Know about Breed: Blood Hound
Life expectancy: 10 - 12 years.
Temperament: Stubborn, Affectionate, Even Tempered, Gentle.
Origin: France, Belgium, United Kingdom, England, Scotland.
Height: Female: 58-64 cm, Male: 64-69 cm.
Colors: Liver & Tan, Black & Tan, Red.
Weight: Female: 36-45 kg, Male: 41-50 kg.
- With his sunken eyes, deeply furrowed face, and loose jowls, the Bloodhound resembles a person in dire need of a facelift. The sad-eyed appearance is misleading, however. This is an affectionate dog with a sense of humor and a strong character, traits balanced by a reserved and sensitive nature. He takes his name from his long lineage as a blooded hound, one kept by aristocrats for centuries and prized for his ability to trail game and people. Today he is renowned for his man-trailing ability and under certain circumstances his testimony is accepted in court.
- When it comes to living with a Bloodhound, the house-proud need not apply. Noble, he may be, but the Bloodhound is also big -- weighing from 80 to 115 pounds -- and odorous. His capacity for producing drool is matched by a few other breeds, and when he shakes his massive head, slobber goes flying: onto walls, furniture, and clothing. In accordance with Murphy's Law, this is most likely to occur just after you have finished cleaning your home or have just gotten dressed for a night on the town.
- While you might think of him as an outdoor dog, nothing could be farther from the truth. Bloodhounds love their people, especially children, and will pine without human companionship. They should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, but when the family is home, the Bloodhound should be with them.
- Bloodhounds have short, easy-care coats in black and tan, liver and tan, or red and need only a weekly brushing or wipe down. That's where the easy part stops. The wrinkles must be cleaned daily and kept dry to prevent infection. Be prepared to wash the face thoroughly after every meal and wipe the mouth after your Bloodhound drinks water before he shakes his head and slings water and drool everywhere.
- The Bloodhound is calm by nature, but by no means lazy. Forget that image of the sleepy hound on the front porch. This is a working dog capable of trailing a scent for hours or even days.
- Life with a Bloodhound puppy can best be described as bedlam. Bloodhounds are master chewers and can easily destroy walls, doors, and furniture if left unchecked. They will also eat anything in the hope that it is food: rocks, socks, toys, plastic wrap, kitchen towels, batteries, cell phones the list could go on and on. It's not unusual for this breed to require multiple veterinary visits or even surgeries to deal with intestinal blockages. Constant supervision and a good crate are essential to raising a Bloodhound puppy.
- A bored Bloodhound with energy to burn will create his own entertainment. He's a champion hole digger and can remodel your lawn in no time flat. Given the slightest opportunity, he will escape your yard to follow an intriguing scent and wander for miles before realizing that home is nowhere to be found. He's not able to backtrack, so it's best to prevent breakouts by enclosing your yard as thoroughly as if it were Alcatraz or Fort Knox.
- The Bloodhound is renowned for its gentle nature, but beneath that placid exterior lies a tough, stubborn, independent hound. Training a Bloodhound requires skill, cunning, and what some might call bribery. Positive reinforcement, particularly with food rewards, is the way to win a Bloodhound's heart and mind. Force, on the other hand, will get you nowhere. When it is employed, the Bloodhound will simply don the mantle of passive resistance and refuse to do anything. For best results, begin training your Bloodhound when he is young and still somewhat malleable.
- To fulfill the Bloodhound's need to work, channel his amazing scenting ability with long, slow walks or hikes, permitting him to sniff out and explore trails. If possible, teach him to the material he's born to it, after all -- and get involved in your local search and rescue organization. If nothing else, teach him to play hide and seek around your house. His skills will come in handy when you lose things.
- When you walk your Bloodhound, he must be on leash; otherwise, he'll take off when he finds a good scent, going at a pace that you won't be able to match. Bloodhounds have no street sense and will follow a trail into traffic or onto train tracks. Pulling is second nature to this very strong dog, so good leash manners are essential. Start teaching them as soon as you bring your puppy home, and work with a trainer to ensure that the lessons take.
- All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
- In Bloodhounds, the most serious and potentially expensive health problems are hip and elbow dysplasia, malformations of hips and elbows. Eye conditions such as entropion (the eyelids roll inward), ectropion (the eyelids roll outward), and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, also known as dry eye, are potential concerns. Another health problem that may affect the Bloodhound is hypothyroidism, a common hormonal disease in dogs in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroxin.
- Not all of these conditions are detectable in a growing puppy, and it is impossible to predict whether an animal will be free of these maladies, which is why you must find a reputable breeder who is committed to breeding the healthiest animals possible. They should be able to produce independent certification that the parents of the dog (and grandparents, etc.) have been screened for common defects and deemed healthy for breeding. That's where health registries come in.
- The American Bloodhound Club participates in the Canine Health Information Center Program. For a Bloodhound to achieve CHIC certification, he must have OFA certification for hips and elbows and an OFA cardiac test. Additional certifications that are recommended but not required are OFA for patellas (knees), a PennHIP score for hips, and Canine Eye Registry Foundation certification for intraocular disorders, including persistent pupillary membranes and cataracts.
- Bloodhounds have short, easy-care coats in black and tan, liver and tan, or red and need only a weekly brushing or wipe down. That's where the easy part stops. The wrinkles must be cleaned regularly and kept dry to prevent infection. Be prepared to wash your Bloodhound's face thoroughly after every meal and wipe his mouth after he drinks water and before he shakes his head and slings water and drool everywhere.
- Use a rubber hound glove to brush the Bloodhound's short coat, remove dead hair and distribute skin oils. You can brush the dog daily or weekly, depending on your tolerance for finding dog hair around the house.
- Bloodhounds shed seasonally, in the spring and fall. A tool called a shedding blade can come in handy during that time to help remove the excess hair.
- Bloodhounds typically don't need baths very often if they are brushed regularly. They have a distinctive odor that most people either love or loathe. If you're a loather, don't think you can bathe the smell away. It's an inherent part of the dog and is something you must live with if you want a Bloodhound.
- Cleaning the facial wrinkles is part of grooming a Bloodhound. Depending on the individual dog, wrinkles may need to be cleaned a couple of times a week or every day. Wipe out the crud from the wrinkles with a soft, damp cloth or a baby wipe, then dry them thoroughly. If moisture is left behind, wrinkles become the perfect petri dish for bacterial growth.
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