In the 3rd century, Claudius Aelianus wrote about Blood Hound dogs with scenting abilities far better than those of ordinary dogs. These dogs were determined to follow a trail and would never give up. Those scenting dogs were probably the ancestors of the dogs that later became known as St. Hubert Hounds.
Bloodhounds are known for their scenting ability.
In fact, in French-speaking countries, Bloodhounds are still known as St. Hubert Hounds. Bloodhounds are known for their scenting abilities, as they should be, because they have the best noses in the canine world. Several individual Bloodhounds have brought about more arrests and convictions than the best human police officers. Some dedicated dogs have followed trails of more than 100 miles. But unlike German Shepherd Dogs and other law enforcement dogs, the Bloodhound does not bite or take down the person it has trailed; the blood hounds job ends when it finds the person it was trailing.
Search and rescue organizations also treasure the breed’s abilities. The Bloodhound is large, with heavy bones and long hanging ears. The head is long, and the ears are very long and hang in folds. The nose is large, and the flews are deep. The skin hangs loose and looks as if there is enough extra skin for another dog to fit inside. The chest is deep, the body is strong and fit, and the tail is long. The coat is short and is either black and tan or liver and tan.
The Bloodhound’s short coat is easy to groom; it needs only twice weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or curry comb. The heavy ears need regular cleaning, however, to prevent ear infections. Although the Bloodhound isn’t as active as some other breeds, it still needs daily exercise. A brisk long walk morning and evening is fine, but it also needs a chance to run and play. These playtimes should be only within the confines of a fenced-in yard; if the Bloodhound catches a scent it wishes to follow, it could be gone faster than you can catch.
Training the Bloodhound can be a challenge. Although many Bloodhounds have successfully competed in obedience and other canine sports, the Bloodhound’s owner must first figure out what motivates his dog to want to learn. Then, and only then, can the dog be trained. The training should be firm and structured, yet fun. The dog’s owner must be patient and persistent. A Bloodhound needs a very special owner – not everyone should own a Bloodhound. The swing of a Bloodhound’s head can spread saliva across a 20-foot room! The same dog who slobbers all over you and knocks you to the floor with one sweep of its tail will adore you and your children with all its heart, showing a lot of love in the eyes.
The Bloodhound is not a good dog to leave in the backyard; it needs to be with people. The Bloodhound is usually good with other dogs and small pets. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, ear and eye problems, bloat, and torsion.
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