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rec.pets.dogs: Bloodhounds Breed-FAQ

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Archive-name: dogs-faq/breeds/bloodhounds
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 10 Nov 1997

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This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below. 
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
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   Cindy Tittle Moore,
     * Created 24 Mar 92
     * Minor corrections and addition of Bloodhound West 22 Sep 94
     * Noses-L info updated 26 Sep 95
     * Web links updated Feb 97
     * Expansion of health information, reordering Mar 97.
   Copyright 1995 by Cindy Tittle Moore
Table of Contents

     * History
     * Characteristics and Temperament
     * Special Medical Problems
     * Description and Standard
     * Recognized
     * Resources
          + Email List
          + Web Sites
          + Books
          + Breed Rescue Organizations
          + Breed Clubs

   Bloodhounds are an ancient breed, and their origins are unclear.
   However, in the 7th century, St. Hubert (patron saint of the hunter)
   and his monks had an extensive hand in developing the breed.
   Bloodhounds today are still registered with FCI as _chiens du St.
   Hubert_. The name "Bloodhound" is derived from the term "blooded
   hound," meaning a hound of pure breeding.
   Bloodhounds are extensively associated with royalty: William the
   Conquerer arrived in England with several bloodhounds. Bloodhounds
   were often given as gifts among royalty and nobility. For almost seven
   hundred years, the St. Hubert Monastery sent a pair of black and tan
   Bloodhounds to the King of France each year. These hounds and the
   white Talbot hounds are considered the ancestors of modern-day
   Bloodhounds. The former died out by the French Revolution after their
   popularity plummeted when Charles IX favored the white hounds. Modern
   Bloodhounds are descended from the hounds that William the Conqueror
   brought to Britain.
   It was not until about the 16th century that the Bloodhound was used
   to track man. They were regarded as large game hunters before then:
   deer, etc. Their testimony was so highly regarded that they had the
   legal right to follow a trail anywhere, including into homes.
   As need grew for smaller, faster hound dogs, the Bloodhound was
   crossed with a variety of breeds to produce Harriers, Beagles and
   others, all of which owe their nose to the Bloodhounds. The use of
   Bloodhounds declined due to increasing population and decreasing game
   area in Britain until there were very few left. The introduction of
   dog shows in 1859 revitalized the breed. More companionable animals,
   suitable for showing, resulted.
   In 1898, Bloodhound breeders began to promote manhunting trials as
   sport. The only animals available for this were those who had been
   bred for show and companion for many years; yet their noses were as
   keen as ever.
   Foxhounds have been crossbred into Bloodhounds several times,
   especially after WWII, when the stock was severely depleted in
   Britain. This ancestry sometimes shows up as white markings on
   Bloodhounds although the markings may also be throwbacks to the white
   Talbot hounds. Such markings do not disqualify from showing so long as
   they are confined to the chest, toes, and base of tail.
   Contrary to popular wisdom, Bloodhounds were not actually used to
   trail runaway slaves in the US. Those dogs were usually mongrel
   crosses and of vicious temperament, which the Bloodhound does not
   posess. Stowe's _Uncle Tom's Cabin_, the book and the movie, in
   particular gives an exceedingly inaccurate depiction of Bloodhounds.
   Mantrailing has enjoyed a steady, athough by no means explosive,
   increase in modern day law enforcement and search and rescue. Trails
   performed by Bloodhounds are permissible evidence in court.
Characteristics and Temperament

   Bloodhounds are not for everyone. Due to generous flews, they can
   fling saliva 20 feet with one shake of their head. Their enormous
   size, food requirements, vet bills and inherently short lifespan make
   them dubious companions for the average dog-lover. As a puppy, the
   Bloodhound will grow four to seven pounds and one-half to one inch in
   height _per week_. As is common with large dogs, they have a short
   lifespan of about 10 years.
   Bloodhounds are friendly, often very good with children. When they
   find someone at the end of the trail, they are likely to lunge at them
   -- to plant wet slobbery kisses (their specialty) all over them.
   Criminals often turn themselves in on the spot rather than face
   Bloodhounds, whether to escape the kisses or in the mistaken belief of
   their ferocity is sometimes hard to tell!
   Bloodhounds are very determined. They are aggressive in the sense that
   they will want to finish trails, and that they can be hard to call off
   once on a track. They can be difficult to train off-leash for this
   reason. However, they are not generally aggressive toward other dogs
   or people. The pendulous skin over their ears and eyes will fall down
   over their eyes when they lower their head to trail, effectively
   blinding them. Because of this and their determination, Bloodhounds
   are usually run on leash for their own safety.
   Bloodhounds can make an amazing variety of sounds. They can bay
   expressively, howl and whine, all in melodious tones. The neighbors
   may not appreciate this, however.
Special Medical Problems

  Hip Dysplasia
   Bloodhounds may have hip dysplasia, a potentially crippling disease.
   Breeders should screen all their breeding stock with OFA to reduce the
   chances of their puppies having HD.
   Bloodhounds, because of their physical shape, are extremly prone to
   Gastric Torsion or Bloat as it is more commonly called. Be sure that
   you discuss Bloat with your veterinarian, especially on what the
   physical symptoms are and where you can obtain emergency veterinary
   care after hours. This condition can kill dogs in a matter of hours
   and is very common in this breed.
   Other sources of information:
   As a rule, Bloodhounds (and other breeds of similar size), do not live
   as long as their smaller counterparts do. The typical lifespan for a
   Bloodhound is about 9-11 years of age, with noticeable aging occuring
   as early as 8 years of age.
   Bloodhounds can be prone to _entropion_ which is an inversion of the
   eyelid that can be quite painful and irritating to the dog. Surgery is
   generally required to fix the eyelid.
   A good number of Bloodhounds have allergies and/or food and pollen
Description and Standard

   Bloodhounds are the largest and most powerful of the hound family.
   They weigh up to 110lbs/50kg and stand as much as 27in/69cm at the
   shoulders. They have a very expressively wrinkled face with pronounced
   flews and dewlaps (lips and throat), giving them a most solemn
   expression. The coat is thin, hard and short. Colors are black and
   tan, tawny, or red and tan ("liver" is sometimes used instead of
   "tan"). The eyes are neither sunken nor prominent, although the excess
   skin may pull the lower eyelids down. The ears hang low and are long
   and soft. They are a relatively rare breed; you will only see a few,
   if any, at most dog shows.
  AKC Bloodhound Standard
   The Standard is the physical "blueprint" of the breed. It describes
   the physical appearance and other desired qualities of the breed
   otherwise known as _type_. Some characteristics, such as size, coat
   quality, and movement, are based on the original (or current) function
   for the dog. Other characteristics are more cosmetic such as eye
   color; but taken together they set this breed apart from all others.
   The Standard describes an _ideal_ representive of the breed. No
   individual dog is perfect, but the Standard provides an ideal for the
   breeder to strive towards.
   Because of copyright concerns over the collection of all the Standards
   at any single site storing all the faqs, AKC Standards are not
   typically included in the Breed faqs. The reader is referred to the
   publications at the end of this document or to the National Breed Club
   for a copy of the Standard.

   American Kennel Club
   Australian National Kennel Club
   Federation Cynologique Internationale
   Canadian Kennel Club
   Kennel Club of Great Britain
   United Kennel Club

  Online Info
       The Bloodhound Network -- an excellent resource.
  Email ListThere is an email list that may be of interest to Bloodhound owners
  called NOSES-L, which is a mailing list devoted to the scent hounds. To
  subscribe, send email to with subscribe NOSES-L
  firstname lastname in the body of the message.
  The Bloodhound Bunch offers three mailing lists specifically for bloodhound
  owners. For further information, email to Web Sites
  BooksAppleton. _The First Bloodhound Handbook_. 1960. $35. **
  Brey and Reed. _The Complete Bloodhound_. 1987. $19.95. **
  Brey, Catharine F. and Lena F. Reed. _The New Complete Bloodhound_. Howell
  Book House, New York (Maxwell Maxmillian, Toronto). 1991. $26. ISBN:
  0-87605-077-1 (hardback).
     New revised version of the classic _The Complete Bloodhound_. A
     definitive recounting of bloodhounds: history, exploits, training,
     and breeding. A must in the library of anyone interested in the
     breed or in search and rescue in general.
  Owen. _Bloodhounds_. 1990.
  Tolhurst, William D. with Lena F. Reed. _Manhunters! Hounds of the Big T_.
  Hound Dog Press, 10705 Woodland Rd., Puyallup, WA 98373. 1984. $16. ISBN:
  0-9617723-0-1 (hardback).
     Tolhurst is a Search and Rescue volunteer in upstate New York. This
     book recounts his experiences using bloodhounds in trailing. Many
     fascinating stories. Tolhurst includes a section on training a dog
     to locate dead bodies.
  Whitney. _Bloodhounds and How to Train Them_. 1947. $120. **
  ** Out of print, but stocked by 4-M Enterprises, Inc., 1280 Pacific Street,
  Union City, CA 94587 (catalogue). Breed Rescue OrganizationsBloodhounds West
  * Breed Rescue
  20372 Laguna Canyon Road
  Laguna Beach, CA 92651
  (714) 494-9506
  Bloodhound West covers breed rescue in much of the western US with several
  For the address of a rescue organization closer to you, contact the national
  breed club for the address of a local Bloodhound club and they in turn should
  be able to point you in the right direction. Since Bloodhounds are relatively
  rare, there are not too many that need rescuing; however some do exist, since
  many people are not prepared for their adult size and stubborness.
  For online contacts to rescue, check Breed ClubsAmerican Bloodhound
  Ed Kilby, Corresponding Secretary
  1914 Berry Lane, Daytona Beach, FL 32124
  American Bloodhound Club Bulletin
  Brenda Howard Editor
  616 Texas Street, Suite 101
  Fort Worth, Texas, 76102
  National Police Bloodhound Association
  National Police Bloodhound Association Homepage, kept by NPBA,
    Bloodhound FAQ
    Cindy Tittle Moore,

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