Origin and Brief History
Bloodhounds are descended from a line of hounds originally bred by the monks at the Saint Hubert Monastery in Belgium around 1000 A.D. Two of these hounds were given as an annual gift to the King of France. Legend claims that William the Conqueror brought the breed to England. It is unclear if this is true, but Bloodhounds were definitely mentioned in English writings beginning in the 1400s. Bloodhounds were bred and used to track game animals as well as criminals by English noblemen. The Bloodhound was brought to America in the 1800s, where its sense of smell soon became legendary for tracking criminals as well as trapped and lost people.
Bloodhounds are affectionate, calm, and gentle dogs that make great pets for the family. They love children and are extremely patient with them. However, Bloodhounds have a very strong independent streak and timid owners may quickly find themselves being ignored. Bloodhounds love exploring the outdoors and discovering new and interesting scents, but can become irritated or unruly if left indoors without company for too long. They are generally friendly to strangers inside and outside of the home and get along with other house pets.
Bloodhounds require a good amount of care to keep them clean and healthy. They should be bathed at least once a month and more frequently if they are constantly getting into messes. After baths, owners need to make sure that their skin folds are dry. Otherwise, their sensitive skin can get irritated and infection-causing bacteria can grow. Similarly, their long, droopy ears should be cleaned a few times a week to prevent infections. Their short coat is fairly easy to groom, and only requires a quick brushing one or two times a week to remove lose hair. Their nails should be kept trimmed to avoid broken and ingrown nails.
Specification of Breed
A purebred Bloodhound comes in three color patterns: red, black and tan, and liver and tan. Male Bloodhounds usually weigh between 90 and 110 pounds, but some can be even larger. Female Bloodhounds are slightly lighter, weighing between 80 and 100 pounds. Their height can range anywhere from 23 to 28 inches, with the females again generally being slightly smaller than the males at 22 to 25 inches. A Bloodhound’s normal lifespan is around 9 to 11 years.
While Bloodhounds can make wonderful pets, they are not for everyone. Bloodhounds can be extremely stubborn and can be hard to command if they are following a scent. They are quite difficult to train in general, requiring repeated and firm instruction. They also like to chew and swallow anything and everything. Thus, an inexperienced owner might have difficulty training a Bloodhound and should look to start with an easier breed. Due to the folds of their skin, especially around the ears, Bloodhounds commonly get skin infections which can often emit foul odors. Bloodhounds are also susceptible to the life-threatening condition known as bloat.
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