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Country/Date of Origin: Belgium/800s

An ancient breed whose exact origins are lost in antiquity, it is known that the Bloodhound was used by hunters in ancient Greece and Rome. However, it was in Belgium that it was refined to become the ultimate tracking dog. The name Bloodhound has nothing to do with following a trail of blood, although they can do that. It referred to the pure blood of the dog, as in blue blood. Bloodhounds have been exhibited in the United States almost from the beginning of organized dog shows.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Saint Hubert Hound

AKC Group: Hound

Breed Club: The American Bloodhound Club

Rescue Club: Bloodhound Breed Rescue Groups

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Body Type:

  • A very large hound that has a solid, powerful physique
  • Height: 23-27 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 80-110 pounds
  • The ears, which are long enough to meet over the nose, are not altered
  • The hanging ears help to sweep scent into the Bloodhound's nose as it tracks
  • Tail is carried gaily over back and is not altered
  • Loose folds of skin on the head and neck and drooping eyes are necessary for the hallmark mournful expression of the breed


  • Contrary to its reputation for fierceness, the Bloodhound is very friendly toward people
  • Not suitable for city life; bloodhounds are very active and need everyday exercise
  • Stubborn and may be hard to train


  • Short, smooth, and glossy
  • Allowed colors are black and tan, red and tan, and tawny
  • Minimal grooming

Health Concerns:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Eye problems, many of which stem from infections or defects in the red colored lower eyelid called the haw
  • Ear canker
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The Bloodhound is the only dog whose testimony is accepted in a court of law
  • The most famous man-tracker, Nick Carter, is credited with finding more than 600 criminals
  • This is not a dog for everybody. He may be the "King of Trackers" but to many he is known as the "King of Slime" for his frequent drooling
  • Known for snoring
  • The distinctive deep baying voice of the Bloodhound can be a problem if you have close neighbors who do not appreciate a midnight serenade
  • Bloodhounds should never be allowed to run free. They have absolutely no road sense and are oblivious to cars when they are busy tracking something interesting
  • Late bloomers
  • Pups are born black and without wrinkles

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