Sniffing Out the Bloodhound Temperament – As Good-Natured As It Gets

BloodhoundYou probably know that bloodhounds have an incredible sense of smell and have been helping law enforcement track down escaped convicts and missing children for decades, but you may be wondering what of the bloodhound temperament?

The Bloodhound is also known as the St. Hubert Hound and the Flemish Hound, but no matter what it is called, this unique looking canine with its distinctive baying bark is loved by many and it’s easy to see why:

Bloodhounds Are Great With Kids

Their even tempered, complacent attitude makes them a wonderful family dog; they have been known to just lay in quiet acceptance as young children use them as a jungle gym.  This type of dog temperament makes him a perfect family pet.

Note: no matter how even tempered a dog, it is never a good idea to leave young children under the age of six with the dog unsupervised

Bloodhounds Are Friendly

These dogs are very friendly and rarely meet a human they don’t immediately love.

If you are looking for a guard dog, the Bloodhound’s temperament makes him a poor choice. Bloodhounds are loving and loyal but a little too amicable for guard duty. They do however make good watchdogs because they will let you know when a stranger has entered the perimeter.

Bloodhounds Are So Mellow

Even though they are large, they actually make great dogs for apartment living.

These dogs do need daily walks and thrive if they are given tracking jobs to stimulate their keen minds, but are happy to lounge around the house the rest of the time like a big black and tan throw rug.

Bloodhounds Get Along Great With Other Animals

These dogs are not known to be aggressive toward other animals and rarely show dominance toward other dogs. If you are curious about dog aggression towards other dogs click here.

Bloodhound Facts

Lifespan:   Bloodhounds usually live to be about 10 to 12 years old but with good diet and care can live to be a few years older.

Height:   Male Bloodhounds grow to about 26 inches, while females are a few inches smaller at 23-25 inches tall at the withers.

Weight:  Considered a “Large Breed” the Bloodhound can weigh between 80 and 110 pounds.
Photo of Bloodhound puppy dog

Fun Tidbits

Bloodhounds are considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dog. Originally bred from for tracking and hunting, the Bloodhound temperament makes him a wonderful companion animal. Did you know:

  • They are a part of the “scent hound” group and have been used since the 14th century to track and hunt.
  • The Bloodhound’s large ears help keep the wind from blowing away the scene he is tracking.
  • A Bloodhound’s sense of smell is four times stronger than other breeds and more than 300 times stronger than a human’s!


Bloodhound Behavior and Training

While a Bloodhound’s temperament is friendly and easy going, they can sometimes be a bit stubborn.

As with most hounds, they can be independent and determined when it comes to doing their own thing.

The best way to make sure your Bloodhound respects you is to always show him calm and consistent leadership.

A few things to keep in mind when working with a Bloodhound:

The Nose Rules!

With a plethora of information coming into that powerhouse nose of his, it is very difficult for a Bloodhound to be distracted off a good scent. When first working with your dog, try to work in an area with as few scents as possible and be committed to teaching him basic commands such as Come and Leave It.

Nothing Beats a Bloodhound When It Comes to Stamina

Once a Bloodhound gets on a scent, he will be very committed to following it. They have been known to follow their nose for up to a hundred miles! Because of this, it is a really good idea to always have your hound on a leash when outside of a fenced area.

A Daily Dose of Exercise Can Be a Cure-All

As with most dogs, Bloodhounds respond well to a nice, long walk every day. A hike or game of hide and seek will go a long way to keeping your hound manageable and happy.

Bloodhound Health Issues

Obesity – Because of their mellow temperament and love of food, Bloodhounds are prone to being overweight and the associated health risks.

Ear Infections – Those long, floppy ears are the perfect place for infections to thrive. Left untreated, ear infections can lead to ear hematomas and so should always be dealt with quickly.

Skin Problems – Due to their loose, floppy skin, Bloodhounds can be susceptible to skin problems. These can be avoided with regular grooming and a quality diet.

Droopy Eyes – Believe it or not, that classic Bloodhound droopy eye can actually cause a lot of problems, conjunctivitis being the most common of them.

Is a Bloodhound Right For You?

If you don’t mind a lot of drool and can be patient yet consistent with your training, this might be the right dog for you. The easy going nature of the Bloodhound’s temperament  can make him a wonderful companion and with his superior sense of smell means you’ll never get lost in the woods!

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