Bloodhound Overview

Dog Breed:
Breed Group:
Independent, friendly, gentle, relentless and easygoing.
23-27 inches
80-110 pounds
Life Span:
10-12 years
Coat Colors:
Black and tan, liver and tan, or red.
Area of Origin:
Best For:
Experienced owners/Access to fenced exercise areas/Not too house proud!
Adult Food:
Best Dog Food for Bloodhounds
Puppy Food:
Best Puppy Food for Bloodhounds
Mixed Breeds:

Bloodhound Characteristics

Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Bloodhound

Often described as ‘a nose with a dog attached,’ this is a breed for owners who have undertaken their research first. Serious consideration is needed as to whether you can provide the right home for a Bloodhound. Weighing more than many adults and with an obsession to follow a scent trail, training and careful management is essential to keep your Bloodhound safe and out of trouble.

However, the breed can also be loving and affectionate; they adore their family and generally get on well with other dogs and with children. They can also be calm and docile within the home, as long as they’ve had a good few miles of exercise first.

This is not a breed for the house proud. They shed once or twice each year, and with a dog this size, that’s going to be a lot of hair flying around the home. They’re also droolers, so not a great match with expensive soft furnishings!

For the right home, this is a loving breed that will adore their family.

Bloodhound Breed History

  • Descended from the St Hubert Hounds

  • Developed in England

  • First shown at Westminster Kennel Club Show in 1888


It’s thought that it was around the medieval times when the predecessors of the Bloodhound first began to be developed. Known as St. Hubert hounds, they were bred by the monks of St. Hubert’s Abbey in France. Francois Hubert (656-727) was a passionate hunter who bred dogs who were able to follow old or cold trails.

Even after his death, his dogs flourished and accompanied William the Conqueror when he invaded England in 1066. They became highly prized gifts among the monarchy and nobles with Elizabeth I keeping packs of St. Hubert hounds to accompany her on hunting trips. The name ‘Bloodhound’ is likely to imply that they were of ‘pure blood’ which is fitting with their aristocratic position amongst the nobleman.

While the breed virtually disappeared in France during the revolution, their popularity was growing in England. Now it was not only their hunting skills that they were prized for, but it was also their ability to track down thieves and poachers that was starting to gain attention.

Their unique appearance was also earning them a strong following, and with the rise of dog shows and the developing role of a dog as a companion, the Bloodhound grew in popularity.

Although England is seen as responsible for the development of the Bloodhound, they had also made their way across to the US. Sadly, their role in the antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, saw them cast as vicious dogs, and it was some time before they then gained popularity.

It was 1888 when three English Bloodhounds competed at the Westminster Kennel Club show. Catching the eye of breeders, they began to be bred in higher numbers, but they are still an uncommon breed to this day. Now they are generally employed by law enforcement agencies as a man-trailer or for search and rescue roles.

Bloodhound Size & Weight

  • Males 25-27 inches and 90-110 pounds

  • Females 23-25 inches and 80-100 pounds

  • A strong and very powerful breed


The Bloodhound is a large and powerful breed. Males stand between 25 and 27 inches and females between 23 to 25 inches. Breeders do prefer larger dogs, so don’t be surprised if your pup grows to the upper end of that height range.

The same applies to the dog’s weight, where the upper end is preferred with males weighing between 90-110 pounds and females 80-100 pounds.

Bloodhound Personality & Temperament

  • Generally Docile but determined when tracking

  • Not suitable for apartment living

  • Copes well with different weather conditions


The Bloodhound is an interesting mixture of personality traits. Around the home, they’re docile, snoozing the day away, but when out using his nose, he’s determined and will track for miles. He’s affectionate with his family but a little shy with people he doesn’t yet know.

His love of people means that despite his size, he doesn’t make for a good guard or watchdog. But they are generally excellent with children being both loving and tolerant. That said, though, these are large, active dogs, and they can accidentally knock a toddler down. So, a home with older children may be the best option.

The Bloodhound is going to be too big to comfortably live within an apartment. A home with a yard or garden that they can wander around in is going to be a much better option for them. In terms of climate, the Bloodhound seems to cope well with both hot and cold conditions. As with all breeds, they should always have the opportunity to move into the shade when it’s hot and have shelter for colder months.

Bloodhound Health & Grooming

  • Generally, a healthy breed

  • Check ears and wrinkles daily

  • Weekly grooming needed


Overall the Bloodhound is a robust and healthy dog. There are three health checks which the breed club recommends that all breeding dogs should undertake to ensure the continued health of the breed.

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

The short Bloodhound coat needs just weekly brushing to remove the dead hair. They do shed their coat once or twice a year and then you’ll need to up the grooming to once a day. Those low-hanging ears need daily inspections for any sign of infection, along with checking their wrinkles for any sign of odor or irritation.


The Bloodhound is a drooler. Many owners have small towels to hand to ‘mop-up’ after their dogs.

Bloodhound Training

  • Patience and consistency needed in training

  • Strong desire to follow scent trails

  • Can be vocal


The Bloodhound is known for being both affectionate and devoted while also having a stubborn streak and a strong sense of independence. So, this then means that training needs both patience and consistency.

Reward-based training is likely to get the best results while also strengthening the bond between you and your dog.

Rather than a strong prey drive causing them to disappear over the horizon, it’s their nose and desire to follow a scent that can get them into trouble. Once they’re following a trail, even the best-trained Bloodhounds can forget how to come back when called.

The Bloodhound can be pretty vocal. When they alert you to something happening, their deep-chested bark is going to let you know very quickly that something is going on.

Bloodhound Exercise Requirements

  • Patience and consistency needed in training

  • Strong desire to follow scent trails

  • Can be vocal


Bloodhounds need long walks every day, and as adults, they will happily trek for several miles. They can also be a great jogging buddy or learn to run alongside a bike on traffic-free trails.

Care needs to be taken to limit a young dog’s exercise until they have reached physical maturity. Do check with your vet for information on the recommended levels of exercise for youngsters.

While not overly playful, the Bloodhound will have a game, but don’t expect it to last for long. You may also get the distinct impression they are playing just to please you rather than really wanting to!

Bloodhound Diet & Feeding

  • Seek professional advice on your dog's feeding requirements

  • Select a food suitable for your dog's age, size and exercise level

  • Be aware of the risk and signs of bloat


For advice on the feeding needs for your Bloodhound, do chat with your vet or pet nutritionist.

Generally, specially formulated puppy food is fed until your youngster is around 6 months of age. Then they move on to an adult feed, which should be selected based on their age, size, and exercise intensity.

Like other large, deep-chested dogs, bloat can be a worry. This happens when the stomach fills with gas and, at times, also twists, causing torsion. This is a life-threatening condition, and immediate vet treatment is needed. While it’s not clear exactly what causes bloat to happen, it is thought that giving one large meal a day and feeding that immediately before or after exercise, may be trigger factors.

You may also be interested in:

Bloodhound Rescue Groups

There are times when Bloodhounds find themselves in need of a new home. If you’re interested in offering a new home to a dog in need, there are breed rescues around the US including –

American Bloodhound Club Rescue –

Southcentral Bloodhound Rescue –

Southeast Bloodhound Rescue – Southeast Bloodhound Rescue

For further information on the Bloodhound, do check out the website for the American Bloodhound Club –