So you think you want a bloodhound.
So how do you know and decide if a bloodhound is suited for you and your family?
Let me start by saying that in my experiences working with dogs professionally
and personally for over 31 years, that each dog is an individual, with different
personalities within each and every litter.
is OK to talk about some generalities of breeds, and many breeds of dogs are
easier to group together in this way, for sheer volume of numbers of animals
within that breed. You can not compare numbers of Bloodhounds with, say, Golden
Retrievers, or with German Shepherds, or Labrador Retrievers, where in these
breeds, it may be easier to talk about perceived generalities – i.e. “Labradors
are sweet-natured fun loving and active dogs”, or “All German Shepherds are
natural guard dogs”.
So in saying that i will give you some
general ‘rules of thumbs’ when it comes to owning and working with Bloodhounds:
*Most slobber a lot. More so
after drinking and after exercising. This slobber will get everywhere such as,
your walls, car, floor, windows, and your hair! Be prepared and willing to deal
with this. Bloodhounds do not walk around all day with massive amounts of
drool coming out of their mouths for no reason – unless you live in a
continually excessively hot environment 24/7.
*They will need a fenced
yard for exercise and off-leash play; keeping your dog inside or on-leash or
tied in the back yard for its entire life is not a fun existence for any dog; as
well – when your puppy reaches a certain age, if it is off- leash not
within a contained area, it is sure to run off, even for a short time or
distance, and possibly be injured by many dangers in the environment.
Bloodhounds naturally love to follow their nose, wherever it leads them! It only
takes a second for your puppy or dog to chase a squirrel across the road, and be
in the line of danger. Even if you think your dog is well trained. Why risk it?
*Bloodhounds need fair and
consistent training for basic obedience.
Also puppy classes for socialization are
very important to the well-being of your puppy and growing dog, as well
as continued socializing as an adult dog. They will be a more calm and
easy-going and obedient dog with a vast amount of socializing!
*They will need a moderate
to large amount of exercise on a daily basis. But most bloodhounds in- between
exercise, are fine with being calm and happy to sleep in the house until you are
ready to go do something with them! Be aware though, that up until about the age
of 3 or 4, more exercise and attention the better. After that routine exercise
and attention is needed, but on an individual basis. Use your best judgment, or
your veterinarian’s advice for your dog’s individual needs.
*Exercise before the age of
18 months should be frequent but not stressful – no long jogs on pavement, doing
agility jumps all day, or high or hard jumping, as this will cause unnecessary
strain and injury to growing joints on the large-breed puppy/dog.
* Bloodhounds can do
Trailing, Tracking, Conformation Showing, Obedience, Agility, Police Work of
many different varieties, Therapy work with children and adults, and the list
goes on. As breeders we try to determine which puppy within the litter would be
best suited for these types of activities.
* Bloodhounds, being large
breed dogs, should (if planning to do so) be neutered/spayed NOT
BEFORE 18 months of age; so that their bone and muscle structure has
time to mature naturally while the dog still has its hormones/sex organs. After
that time it is safer and healthier to do the surgery.
* Bloodhounds naturally LOVE
to trail. “Trailing” is – having your bloodhound in harness, while you follow
behind with a long lead, letting him follow a scent laid in the natural path
that the scent has fallen, not
necessarily where the exact footprint has been laid. They love old trails, they
love new trails, and everything in between. If you can get a trailing/tracking
harness for your bloodhound, and learn to do this with them, you will both be
happier for it! We can help you get pointed in the right direction for training,
with links to books you can read to help you, along with people we can get you
in touch with for further training. There are also events all over Canada and
the USA to achieve different Trailing titles.
*Some Bloodhounds can be prone
genetically to different afflictions as many other breeds of dogs are as well.
Some of these include – Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Entropian, Bloat (GDV),
Heart conditions, Poor behaviour, and the list goes on. By working with our
Veterinarians and National Breed Clubs, we work endlessly in making sure our
dogs, to the best of our ability, do not fall prey to any of these problems. Our
job as breeders, and keepers of this breed, is to try to keep the
bloodhound looking, moving, and acting like a bloodhound, while minimizing or
eliminating the possible inherited health hazards. At Copperleigh, we strive
on achieving healthy longevity.
*Bloodhounds need to have their ears, eyes checked daily
for any debris. Some bloodhounds are much higher maintenance than others. i.e.
Some with too heavy of wrinkles (not to standard) may be harder to keep skin and
ears and eyes clean and disease free. But again, each dog is an individual, and
you need to treat it as such. A lot of Bloodhounds are ‘easy keepers’.
* They need a high-quality large breed dog food, and this
can cost you approximately 100 dollars per dog per month or more.
*Bloodhounds naturally, for most, love to please themselves first, and us later.
Keep this in mind when training them, and in your daily activities. You need to
train your bloodhound to think that it is
idea to do what you asked them. Do not spoil your bloodhound, or treat it like a
child. They are not furry humans. They are intelligent canines, and most, if
given an inch, will try to take a mile. Some love ‘rough play’, some dislike it
and only want to be handled like a prince or princess. We only recommend
positive reinforcement training methods for any dog.
*Most bloodhounds love a good tummy rub, ear rub,
attention from their family, car rides, play time, work time, vacation time,
most can learn to live with other species such as cats, livestock, etc. They
need to be treated fairly with love and respect and consistent training by all
family members. They must know they are a dog, and not a human. They should
sleep on dog beds, or a blanket on the floor, or in a comfortable crate. Please
not in your bed or on your couch. All breeds of dogs must be supervised around
children and babies!
these are just ‘generalized’ statements for the Bloodhound, and each one is an
individual with different needs and personalities.
We hope this information helps you with your decision on a
Bloodhound. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any other questions or
concerns about owning and living with one!