Bloodhound Dog Breed

Dog Group: Hound Group

Class: Hound


Bloodhound Dog Breed

The Bloodhound is a very large, powerful dog with well-developed muscles and a short, harsh coat. This dog has quite loose-fitting skin around the face, resulting in a droopy and rather depressed expression. The Bloodhound has deep-set eyes and a long muzzle, and his ears are long and drooping. The coat of the Bloodhound comes in a variety of colors: red and tawny, black and tan, or liver and tan.

The dog’s body is quite regal in stature and very strong and muscular. The face therefore looks a little odd because it is very mournful and droopy due to the folds in the jowls and the drooping ears.


Despite the rather fearsome sounding name, the Bloodhound is actually an affectionate, dedicated and loyal breed. These loveable dogs have a very good nature, and are extremely good with children – even if they are being teased. In fact, some Bloodhounds are actually timid. The Bloodhound is a devoted dog and loves attention, and so will make an excellent family pet and companion. This breed also has a lot of energy and as youngsters can be a bit of a handful. However, they are patient and eager to please, so with adequate training will prove to make an ideal pet.

Height and Weight

The male Bloodhound will average around 25-27 inches in height, with females growing to around 23-25 inches. In terms of weight, the male Bloodhound should reach around 90-110 pounds, and females will reach approximately 80-100 pounds.

Common Health and Behavioral Problems

You have to be careful with the diet and exercise of the Bloodhound, as this breed has a tendency to suffer from bloating and stomach cramps. As with other large dogs, hip dysplasia can cause mobility problems and swelling. The Bloodhound can also be prone to ear infections and eye problems.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Bloodhound is a large dog that has plenty of energy, so it will thrive best in an environment with a yard or garden. However, that said the Bloodhound can be kept in an apartment providing he is given plenty of opportunity to exercise.

Exercise Requirements

The Bloodhound has plenty of energy and stamina, and likes nothing more than a good walk or run. Take care not to overdo the walking and exercising with a young Bloodhound, as they will take more exercise than is good for them if given half the chance. Also, take care not to exercise straight after meals, as bloating and stomach cramps may occur.

Diet and Nutrition

The delicate digestive system puts the Bloodhound at risk of increased stomach bloating and cramps. You should therefore feed him little and often rather than one huge meal per day. Two to three small portions will suit this dog, and of course, you must ensure that he has access to fresh, clean water.

Life Expectancy

The average healthy Bloodhound has a life expectancy of around 10-12 years. Healthy living, diet and exercise will help to maximize his life span.

Grooming Requirements

The Bloodhound has a sleek, smooth coat and therefore grooming and maintenance is relatively simple. You should use a hound glove (available from all good pet stores) to gently rub over the coat and get rid of loose hair. Rub the coat over with a damp towel to restore shine, and only bathe when absolutely necessary. You should take care to clean the ears and folds of the face regularly, and also check the ears and eyes for signs of infection of other problems.


The Bloodhound originates from Belgium and is one of the oldest hound breeds. Having been around for centuries, this breed was introduced to England by William the Conqueror in 1066. This breed has always excelled in hunting, and has been used to hunt everything from criminals to animals. The breed was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Secrets to Dog Training: Consultation

Secrets to Dog Training offers a free consultation with every order! Here is one submitted by Sara about getting a Bloodhound puppy...

Sara's Consultation

Dear Daniel,

Thank you so much for your valuable advice. I am considering getting a bloodhound puppy. She’ll be just over 3 months old when/if I get her. I have heard so many opinions about them – thankfully, mostly good. But here are my concerns:

1. That she will be huge! I’m not! Will I be able to handle her?

2. She’ll probably stay indoors most of the time. The breeder doesn’t seem concerned, but…….

3. That they are notoriously hard to train. Yikes!

4. That my other dog, a Whippet, will hate her. But he’s the whole reason I’m considering seriously getting another dog!! And the Whippet plays beautifully (and without injury) with my friend’s gigantic lab.

5. Are the training issues discussed in Secrets To Dog Training?

Thanks for your help. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sara M. Stewart

Secrets to Dog Training Reply:

Hi there Sara,

Thank you for the email regarding your possibility of purchasing a bloodhound puppy. Getting a new puppy is always somewhat of a concern for a variety of reasons, but also very exciting. The trick is weighing up your concerns to see if they stack up and to then compare them to your excitement and anticipation to see if those things that are genuine concerns outweigh your need/want of another puppy. Let’s look at your questions one by one.

1.) Bloodhounds are big – Will you be able to handle her?
This is more of a question of – Will your house and yard be able to handle her? Or even will your Whippet be able to handle her? Basically, with the right training, you can have absolute control over any dog be it big or small. The basics are outlined in Secrets to Dog Training, but they revolve around the Alpha Dog theory (detailed more in the bonus book “Secrets to Becoming the Alpha Dog”). In this it explains that every dog has a pack mentality and places itself in a ranking system that includes yourself and your family. With correct training she will realize that she is bottom of the pack below your family and with this combined with the correct obedience training – you will have great control over her in every respect such that her size won’t be an issue. It is definitely a good idea to weigh up whether you yard will be big enough for two dogs to play in though.

2.) Leaving a dog indoors ALL the time is probably not recommended, but so long as she has access to the outdoors at least a couple of times a day for walks, then she should be fine. Usually a dog left indoors all day will get very bored and cause mischief relatively quickly, however having two dogs in the home quickly avoids this and by supplying them both with adequate toys to keep them happy indoors as well as keeping them well exercised and giving them a chance to get outside frequently, they should be fine.

3.) Certain breeds of dog are typically called “Hard to Train”, “Dumb” and “Very Intelligent” – however this does not automatically wipe out all chance of a dog in that breed being an easy to train dog. All it basically means is that, on average, people have had trouble training these dogs. The fact is that ALL dogs are trainable, and comparatively a puppy is much easier to train than an old dog. I think, with the help and advice found in Secrets to Dog Training you will have no problems training her, so long as you start early, make training fun, give her plenty of rewards for good behavior and play a game after each training session. The only real difference between a ‘Dumb’ breed and an ‘Intelligent’ breed is the speed at which they pick up new ideas. You may encounter an Intelligent dog for the breed, or you may not – the fact however is that it will be trainable either way and you will get results relatively quickly if you follow the guidelines in Secrets to Dog Training.

4.) Your Whippet will love having another dog – which as you say is one of your reasons for getting another dog. It will keep it entertained as well as giving it a companion when you are not at home. I think introducing another dog into a one dog household is an excellent idea and more people should be doing it. It will of course take time to introduce the puppy, but if done correctly in most cases is a complete success.

Since introducing a new animal is stressful to the residents, it makes sense not to do it at a time when your Whippet is already under stress – if you have just moved to a new house or apartment, for instance, or it is recovering from an illness or injury. If your Whippet displays any inappropriate aggressive behavior towards the newcomer, the behavior should be quickly and firmly corrected, since the dog must learn what is acceptable and what isn't. But do not force the animals to be together if they do not get along. Extra supervision is called for if the new dog is much smaller than the resident dog. A large dog can easily injure a small one in play or overtire her. But, on the whole, dogs will work things out on their own, and, given a carefully chosen set of animals that have been properly introduced, will become friends.

Timing is also important. I would recommend in your case that you first introduce your Whippet to the puppy in a neutral area such as initially perhaps at the breeders if possible a few days before you take the puppy home for the first time. Then when you get it home on the first day let your dogs meet again at the front of the house in an area the dogs don’t usually use. Let them get used to the new smells and so on. For the first week or two, it may be an idea to keep the puppy separated from your Whippet for most of the day and try slowly introducing it into other areas of the house for certain periods of the day with short meetings with the other dog. Slowly increase the frequency of these meetings until several weeks after first getting the puppy home, you allow it a great access of the house with close supervision. Make sure you quickly and firmly reprimand any growling, nipping or aggressive appearing behaviors from your Whippet.

It is important to provide equal attention to both the new and established pets. This includes one-on-one time, appropriate exercise and play time, and lots of love. If it appears that the new animal is getting all the attention, the older dog may become jealous and redirect its jealousy aggression toward the puppy and cause injury. Animals are very intuitive. You may notice that your Whippet may put its body between you and the new puppy or try to ‘steal' your attention from the puppy.

I hope this information helps. Getting a new puppy is always a very exciting time, but one that must be approached with caution. For more information please refer to Secrets to Dog Training – particularly the Multiple Dog Household section.

Best of luck with your Bloodhound puppy – it will be a lot of fun and very exciting for yourself, your family and I’m sure, your Whippet as well!

Kind regards,

Daniel Stevens and the Secrets to Dog Training Team
"Secrets to Dog Training - STOP Dog Behavior Problems!"

Sara's Reply

Hi Dan!

Thank you so very much for your quick response. Well, I got the bloodhound before I received you reply but, thankfully, your answers would not have dissuaded me from getting “Lucy”. She is soooooo pretty and funny and she and the Whippet, “David”, get along like to peas in a pod! They play together, sleep together (yes, in a crate and I’ve ordered a bigger one to arrive shortly), eat together, you name it. Just to let you know (as I’m sure you’re questioning my sanity right about now), Lucy spent her first night in the crate alone. And now, just a day and a half later the two of them are inseparable. She’s very quickly learning house broken-ness and her name. I can’t wait to employ the “tricks of the trade” I’ll surely find in Secrets to Dog Training.

After this long and I’m sure boring note, I just want to thank you for your words of support and share a happy-ending story. Thank you again.


More Resources

Want to find out about more dog breeds? Search here or go to our Dog Breed index.

Got Dog Obedience Training or Problem Behavior Issues?

Is your dog trying your patience on a daily basis? Are you constantly faced with a dog that displays one of the following issues? To find the solution to your problem click on it.. you'll discover the answers to it and other common dog problems you may be facing.

This is the most comprehensive book on dog training and behavior problems around. Best of all... You can download this book to your computer and be reading and using the professionals training techniques in minutes.

About The Author

Daniel Stevens is the renowned dog trainer and author of Secrets to Dog Training: STOP Dog Behavior Problems!, one of the leading dog training guides on the market today selling over 25,743 copies (and counting). He currently heads the Kingdom of Pets dog training team.