production.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart, causing the heart to work harder for the Bloodhound. If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life. The dog’s most affected by this condition are the Newfoundland, Bloodhound, Boxer, and Golden Retriever.

  • Otitis externa—Ear Infection. Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca—(Keratitis)KCS A fancy way of saying “dry eye.” Inadequate tear flow causes painful eye infections of a chronic nature. Causes vary from distemper to certain medications to removing the third eyelid tear gland.. Often treated with cyclosporine drops. or an ointment called cyclosporine topical therapy.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness and difficulty walking for the Bloodhound. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the Bloodhound is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

Other health problems could occur with Bloodhound. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.

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