Bloodhounds are probably familiar to most for their keen sense of smell and their depiction as a great tracker in campy detective shows. But there is much more to this lovable and gentle dog breed than just a remarkable nose. The dignified bloodhound gentle and can oftentimes make a good pet with sufficient training. They are also used in law enforcement for their excellent tracking abilities. If you are thinking about adopting a bloodhound as a canine companion, you’ll definitely want to know all the breed information there is to know.
What Does the Bloodhound Dog Breed Look Like?
Once you know what a bloodhound looks like, there’s no mistaking this dog breed. The distinctive long ears that hang over the sides of the dog face and the slightly wrinkled skin around the face and body are trademarks of the bloodhound’s looks. And while the bloodhound is usually a happy breed, they do tend to look a bit sad and mournful at times because of the above facial features.
Bloodhounds appear with black and tan fur, red fur, or tan and liver color combinations. The black and tan bloodhounds tend to exhibit much more black fur with some tan spotting.
Male bloodhounds stand approximately 26 inches tall when adults, and weight about 90-130 pounds. Female adult bloodhounds are slightly shorter, but can still occasionally grow as large as males/ They weight about 80-100 pounds.
Bloodhound Personality Traits
The bloodhound definitely has personality and isn’t afraid to show it. Proper training can help keep this determined dog breed in line, but they can be quite a challenging handful otherwise.
That being said, the bloodhound is often quite gentle and calm, making them great family pets when they are suitably trained. They are also good with children and other family pets. However, it is recommended that they are quickly introduced to children and other pets when they are young in order to help ensure that they are familiar with them. This will greatly help them be well-behaved as they grow older.
They are also curious dogs, especially when they catch an interesting scent. They will be determined to investigate and will likely ignore your commands when it becomes focused on following a scent trail.
If you’ve seen bloodhounds in cartoons or the movies, you’ll probably also recognize their distinctive baying and howling. They can tend to whine a lot too, but their vocalization is also something quite superb, oftentimes melodious.
Bloodhound Dog Breed Behavior
The bloodhound also has some other characteristics you’ll want to be aware of before you make the choice to adopt. For starters, they do tend to drool a lot, so if cleaning up drool or getting some dog saliva affection dripping on you isn’t your thing, you’ll want to reconsider this dog breed. And remember, when a dog like a bloodhound shakes his head, drool splatter is sure to follow!
Bloodhounds also do not mature as quickly as many other dog breeds, and so tend to exhibit a lot of puppy behavior for longer periods of time. This includes general clumsiness that many puppy breeds have, which can make them cute and endearing, but also annoying as they knock things over.
They are also curious to taste many things that they shouldn’t be tasting, and then proceeding to chew on those things as well. And while you certainly don’t want to find your television remotes, shoes, towels, and other household items chewed up, you also don’t want to have to pay for an expensive surgery when your bloodhound swallows something it shouldn’t, so you’ll need to keep a watchful eye for a few years as the bloodhound matures.
That being said, the bloodhound can definitely be trained to behave and showcase good manners, but you’ll need a great deal of patience and training will need to be done on a consistent basis. They can be very easily distracted, especially when being trained outside where there are numerous distractions for this dog breed.
And, even with solid training, you’ll want to avoid unleashing your bloodhound in an unfenced area—as mentioned above, an interesting scent supersedes all training and commands, and your bloodhound can take off after a trail fairly quickly.
Bloodhounds are quite energetic and enjoy getting lots of exercise, so you’ll want to be able to provide a good space for this dog breed to run around in. They’ll also enjoy long walks and will take a great deal of time sniffing out new places to explore. They can get bored easily, so opportunities for exercise and activity are very important.
Because they are so energetic, you’ll need to provide them with a good amount of high-quality dog food.
Bloodhound Health and Lifespan
Bloodhounds tend to live an average of 10 years. During that lifespan, they’ll need a good amount of care to ensure they maintain good hygiene. The excessive folds in the bloodhound’s skin will need to be groomed and cleaned often so that yeast and bacteria do not develop. A thorough bath at least once a month is recommended, as is thoroughly drying them afterward. The bloodhound also has sensitive skin, so you’ll want to ask your veterinarian for a good shampoo to use.
The bloodhound’s ears also need to be checked for infections on a regular basis, as bacteria can flourish, especially during the summer when the weather is humid. And, as with most dogs, the nails must be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrown nails that can lead to discomfort and other health issues.
Overall, the bloodhound is a healthy dog breed, but can still suffer some health issues as they grow older, including:
As always, consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog has symptoms of these health conditions or any other health problems. Pet insurance can also be very useful, especially as the dog grows older and more susceptible to health problems.
In conclusion, the bloodhound, when properly trained, can be a lovable and affection pet for yourself and your whole family!