Bloodhound.jpg
Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-A: Large Scenthounds
Origin Country Belgium
Weight Males: 90-119 pounds. Females: 79-106 pounds.
Height Males: 25-27 inches. Females: 23-25 inches.
Other Name(s) Chien De Saint Hubert, Chien de Saint-Hubert, St. Hubert Hound, St. Hubert’s Hound, St. Hubert's Hound
Breed Type Pure
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Bloodhound

Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-A: Large Scenthounds
Origin Country Belgium
Weight Males: 90-119 pounds. Females: 79-106 pounds.
Height Males: 25-27 inches. Females: 23-25 inches.
Other Name(s) Chien De Saint Hubert, Chien de Saint-Hubert, St. Hubert Hound, St. Hubert’s Hound, St. Hubert's Hound
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Breed Spotlight

Origins

The Bloodhound breed has existed many thousands of years. The “blood” aspect of the breed name reportedly comes from the word “blooded”—referring to the hound’s status as a purebred. Bloodhounds have been used for tracking both animals and humans for hundreds of years. In fact, the trailing abilities of the breed are so reliable that evidence found by trained Bloodhounds has been used in court cases. However, even though strong tracking and trailing skills are closely associated with the breed, the Bloodhound’s distinct personality and charm have ultimately made the breed such a popular choice among hunters and families.

Hounds are among the few dog types that have existed since early human history. This particular type of dog flourished because of its incredible desire to track by scent and sight. Though the sight hound moves quickly enough because to keep its prey in sight, scent hounds have the advantage of an acute sense of smell that allows for continuous trailing no matter how quickly the prey may move. In addition, because scent hounds move much slower than sight hounds, they can endure longer trails lasting over days.

The first documentation of the true Bloodhound is found in connection with the French monasteries of the seventh century. Medieval French and Italian nobility, as well as the local bishops, were fond of hunting with hounds. Many of the French monasteries kept kennels of dogs and paid close attention to breeding quality dogs. The most prominent name in connection with these well-bred Bloodhounds is that of the French monk St. Hubert. He remains so connected with the Bloodhound breed that in many parts of the world these dogs are still called the St. Hubert hound, or Chien de St. Hubert.

Later, Elizabeth I and other English royals kept packs of hounds, since the English relished a good hunt. They can be credited with much of the continuation of the breed during the time leading up to the Victorian era, when several new breeds were developed using the Bloodhound as part of the breeding stock (including the Beagle and the Foxhound). The English began to realize that these dogs were beyond compare when it came to tracking and trailing men or animal prey.

During Queen Victoria’s reign (1837–1901), the Bloodhound flourished in part because of the monarch’s love of the breed, but also because it possessed incomparable man-hunting skills. What was popular with the monarchy was popular with other royalty, which in turn perpetuated the breed. In 1898, the British conducted the first mantrailing trials, which jumpstarted the use of the Bloodhound in this sport and in police work.

The Bloodhound was one of the earliest dogs to travel to colonial America. The breed is referenced in Benjamin Franklin’s writings as early as 1764, when he wrote a letter to a friend in England requesting Bloodhounds to help protect settlers from Indians. In 1888, Edwin Brough brought three Bloodhounds from England to compete in an American dog show, and the breed enjoyed a slow and steady growth in the country as both a companion dog and a working dog from that point on.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat dolichocephalic skull-type, the skull is long, narrow compared to the length, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From above, the skull appears to taper from the back skull toward the tip of the nose only slightly and almost imperceptibly. It appears nearly equal in width throughout. The occiput is prominent. The head is furnished with somewhat looser skin, moderately pendulous lips, flews, and ears. However, dogs with loose skin around the eyes or drooping eyelids are to be heavily penalized.
Eyes: The eyes are set well into the skull, are medium in size, and are oval, lozenge, or diamond-shaped. The eyelids should be relatively well-fitting, never appearing heavy, loose, sunken, with exposed haw, or with any sign of ectropion or entropion. Color should be as dark as possible, but may include hazel, amber, or light brown in liver color varieties. The eyelids or skin around the eyes should not interfere with the dog’s vision in any capacity. Loose eyes in any capacity have the tendency to capture debris and are not conducive to a working dog’s ability to track.
Ears: The ears are large, hound-type ears that are set low on the skull. Ears that extend no further than the point of the nose are preferred to those that extend well-beyond the point of the nose, since longer ears are prone to dragging the ground and retaining dirt and moisture.
Muzzle: Strongly developed, equal in length to the topskull, uniformly broad throughout. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance. Upper and lower jaws strong and well developed, never appearing snipey or weak. The plane of the muzzle may be straight and level, or slightly sloped (slight Roman nose).
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and powerfully-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. Some loose skin on the neck and throat is permissible, but preference should be given to dogs with cleaner necks and tighter fit of skin. Excess throatiness and pendulous dewlaps should not be preferred.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. Well-filled between the forechest, forming keel of good depth and somewhat prominence.
Body: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Withers and hindquarters are approximately equal in width.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked or carried up over the back. When alert or in motion, the tail is carried above the level of the horizontal. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked short. Natural tails are of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved.
Movement: The gait is surprisingly energetic and springy for a large breed. It is efficient, effortless, and agile. A slight roll may be present, but should never appear cloddy or encumbered by size in any way, as this is a dog that must be capable of steady and enduring movement for miles and hours. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Bloodhound is famously devoted and affectionate. As with most hounds, he does well in multi-dog and multi-people families. He is very skilled with his nose and natural scenting instincts, becoming almost a slave to the world of scent. This aspect of the Bloodhound has earned him a reputation as being super-focused and even stubborn once he has picked up a trail. He is sensitive to his master’s mood and actions, so gentle-but-firm obedience training helps him adjust to life as a pet. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds

Proportions: The Bloodhound is an off-square to somewhat rectangular breed, with the length of the body from the point of the chest to the point of the rump being greater than the height at the withers. The body is well-put together. Substance is sturdy and moderately heavy-boned, yet still athletic in appearance and capabilities. The ideal body height to length ratio is approximately 5:4. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type. Overly massive or weedy dogs are incorrect, as are dogs with an exaggerated abundance of skin.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat dolichocephalic skull-type, the skull is long, narrow compared to the length, and in proportion to the rest of the body. From above, the skull appears to taper from the back skull toward the tip of the nose only slightly and almost imperceptibly. It appears nearly equal in width throughout. The occiput is prominent. The head is furnished with somewhat looser skin, moderately pendulous lips, flews, and ears. However, dogs with loose skin around the eyes or drooping eyelids are to be heavily penalized.
Expression: The expression is one of gentleness, nobility, intelligence, strength, and dignity.
Stop: The stop is slightly pronounced.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1, with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel or slightly divergent.
Muzzle: Strongly developed, equal in length to the topskull, uniformly broad throughout. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance. Upper and lower jaws strong and well developed, never appearing snipey or weak. The plane of the muzzle may be straight and level, or slightly sloped (slight Roman nose).
Lips or Flews: The lips are slightly pendulous, hanging just below the lower jaws, and running into the dewlaps. Excessively long and pendulous lips and flews should be penalized.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smooth, appearing neither chiseled nor coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: The eyes are set well into the skull, are medium in size, and are oval, lozenge, or diamond-shaped. The eyelids should be relatively well-fitting, never appearing heavy, loose, sunken, with exposed haw, or with any sign of ectropion or entropion. Color should be as dark as possible, but may include hazel, amber, or light brown in liver color varieties. The eyelids or skin around the eyes should not interfere with the dog’s vision in any capacity. Loose eyes in any capacity have the tendency to capture debris and are not conducive to a working dog’s ability to track.
Ears: The ears are large, hound-type ears that are set low on the skull. Ears that extend no further than the point of the nose are preferred to those that extend well-beyond the point of the nose, since longer ears are prone to dragging the ground and retaining dirt and moisture.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Withers and hindquarters are approximately equal in width.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and powerfully-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. Some loose skin on the neck and throat is permissible, but preference should be given to dogs with cleaner necks and tighter fit of skin. Excess throatiness and pendulous dewlaps should not be preferred.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. Well-filled between the forechest, forming keel of good depth and somewhat prominence.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The topline is never long, swayed, or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back, or with an almost imperceptible slope.
Underline: Slight tuck up may be present, or the underline runs parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, but never tucked or carried up over the back. When alert or in motion, the tail is carried above the level of the horizontal. Tail may be left natural (preferred) or docked short. Natural tails are of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight or gently curved.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderately strong-boned, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderately strong bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Short, close, quite harsh, weatherproof outer coat throughout body, very short and soft on head and ears. Furnishing on underside of tail.
Coat Color or Pattern: Red, fawn (red with black or liver mask), black with tan, liver with tan, grizzle/badger with tan. Tan can range from creeping tan or mantle pattern to a saddle pattern, to clear red/tan with no trace of saddle.

Movement

The gait is surprisingly energetic and springy for a large breed. It is efficient, effortless, and agile. A slight roll may be present, but should never appear cloddy or encumbered by size in any way, as this is a dog that must be capable of steady and enduring movement for miles and hours. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Bloodhound is famously devoted and affectionate. As with most hounds, he does well in multi-dog and multi-people families. He is very skilled with his nose and natural scenting instincts, becoming almost a slave to the world of scent. This aspect of the Bloodhound has earned him a reputation as being super-focused and even stubborn once he has picked up a trail. He is sensitive to his master’s mood and actions, so gentle-but-firm obedience training helps him adjust to life as a pet. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.