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The Bloodhound Breed Essential Information And Interesting Facts

Jun 14, 2008
It is widely believed that the Bloodhound originates from Belgium and was first bred by the monks of St. Hubert's Monastery in around 1000AD. The bloodhound's ancestors undoubtedly came from France which was the home of many of the modern hound breeds. The dogs were known as 'Sequsius' and were used to track wolves, big cats and deer or to follow the trail of wounded game. After the Normans conquered England in 1066 they introduced many dogs and the St Hubert Hound was one of those brought to England. The Black and Tan variety of the bred became know as bloodhounds and the white were called Talbot Hounds. The first one entered the show-ring in England in 1871.

Care must be taken with young ones and they should not be over exercised, there bones and joints need to be given a proper chance to grow. The breed is cheerful and affectionate but because of its strong tracking instinct it can be willful which make obedience training tricky but achievable with time and effort. Patience and consistency is the key. As adults, they have exceptional stamina and need plenty of exercise. Their sense of smell in two million times greater than humans and once on the trail of an enticing aroma they will be desperate to find the source. Therefore gardens should be well fenced.

These dogs reach maturity at around three years old and they are gentle natured and affectionate dogs who will get on well with children, other dogs and household pets. They are very social dogs who do not like to be left alone. Due to this friendly nature they do not make good guard dogs as they would never dream of attacking and will welcome any visitor wanted or unwanted. They are one of the most patient and kindest dogs in the dog world but whilst quiet in the house they can be vocal outdoors.

They have several physical traits that account for their incredible ability to follow a scent trail left several days in the past. They can track humans easily as we shed skins cells constantly, Bloodhounds can detect as few as one or two skin cells in the air or on the floor. The breed has larger nasal chambers than most dogs which contain the receptors necessary for detecting skin cells.

Bloodhounds also have large, long ears which prevent wind from scattering skin cells away from the dog's nose and folds of wrinkled flesh under the neck which catch stray scent particles reinforcing the scent in the dog's memory and nose. One noteworthy dog called Nick Carter received extensive publicity in the early 1900's and went down in Bloodhound folk-lore. He was credited with more than 650 finds including one which involved following a trail 105 hours old.

In 2004 a UK kennel club survey had the average life span of Bloodhounds at just 6.75 years which is one of the shortest of any breed. Compared to many breeds, these have a high rate of gastrointestinal ailments (bloat or torsion). They are also susceptible to eye, skin and ear problems. Eyes, skin and ears should be inspected regularly and owners should be aware of the signs of intestinal problems (bloating) which are the leading cause of death in Bloodhounds. Symptoms include restlessness, inability to get comfortable, pacing and retching. The abdomen may also get swollen but not always. If an owner suspects a dog is bloating he should take them to a vet immediately as the dogs survival will depend on the speed at which care is given.
Bloodhounds have appeared as characters in various animated shows and movies including:

* Pluto, pet of Mickey Mouse

* Ladybird from King of the Hill

* Huckleberry Hound

* Snuffles in Quick draw Mcgraw

* Trusty in Lady and the Tramp

* Duke, Jed's bloodhound from the Beverly Hillbillies

* Buddy, in Cats and Dogs

* Bruno in Cinderella (1950's film)
About the Author
For more facts and info on the Bloodhound or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.
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