Is the Bloodhound right for you?
Part of an article written by
Northwest Bloodhounds Breed Rescue
The Bloodhound is a scent hound of great size and strength. He has a noble and dignified expression. His loose, super-abundant skin drapes into pendulous folds especially noticeable around the head and neck

Although his origin is left to speculation, we owe his development to St. Hubert, Patron Saint of the Hunter. It is believed that Hubert originally obtained stock from Southern France. The breed was perpetuated by succeeding abbots who continued after Hubert's death.

Not everyone should own a Bloodhound. A swing of his head can spread saliva 20 feet. Beloved antiques can be ruined with one stroll through a living room His enormous size, food requirements, vet bills, and inherently short life span make him a dubious companion for the average dog-lover. But for dog-lovers "of breeding," there is nothing quite like the noble Bloodhound!

Know the Bloodhound Before You Buy

If you have decided that the Bloodhound is the breed for you, it is imperative that you invest time and effort to find out the characteristics, requirements, advantages, and drawbacks of owning this noble hound. Attend dog shows in your area, and study Bloodhounds as they are judged. Talk to exhibitors and breeders. Visit as many kennels as you can, and compare their puppies.

Ask to see the parents of the puppies. From infancy to adulthood, Bloodhound puppies change continually, but when they are mature, they should resemble their parents. If you don't see a dog you like at a particular kennel, try another. No breeder has a corner on the market. Be Candid With the breeder you visit. Tell him what you want in a Bloodhound- companion- show dog - working dog.

As a novice, you will be better able to select and purchase a puppy that will fit into your home as a friend and companion if you are well-informed about the breed you have chosen. The ethical, concerned breeder will ask you many personal questions, because he cares about the welfare of each of his Bloodhound puppies. The unethical breeder or pet shop is concerned with little more than your checkbook.

If for some reason you are unable to keep your dog, contact the breeder. A reputable breeder will take back the dog willingly. Few pet stores would make the same commitment or claim.

Facts to Consider Before Purchase

LOCATION If you live in an apartment, look for a smaller dog. A six-week old, 20-lb. Bloodhound puppy may fit into a condo when he's purchased, but the pup grows four to seven pounds and one-half to one inch in height per week. He will out-grow your "little love nest" very soon. Bloodhounds require fenced-in yards-- room to explore to grow robust and healthy.

FAMILY DECISION Think twice if you want a Bloodhound for the family, but your spouse wants some thing smaller. Statistics prove that the wife does most of the feeding, training, cleaning, and grooming of family pets. As the puppy grows, enthusiasm for the care of this giant breed may fade with his increased needs. Also, never purchase a puppy to "grow up with the baby!" unless you are prepared and able to cope with the inevitable increase in your work load.

RESPONSIBILITY Once you have acquired a Bloodhound, you have added a whole new set of responsibilities to your life. You are no longer a carefree soul. You can't run off for the weekend, leaving the Bloodhound in the care of neighbors. He is a dog that requires a lot of personal attention and supervision throughout his first year. He will not thrive on a bowl of food and a bed in the garage.

If your lifestyle is unsettled- if you move or travel frequently- if you are contemplating the military service as a career, or if you are on a limited budget, the possession of a Bloodhound can pose some real and serious problems. For example: An adult Bloodhound is not easy to place in another home, especially if he has acquired bad habits. Getting back your original purchase price through resale is next to impossible and in desperation to unload an unwanted hound, you may let him inadvertently fall into the hands of an uneducated and/or irresponsible breeder. No one wants that.

BREEDING Breeding any purebred stock is an art and a science which requires in-depth knowledge of genetics, bloodlines, and breed characteristics. To ensure future breed strengths and types, it is essential that only the most superior hounds are bred. Many inexperienced new owners try to "recover" their original purchase cost by "breeding a litter or two." They may unintentionally breed inferior stock and increase the number of poor quality pets. These people often equate a "Ch." with breeding quality, and a few have the "sale of the week," hoping to unload older puppies.

SHOWING If you want a show dog, it is crucial that you make this fact known to your breeder. While he can't guarantee you a "Ch.", he can help you select a puppy that is (in his opinion) of superior quality, and free of visible faults that would eliminate the puppy from show competition and possibly disappoint his owner.

TRACKING or TRAILING This is the Bloodhound's main purpose and intent. He is the only breed with a nose that has eyes! Field work can be fulfilling and exciting when you and your hound operate as a team. But field work requires a lot of time, hard work and patience. It is worth every minute, however, when your Bloodhound has a CD., CDX., UD., TD., or TDX. Still, this work is not for every owner, nor for every hound.

PROTECTION Is the Bloodhound a watchdog? YES! Is he a guard dog? NO! NO! NO! Guard dogs and watchdogs are not synonymous! People who try to make Bloodhounds into guard dogs end up with vicious, unpredictable dogs-- four-legged potential lawsuits in their very own backyards!

Be aware, Bloodhounds are a very sensitive breed. He is extremely intelligent, and quick to learn if his owner is patient and capable of communicating his needs to him.

Bloodhound Puppies

What should a novice look for?

1. KNOW THE BREEDER Visit and talk to him. Get acquainted with his stock and his breeding record.

2. CHECK HIS KENNEL Observe the kennel for cleanliness and odor. Be sure the care and housing he provides is clean.

3. HEALTHY PUPS Puppies should be clean, with clear eyes and noses. Your puppy should stand with all four feet pointing forward. Look for big tight feet, heavy bones, ears that reach to the tip of the nose, square lip, narrowing face, and noticeably loose skin around the head and neck.

4. PUPPY PERSONALITY Look for outgoing, curious puppies with happy, "tail wagging" dispositions toward the visitor, rather than cowed or shrinking behavior.

5. AGE IS IMPORTANT Beware of the breeder who tries to sell a puppy of less than six-weeks old. In fact, many good breeders do not let a puppy go to a new home before he is 10 to 12 weeks old.

6. COLOR There is no preference given to color in the Breed Standards or in the show ring. The colors are black/tan, red or tawny, or liver.

7. VISUAL FAULTS In puppies of 10 weeks or older, check for underbite, feet badly turned in or out, and screw tails. It is your responsibility as a buyer to discuss with the breeder faults that you don't understand, and vice versa.

8. VACCINATIONS A puppy should have his first set of puppy vaccinations (DHLP-Parvo) and complete instructions for follow-up vaccinations before going to his new home.

9. FEEDING, MEDICAL RECORDS & PEDIGREE It is the breeder's responsibility to supply the purchaser with full feeding instructions, a complete medical record, a three to four generation pedigree, and AKC/CKC registration papers. You should also ask for(and receive) a written contract.

10. BEWARE OF PUPPY MILLS & PET SHOPS These puppies are shipped, sometimes as early as five-weeks, from dams that may have been improperly fed and cared for during pregnancy. They may lack the socialization and nutritional care so necessary for healthy development. There are no bargain Bloodhounds. Remember, AKC/CKC papers are no written guarantee for health or quality.

Compliments Of:
Northwest Bloodhounds Breed Rescue
Terri Coffey