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Bloodhound

Life span: 11-15 Years

Height: 64-69cm (Male); 58-64cm (Female)

Weight: 80-110 pounds

Unlike what multiple movies make this breed seem, they are incredibly affectionate and would never harm anyone. They are also extremely committed to following a scent until they reach its origin and are far more active than they are believed to be.

Physical Characteristics

This large dog has a strong body with an especially strong back despite its height. Its tail is long and curved, usually carried above its body. Its ears are long and and fall down on either side of its head, with sunken eyes that can be hazel or light brown and a sensitive nose that can be black or brown. The sunken eyes are due to the heavy upper eyelids which weigh down the lower eyelids. Its coat is short yet dense and straight with softer hair on the head and ears. The coat can be black, brown, red, light brown, or any two colored combination of these. Some have white markings on the paws, tip of the tail and chest.

History

Originating in Europe, it is believed that William the Conqueror was the one to bring hounds in 1066 when he conquered England. These were named St. Hubert Hounds and they eventually evolved to be the Bloodhound we know. Queen Victoria was a lover of this breed and even entered one of her own dogs into a dog show in 1869, saving it from becoming extinct. It can also be seen in Scotland, where it was named Sleuth Hound and used to track thieves of both livestock and properties. The name Bloodhound was given to the breed due to it being famous around abbots and noblemen, along with its purity regarding breeding, meaning it is a complete purebred dog. Like many dogs, this breed has had its popularity rise and fall to near extinction through the centuries. They are recognized by the American Kennel Club but not usually seen as pets, instead they are primarily used in law enforcement as well as in search and rescue.

Personality

This loving breed is affectionate with its family and very calm tempered. They are especially good with children due to their high tolerance, they will never snap or bite them and will handle everything done to it. This means you should be careful, as kids might unknowingly harm it and it will not do anything to stop it. They can be protective of their territory, and will bark to let you know when a stranger enters it, becoming especially protective if there is no one in the house. As puppies they are highly energetic and playful, but this fades quickly as they grow older. Despite being calm tempered, this breed will never fully obey you and will follow a scent that caught its interest until it finds its source in a heartbeat. For this reason a fenced yard is needed and when going out they must be kept on a leash. The owner needs to establish dominance by becoming the leader, but even then total obedience will not happen. Being calm and firm works best with this breed.

Health

Although generally healthy, Bloodhounds may suffer from:

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Hypothyroidism, a disease that affects the thyroid gland, its symptoms are ear infections, skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression.

Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).

Ectropion, a rolling out of the eyelid that exposes the eye to infections and can be corrected through surgery.

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Fold dermatitis, which is a skin infection that can be caused by moisture in the skin folds and can be noticed through odor, sores and/or redness on the infected area.

Care

They shed once or twice a year and need weekly brushing as well as regular bathing, nail trimming, teeth brushing and having their ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. Despite its popularity for being a lazy dog, in reality they need daily exercise like a long walk on a leash. The yard must be securely fenced as they love digging and escaping. They also need early socialization and obedience training, since once they learn something they stick to it. They will most likely never obey you fully but training with firm commands and positive rewards, including treats, works best. They need an owner to establish dominance and speak to it calmly but firmly and that is always kind.

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