The Bloodhound is a very ancient breed and riding to hounds in ‘olden times’ was a very important part of medieval society. It is thought that the forerunner of today’s Bloodhound was the eighth century St Hubert named after Francois Hubert who wanted to breed his perfect hunting hound.
The name Bloodhound is thought to come from the purity of the bloodlines and not from blood hunting. William the Conqueror is said to have brought some over to England when he came over in 1066.
The Bloodhound is a large hound with long ears, loose skin and a nose that will lead him everywhere. They have a noble and some would say soulful expression but they are not at all as sad as they look. They are affectionate and neither quarrelsome with companions or other dogs.
They can be somewhat shy and sensitive and will be easily scared by too harsh handling and correction. They can be very gentle and home loving and at other times will put their noses to the ground and totally ignore your calls to come back.
Because of their large lip they can slobber and this can be sprayed all over the place so the Bloodhound is not for everyone. The best way to check if they are for you is to meet some adult hounds, touch, feel and spend sometime talking to owners/breeders BEFORE you buy a delightful cute puppy that will grow into a 55/60 kg dog.
Bloodhounds are relatively healthy. Hip and Elbow dysplasia can occur but to date is not a problem that requires a scoring scheme. Eyes have improved dramatically over the past years and Entropian and Ectropian are now much less common. There are some cases of ‘dry eye’ however this is treatable (for life).
Skin problems are not prevalent but cases of skin allergies do occur and with loose skin comes skin folds which must not be allowed to stay damp continuously which will allow bacteria to grow and cause irritation. They can suffer Bloat/Torsion a life threatening condition in which their stomachs fill with air and this will require immediate veterinary treatment. In view of their size pet insurance is strongly recommended.