Dog Breeds

Bloodhound Advantage and Challenges


  • Very affectionate, kind and devoted to its family
  • Gentle, sensitive, shy and good-natured
  • Infinitely patient and good with older kids
  • Superb sense of smell


  • Stubborn and difficult to train
  • Strong willed especially when pursuing a scent
  • Has “hound” smell even when clean
  • Should never be allowed to roam freely off-leash
  • Has a tendency to howl
  • Needs quite a lot of exercise as an adult
  • Can do a fair amount of chewing/teething/swallowing damage as a puppy

Bloodhound Physical Characteristics


  • Very large 23-32 inches


  • 90-130 pounds


  • Short, smooth and weatherproof


  • Black and tan; liver and tan; and red; with small amount of white allowed on chest, feet and tip of tail

Life Expectancy

  • 8-12 years
Back to Top

Bloodhound Personality

The Bloodhound is a distinctive dog, with its loose skin, heavy ears and unmistakable hangdog appearance. You’ll find the Bloodhound is very affectionate with the entire family – including most other pets – and is infinitely patient with kids, so care should always be taken that children remain respectful and kind to the dog, to avoid excessive roughhousing which could potentially injure your pet. This loving yet strong-willed animal is the 50th most popular breed registered with the AKC in the United States.

Back to Top

Bloodhound History and General Information

History and Origin

A thousand year old breed descended from the St. Huber Hound of Belgium, the Bloodhound is among the oldest hound breeds still in existence. Introduced to Englandby William the Conqueror in 1066, the dog’s amazing sense of smell has made it invaluable from that day to this, as a companion for hunters, law enforcement officers and search-and-rescue teams alike.

General Information

The Bloodhound is a large, powerful dog that needs plenty of space to roam, although it must always be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced yard to avoid runaway scent distractions. Gentle and good-natured around loved ones, this pet can be aloof with strangers. Obedience training should be started at a very young age, but keep in mind that the Bloodhound has a mind of its own – and is notoriously difficult to train. It’s critically important that you learn how to control this dog while still a puppy, before it becomes too large to handle. Even with thorough training and socialization, however, don’t expect much obedience from your Bloodhound, especially if he’s tracking a scent. He just hasn’t got it in him to ignore his tracking instincts, no matter how urgently you tell him otherwise.

In fact, nothing is more fun for a Bloodhound than tracking a scent – even one that is days old or miles away. This dog must be walked on a leash by an adult who is physically capable of handling such a powerful and determined pet as this. Be aware that a Bloodhound puppy will be very rambunctious and its teeth can cause serious damage to your furniture. In fact, this breed has been known to eat towels, batteries and remote controls alike – leading to expensive and unfortunate surgeries. Still, this gentle giant is a fun and rewarding companion for the right owner. Just remember, as the American Bloodhound Club warns, “You don’t own a Bloodhound: it owns you!”

The shorthaired coat is easy to groom: use a hound glove as needed, and bathe only when necessary. (Be aware that the “hound doggy” smell never goes away entirely, even when freshly bathed). Clean out the ears regularly, as they can be prone to infection.

Back to Top

Bloodhound Health

Health Ailments

The Bloodhound is prone to certain health problems, including ear infections, inverted eyelids (entropion), hip dysplasia and bloat. To minimize bloat, feed two or three small meals a day instead of one large one. Avoid exercise after meals, as some Bloodhounds are susceptible to stomach cramping.

Back to Top

Bloodhound Community

Your Bloodhound

Send us pictures and stories about your Bloodhound.

Bloodhound Discussion Group

Get tips from other Bloodhound lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

Back to Top