The hound’s ancestors were created in medieval France to track deer and wild boar. Today, they are a very active and intelligent breed of dog whose keen sense of smell has earned them a special place in law enforcement and search and rescue. Their fans love them for their sweet nature and unique appearance. Although they are a purebred dog, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Consider adoption if this is the breed for you. Experienced dog parents will be hard-pressed to find a more affectionate and loving companion, as long as you don’t mind a little drooling here and there. But novices should beware of this breed’s notorious stubbornness and sensitivity. Hounds need firm, consistent training and plenty of exercise. Meet the breed’s needs and you’ll be rewarded with a contented and happy best friend for life. AniMall24 recommends a good large, spacious cage to give your large Bloodhound a place to rest and relax. You should also buy a dog water bottle for any outdoor adventures you have with your pup.
This is a very active breed, not the lazy dog you may have seen portrayed in The Beverly Hillbillies. Bloodhounds are working dogs and need long daily walks or runs. Bloodhounds are not suited to apartment living. They do best in a house with a large fenced yard. Bloodhounds are pack dogs and will enjoy the company of other dogs. A cat can serve in case of need. Bloodhounds drool and shed. Keep baby wipes or hand towels on hand throughout the house, and brush them weekly or more often if necessary. Bloodhounds love and are extremely tolerant of them. Teach children to treat a Bloodhound properly and supervise play with each other. Bloodhounds can be too big for small children; they can knock them over with a single tail flick. Bloodhounds need a fenced yard. This is not an option, but a necessity. If they find an interesting scent, they will follow it, head down, nose pressed to the ground, eyes covered by their wonderful ears, oblivious to traffic and other dangers. For the same reason you need a fenced yard, you need to walk a Bloodhound on a leash. Known for their stubbornness, Bloodhounds need an owner who is firm, loving and consistent. A Bloodhound that is mistreated or feels it is being mistreated will pout and hide. Bloodhounds do well with positive reinforcement training. Bloodhounds are prone to recurrent ear infections. Routinely check their ears and clean them regularly. Bloodhounds will chew and swallow the most unimaginable objects, from rocks and plants to batteries and remote controls. When they are not following a trail, hounds prefer to live indoors with the family. To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs to make sure they are free of genetic diseases that can be passed on to puppies and that they have a sound temperament.
Dogs that hunt by scent have been known for millennia. Reports of dogs “discovering and tracking animal tracks” date back to the 1st century AD. However, it was in medieval Europe that the dogs began to develop into the hound we know today as the Bloodhound. The first real reference to the breed by that name appears in a poem by Sir Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, entitled William of Palerne (1350). It describes a dog, called the Bloodhound, as a careful hunter on the trail of two lovers disguised as bears. It is clear from this poem that the name Bloodhound was a familiar word in the English language. The name comes from the dogs’ status as an aristocratic breed kept by nobles and abbots; in other words, it was a “blood” hound. These early hounds were known as St. Hubert’s Hounds, bred by the monks of St. Hubert’s Abbey, and were the ancestors of today’s Bloodhounds. During his lifetime, François Hubert (656-727) was a passionate hunter who devoted himself to breeding dogs capable of following the old, or cold, trails, an occupation he maintained even after retiring to a monastery following the death of his wife. After his death, he was canonised and became the patron saint of hunters. In France, one still hears the hounds referred to as Saint Hubert’s hounds. For several centuries after Hubert’s death, his hounds prospered. William the Conqueror took them to England when he invaded in 1066. They were prized gifts to monarchs and nobles. Elizabeth I, a noted huntress, kept packs of St Hubert’s Hounds, and Shakespeare described a dog that could only be one in his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “But a thousand years after their beginnings, the St. Hubert’s Hounds were put down by the French Revolution. With the aristocracy on the run and the chateaus in ruins, the great hunts disappeared. Fortunately for the breed, they were still prized in England, not only for their hunting prowess, but also for their ability to track down evildoers. The first written record of hounds tracking thieves and poachers dates from 1805, although stories of their use for that purpose date back to the 16th century. They also benefited from three trends of the Victorian era: the rise of dog shows, the new status of dogs as companions, and a society that loved all things exotic or unusual. They also enjoyed the patronage of the dog-loving Queen Victoria, who entered one of her Bloodhounds in a dog show in 1869. It was in England that the modern Bloodhound was developed, but the breed also came to America in colonial times. In a letter, Benjamin Franklin expressed his interest in acquiring some Bloodhounds to pursue marauding Indians. Through no fault of their own, the Bloodhound’s reputation suffered a blow during the Civil War, thanks to the depiction of the breed as vicious beasts in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Interest in them waned until 1888, when three English hounds competed in the Westminster Kennel Club show. Wealthy Americans became interested in them and began to breed them again, producing some very good dogs. Today, the hound is mainly used by law enforcement as a prey dog or for search and rescue work. It is a rare breed, ranking 45th out of 155 breeds and varieties registered by the American Kennel Club.