Adopting A Bloodhound

History and origin: This scent hound is an old breed, dating back to Roman times.  He is said to have been brought to England by William the Conqueror in 1066.  This dog has the most powerful sense of smell of all the breeds.  In the United States, he has been used as a tracker of fugitives and lost individuals.

Description: The Bloodhound stands 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 90 and 110 pounds.  This is a large, powerful animal with great stamina and drive. The shedding coat is short and requires regular brushing with a hound glove to keep it in good condition.  The color may be black-and-tan, red-and-tan, or all tan.  Bloodhounds have loose, wrinkled skin and long ears.

About the breed: The Bloodhound is known to be the best tracker of all the scent hounds.  He is excellent at picking up a scent and following it relentlessly until the prey is located, but he does not kill it.  This breed is a highly specialized dog specifically designed to perform a single task: tracking.  Breeders have created not only a dog with the best nose in the business but also a dog with a relentless, determined mind-set.  The Bloodhound will follow a scent forever and ignore everything else, including you.  Choosing a Bloodhound for a family pet would be like using a bulldozer to drive to the corner store.   More than any other breed, the Bloodhound needs to perform the task for which he was bred.  Although most of them have a very good temperament, there have been few cases of very aggressive Bloodhounds.  The relentless, determined, non-thinking mind-set that is so effective in tracking can be transformed into aggressive behavior as well.  When a Bloodhound becomes aggressive, he is almost impossible to stop.  Keep in mind that this is a very big dog.  The Bloodhound needs obedience training and socialization early in life.  He is stubborn and is easily distracted by scents that you cannot perceive.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for the Bloodhound is 1 ½ — 2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: This breed will be suitable for hunters, trackers, police departments, and search and rescue teams and is not really recommended as a family pet.  He can be intolerant of children and may bite if teased or provoked.  However, if you choose to have this breed as a family  pet, he needs to live in the country and requires a fenced yard or kennel.  The owner must be a strong, no nonsense leader and must use this breed to do the work he was bred for.  Keep in mind that he needs plenty of exercise to keep him happy and healthy.