Dog Breeds: The Bloodhound

Even centuries ago, the bloodhound made its impact in the hunting arena and pursuing fugitives. He was skilled at these two services because of his remarkable sense of smell, intelligence and ability to follow trails.

The use of these hunting dogs dates back to the Gauls. History shows them employed during the frequent feuds of the Scottish clans, but also during the battles between England and Scotland.

The Hounds Past

The bloodhound”s name kind of says it all about what its owners used it for during warrior days at kings and castles. This dog has been portrayed many times by poets” ballads and romances telling the tales of the dog”s courage and speed.

The story goes that black bloodhounds, called St. Huberts, were brought by pilgrims from the Holy Land. Another large dog breed, also known by the same name, came as pure white while another was grayish-red. Today”s bloodhound has a blend of all these varieties.

After its dealings with heroes and knights, the bloodhound got into the business of detective work. Through history, this dog breed was trained to detect sheep thieves and other fugitives. It also received a bad reputation for its fierceness in capturing runaway slaves.

In England, the bloodhound was used off and on to pursue poachers and criminals. But the popularity of the dog was not good about 50 years ago. Very few owners were breeding these animals.

Queen Victoria at various times was the owner of one or more Bloodhounds.

The Perfect Bloodhound

The bloodhound breed remains a very powerful one. Its skin hangs extremely loose especially around the head and neck.

The male dog”s average height stands about 26 inches while the females are 24 inches. The taller height is preferred if the dog”s character and quality are combined for a great show dog. The weight can be between 90 and 110 pounds with bitches being lighter.

Bloodhounds carry an almost dignified and noble expression. They give off an aura of wisdom and power. Despite all that, the dog has an extremely affectionate temperament. He does not get quarrelsome with other dogs or people.

The natural disposition of a bloodhound is somewhat shy. He is sensitive to being scolded by its master.

A bloodhound”s eyes look deeply sunk into its orbits. The lids seem to look diamond-shape.

The extremely long ears have a soft, thin feel. They fall in folds curling inward. The head has loose skin everywhere. When the dog carries its head low, the skin falls into ridges and folds over the forehead and sides of the face. Large and open nostrils add to the animal”s unique look.

A bloodhound can range in many colors, including black and tan, red and tan and tawny mixed with lighter colors or flecked with white. A small amount of white is permissible on chest, feet and tip of stern.

The dog”s neck stretches out long with muscular shoulders giving it a sloped appearance. The back and loins stay strong with the loins being slightly arched. A bloodhound”s legs have large bones with well-built thighs.


Leighton, R. (2004). Dogs and all About Them. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Dogs and All About Them Web site: