Bloodhound – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Bloodhound is a large size scent hound and one of the best breeds when it comes to tracking people. Read on to discover more interesting facts on this ancient breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
23 to 27 inches ttall at the shoulder
80 to 110 pounds
Life Span:
11 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Bloodhound is a large size scent hound, that was originally bred for hunting deer. This is an ancient breed, and its roots can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

Even today, this breed can easily detect human scents from an amazing distance.

Not only they can catch the scent, but they can trace it days later.

Bloodhound, also known as the ‘Sleuth Hound’ is best known for this quality – finding people who are lost or hiding. When they are on duty, Bloodhounds will be fast, agile, and goal-oriented.

Also, when they are not on the line being busy, Bloodhounds will always be docile and chill. This breed isn’t for first time dog owners, or for those who don’t have experience with large size dogs.

Bloodhounds are large. These dogs usually have 80 to 110 pounds and 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder.

As long as you provide the proper care, great nutrition, and enough exercise, your Bloodhound should live between 11 to 15 years.

Quick Facts

Real name: Bloodhound
Other names: Chien de St. Hubert, St. Hubert Hound, Sleuth-hound
Origin: Belgium, France and United Kingdom
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 80 to 110 pounds
Height: 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 11 to 15 years
Litter Size: 8 – 10 puppies
Color: Chestnut red, pure black, tricolour (pure black and chestnut red), or brindle
Coat: Short coat

Bloodhound History

Hound dogs have been around for millennia. Their ability to discover and trace is much appreciated even today, and this trait is what has kept them around for so long. Although they have been around since the first century AD, the Bloodhounds that we know today are considered to be a young breed.

In fact, dog breeders started developing them in medieval Europe. A poem titled ‘William of Palerne’ and published in 1350 mentions a dog, called a Bloodhound, as a great hunter of amazing focus.

This poem shows that this breed was actually kept by noblemen. In early days, there were dogs named St. Hubert hounds, bred by the monks of St. Hubert’s Abbey – these dogs were in act ancestors of a breed that we today know as Bloodhounds.

In far 1066, these dogs were brought to England. England is where the modern Bloodhound was developed.

During colonial times, Bloodhounds were brought to the States. The American Kennel Club recognized the Bloodhound in 1885.

Today, they are used across the States in various search and rescue actions.

Bloodhound Physical Appearance

Bloodhound is a large size dog with a powerful body. Their average height is around 26 inches, and they can have between 90 and 4110 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females.

Their skin is thin to the touch and loose, especially around the head and neck. The head is narrow, while the skull is long.

Eyes are set deep and of diamond shape. The entire head is covered with loose skin. The nostrils are large and open, while the neck is open, and the shoulders are muscular. The back and loins are strong.

As for the color, Bloodhounds usually come in black and tan shades, liver and tan and red, or they may come in some form of darker colors.

A really small amount of white is allowed on the chest, feet, and tip of the stern.

Bloodhound Personality

Bloodhounds are soft, but stubborn dogs. True to their hound roots, they will try to solve a problem on their own, which is why they need an experienced dog owner.

Bloodhounds are affectionate dogs, who love being around people, but they should usually be shy around strangers. This is a sensitive breed, which means that you should provide training that is based on only positive training methods.

No dog should ever experience any harsh training methods. They may be vocal, so barking at anything that moves in front of the entry door is a possible scenario.

Since temperament is affected by several various factors, you should invest in training and early socialization.

Bloodhound With Children and Other Pets

Bloodhounds are great with people, and they will love being around children.

Since this is a large size dog it can happen for them to accidentally knock something or someone, which is why every interaction between dogs and children should be supervised.

No matter how great your dog and child/children might get along, make sure that you keep an eye on them.

For extra safety and to minimize accidents, you should educate your children on how to behave around dogs.

That being said, children must know the following:

  • Not to pull dog’s ears or tail
  • Understand that dogs are territorial beings
  • Not to disturb dogs while they are eating, drinking water, sleeping, or resting

As for the other pets, Bloodhounds should do fine with other dogs. They may see small size dogs as a disturbance.

Make sure that you make every dog-to-dog interaction slowly, well-planned, and on neutral ground. Bloodhounds do fine with cats, especially if they are raised together.

Is A Bloodhound A Good First Dog?

Bloodhound is a breed with a great sense of smell which makes them excited about almost any smell. As such, they are easily distracted.

Did you know that Bloodhound is one of the best tracking dogs alive? In fact, their sense of smell is so appreciated that Bloodhound is globally known for this feature.

Their noses are so powerful that they detect and track a certain smell for miles. Interestingly, they can only search for humans.

As such they are more than a great fit for search and rescue teams, and not so suitable to work as police and military dogs.

Somewhere is a scent of something interesting? Your Bloodhound will for sure run toward it. This is why this breed isn’t recommended for first time dog owners.

Bloodhound is a breed for experienced dog owners, who know their way around dogs with a strong scent.

Bloodhound Training

Training should start as soon as you bring your Bloodhound home. When it comes to training this breed, you need to be extra persistent.

Bloodhound has a mind of his own, which is why they will respond only to an experienced dog owner, who knows how to make every training session engaging, fun, well-structured, and reward-based.

Still, no matter how much experience you have with dog training, this breed will be a difficult one to train.

For maximum results, make sure that you provide training sessions that are:

  • Short
  • Consistent
  • Fun
  • Reward-based
  • Based on positive training methods
  • Engaging

If you feel like training this breed is too much work for you, think about getting some support.

There are usually two options:

  • Hiring a professional dog trainer. This will speed up the training process and provide you with professional inputs on further training.
  • Enroll your puppy in puppy clasees. This option will make training stronger and bond between you and your Fido closer.

Bloodhound Exercise

A common belief is that Bloodhound is a lazy dog who loves chilling on the porch all day long.

In a way, that is true because they love to chill for some time. However, they are far from being lazy.

These dogs love when there is a job to be done, but they also appreciate the chill time.

To keep these dogs active, mentally stimulated, and physically fit, they need the right amount of exercise.

Exercise is what keeps a dog’s joints strong, the dog’s weight in order, and his spirit in balance.

If you have a backyard, know that this breed is a passionate digger, so double-check your fence. This breed is an escape artist who will do his best to escape any home.

Don’t take it personally, they just love a good challenge and a nice scent.

To avoid any unwanted situation, make sure that you microchip your Fido and keep the info up to date.

Bloodhound Grooming

Keeping your Bloodhound looking neat and clean you have to provide regular grooming.

Is brushing enough? No, brushing is just a small part of grooming practice.

Brushing is a great way to keep your dog’s coat clean and debris-free. It’s also a nice activity that can make your bond with Fido stronger.

While brushing always check the dog’s skin for fleas or any sign of skin infection.

The rest is basic grooming:

  • Trim or grind dog’s nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Clean ears when needed
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye discharge
  • Brush weekly

To make brushing time easier and faster, use a rubber hound mitt. This dog will shed, and a bit extra during the shedding season which occurs in spring and autumn.

To prevent bacterial infections clean his wrinkles daily.

Always use products that are specially designed for dogs. For skin and coat care, always use tissues made for dogs.

Make grooming a positive experience from day one, and always reward your Bloodhound with a nice treat.

Bloodhound Health

Bloodhounds are considered to be healthy dogs.

Are you getting a puppy? If so, you should know that only dealing with responsible dog breeders will get you a healthy dog.

They will always screen puppies for common health issues and present you with medical documentation on the puppy.

Responsible dog breeders will also ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a good fit for their puppy.

Breeders should also provide in-depth information and the dog’s temperament, overall care, nutrition, and grooming tips.

What if you are adopting? If you are adopting a dog, animal shelter representatives will inform you about the dog’s health and share with you their experience with that specific dog.

You may provide the best care possible, and your Bloodhound still may get sick.

Some of the health issues that may appear in this breed include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ectropion
  • Entropion
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)
  • Fold Dermatitis

Your Fido can reach his senior years and he may not experience any of the listed issues. However, to keep your dog healthy you should provide the right care. This includes:

  • Regular grooming
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular veterinarian check-ups

Bloodhound Nutrition

Bloodhounds should do fine on food that is carefully designed for them. This means that you should feed your Bloodhound food that is appropriate to his age, weight, and activity level.

For example, puppies cannot benefit from food for senior dogs and vice versa.

Puppies need food that will support their overall growth and health, which is why they can only thrive on food for puppies. Otherwise, they cannot get the needed nutrients.

If you are thinking about homemade food, also known as raw food, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian first.

Some dogs are prone to being overweight, so make sure that you keep Fido’s weight in balance. This can be easily done once you know how much you should feed your dog and when.

Make sure that you check what bloat is and how it can be lethal for your canine.

Obesity in dogs is on the rise across the States and you don’t want your dog to be part of this negative trend.

To keep his weight in balance, serve the right nutrition, provide regular exercise, and veterinarian check-ups.

In the meantime, learn which humans foods are off-limit, and which human foods are safe to share with your Fido, such as cucumber.

If you have any concerns regarding your dog’s diet or weight, make sure that you talk with your veterinarian.

Dog experts recommend that Bloodhound should eat 4 to 8 cups of dry food per day, divided into two meals. This is the best way to keep your dog safe from bloat.

Larger size dogs are in danger of eating after an intense workout. Bloodhounds are known for being messy eaters, so expect a bit of cleaning afterward.

Make sure that you choose the bowl that is specially designed for large size dogs who love to eat messily.

Is Bloodhound For You?

Bloodhound is a large size dog that needs a large living space.

Do you have a car? This breed requires a larger vehicle. They are also known for loving to jump, especially as young dogs, which is something to address.

Overall, they are calm and even-tempered dogs, but they may show some signs of aggression toward strangers if not socialized properly. They also come with loud baying and a famous houndy odor.

Drolling and slobbering are something to expect with this breed. If this sounds like too much for you this breed isn’t for you.

On the other hand, if you want a large size dog, who is rugged, has a short coat, and loves the outdoors, this breed may be right for you.

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