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Bloodhound: nature, care and common diseases


The precursors breeding bloodhounds former monks living in a monastery in the Ardennes mountains located in France.

The monastery was supposedly founded by St. Hubert in the place where he experienced the famous revelation.

Legend has it that on Good Friday in 695, Hubert stumbled into the forest while hunting a white deer with a cross in the horns and heard the voice of Christ himself, urging him to convert.

Today, the figure of the albino deer is a symbol of the Polish Hunting Association, a bloodhounds they are otherwise known under the name Saint Hubert's dogs and are also hounds that take an active part in hunting.

Returning to their roots - these dogs were once so highly valued in hunting that the monks donating their puppies to the Parisian royal court each year were exempt from paying taxes.

The Bloodhounds' fame was gradually spreading around the world and in the 11th century they reached Great Britain.

There the English continued breeding bloodhounds, when the French monks gave it up.

Since they have been bred with many other hunting dogs, most of them have some bloodhound blood flowing in their veins.

The name bloodhound, meaning "purebred dog " was reserved for the original exterior of the dogs brought from France and is still valid worldwide today.

It also refers to the outstanding abilities of dogs of this breed, which can perfectly stick to long tracks, following the traces of the victim's blood.

This skill determined their training by the police and emergency services for search purposes.

The most famous representative of this breed is Nick Carter, who, according to police reports, helped find approx. 650 people, and his nose led 126 criminals behind bars.

Today, these dogs are less popular abroad than they used to be, and in Poland, although it is a well-known breed, it is not very common.

According to the FCI classification, bloodhounds belong to group 6.

  • Bloodhound character
  • Bloodhound appearance
  • Bloodhound care
  • Bloodhound disease
    • Ectropium
    • Rhomboidal eye
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Aortic stenosis
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Obesity
    • Stomach torsion
  • For whom the bloodhound will be the perfect dog?

Bloodhound character

Bloodhound character

Although bloodhounds Seemingly they look a bit scary, in fact they are very friendly to people and animals.

Also, their lethargic or even lazy movements, suggesting little activity, are only a veil.

These dogs are very lively, hardworking and hardy.

Bloodhound puppies they are very demanding, mainly in terms of the time and supervision devoted to them.

These dogs are masters of chewing, biting, destroying, eating inedible things, digging holes or even running away from home.

Bloodhounds they are stubborn and independent, therefore the training of these dogs should be consistent and carried out from an early age.

Since they are made to work and do "something", and not sit on the porch all day, we need to provide them with the right amount of entertainment and activity.

Long hikes in the forest or trekking will be perfect for them, especially when we add the possibility of tracking and searching.

We can also play hide and seek with them.

The ability to find things is worth caring for, as it can come in handy when we lose something ?

We go for walks with him on a leash, because the track taken by the four-legged friend may be more tempting than returning home.

We must therefore teach him how to walk on it, because these dogs are very strong and can pull.

In addition, a leash is also safety - a dog with its nose on the ground, following the scent in a trance, rarely paying attention to traffic.

Bloodhound appearance

Bloodhound appearance

Bloodhound is a massive and powerful dog with a harmonious build and rectangular shape.

Bloodhound height

The height at the withers of a male dog is 68 cm, and bitches respectively 62 cm.

Bloodhound weight

The weight of the dog is approx 46-54 kg, and bitches 40-48 kg.

Bloodhound breed description

Bloodhound breed description

The head is characteristic of this breed - large, with a prominent occipital tumor, narrow, long, covered with numerous folds of soft, hanging skin.

All these features give the dog a serious and haughty appearance.

  • Bridge of nose parallel to the top line of the skull.
  • Nostrils open, stop slightly marked.
  • Long lips turn into abundant lips.
  • Teeth strong, set in a scissor bite.
  • Eyes brown in color, oval in shape, not too deep set.
  • Ears set low, very long, drooping, covered with velvety hair.
  • Neck long, muscular, covered with loose skin forming a double dewlap.
  • The back is long and broad, with a slightly marked withers.
  • The top and bottom lines of the back are almost parallel to each other.
  • Chest broad and deep with a pronounced forechest.
  • Short and strong loins transform into a muscular, almost flat croup.
  • The tail is long, straight and saber-like.
  • Limbs straight, parallel, well-muscled.
  • Feet tightly closed with well arched toes.

Bloodhound color

The hair is short, close-fitting, hard on the body and velvety on the head and ears.


  • black and tan,
  • liver and tan,
  • Red.

Bloodhound care

Bloodhounds they have a short and smooth coat that can be combed once a week.

It is most convenient to do this with a rubber glove, specially designed for this purpose.

During the period of increased shedding, additional help in the form of a metal bar for short-haired dogs may be useful.

Skin folds also require care - care should be taken to keep them clean and dry to prevent the possibility of skin inflammation in these areas.

We can use wet wipes for washing them chlorhexidine or phytosphingosine intended for dogs, or moisturizing wipes for children.

Since dogs have quite profuse lips, you need to be prepared to wipe your dog's mouth after eating and drinking, otherwise the whole house will be splashed by shaking off your dog's mouth.

Bloodhound disease

Bloodhound disease


Ectropium is a defect of the eyelids, consisting in their folding outwards, which exposes the conjunctiva.

Its effect may be:

  • chronic conjunctivitis,
  • increased tear flow,
  • keratitis.

Treatment is based on the use of topical moisturizing and caring preparations.

Surgical correction is indicated in the case of a large defect.

Rhomboidal eye

The so-called. rhomboidal eye or diamond eye is a defect of the eyelids which, while surrounding the eyeball, give it a hexagonal shape.

It is a combination of simultaneously occurring ectropion and entropion of the upper and lower eyelids.

It is often accompanied by conjunctivitis, lacrimation or corneal damage.

Depending on the severity of the defect, local treatment in the form of anti-inflammatory and moisturizing drugs or surgical correction is used.

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia it is an incorrect development of the articular surfaces that are part of the elbow joint.

It consists of several subunits and they are:

  • unattached ulnar appendix,
  • fragmentation of the medial peak process,
  • osteochondrosis of the medial epicondyle of the humerus - the so-called. osteochondritis dissecans,
  • mismatch of the articular surfaces.

This defect manifests itself in puppies several months old (6-12 months) lameness of one or both of the pectorals.

The elbow joints are painful and an increased amount of fluid can build up in them.

In bloodhounds, the ulceration of the elbow is the most common, which is visible on the X-ray image.

Treatment is usually surgical and its method depends on the type of disorder present.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a poligenetic defect and consists in incorrect connection and shaping of the structures included in this joint.

Environmental factors also contribute to the occurrence of HD, such as:

  • excessive amount of exercise in adolescence,
  • too fast pace of growth
  • incorrect composition of the feed, mainly in terms of the content of elements.

Most often the first symptoms are seen in aged dogs 6-12 months, but sometimes the breeder can notice them already in 2 - 3-month-old puppies, and these are:

  • reluctance to move,
  • difficulty getting up,
  • preferring the lying position,
  • so-called rabbit jumping.

There may also be lameness.

If the repeated microdamages of the articular cartilage are not too strong, the first few years of the pet's life may be symptom-free due to the thickening of the capsule and the secondary stabilization of the joint by muscle mass.

Then we will notice the difficult movement and stiff gait only in an older dog.

The most common symptom in the clinical examination is pain when the limbs are manipulated in the hip joints.

For a correct assessment, it is also necessary to take an X-ray under shallow anesthesia.

In young dogs exposed to dysplasia, a prophylactic X-ray is performed for its early detection.

Treatment of dysplasia may be operational and symptomatic, depending on the age and severity of degenerative changes.

The most common surgical procedures are:

  • anastomosis of the pubic symphysis
  • triple pelvic osteotomy
  • DARtroplasty
  • femoral head resection
  • operations on the comb muscle
  • lowering of the greater trochanter of the femur

In older dogs, symptomatic treatment in the form of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs is mainly used.

Innovative therapies with the use of stem cells have also begun to be used in veterinary medicine, a method taken from human medicine.

Aortic stenosis

Aortic stenosis belongs to congenital heart defects.

It can be supravalvular, valvular and subvalvular.

Clinical signs appear most often in dogs over the age of 15 months, but with big changes it can come to breathlessness, cough and faint already in much younger animals, due to the obstructed outflow of blood from the left ventricle.

The key to diagnosis is examination echo of the heart, because the ECG and X-ray in this case is usually correct.

The degree of severity of the stenosis requires a Doppler examination.


Hypothyroidism is a disease classified as an endocrine disease and consists in reduced secretion of hormones necessary for the body's metabolic changes.

Most often it is caused by:

  • lymphocytic thyroiditis,
  • idiopathic atrophy
  • neoplastic changes.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism vary and develop slowly.

Belong to them:

  • skin changes,
  • seborrhea,
  • inflammation of the ears,
  • apathy,
  • panting,
  • obesity,
  • increased thirst and urine output,
  • no estrus,
  • sterility,
  • muscle weakness.

For diagnosis, it is necessary to perform a blood test with the determination of thyroid hormones (T4, fT4) and thyrotropin released by the pituitary gland (TSH).

Treatment is life-long and consists of administering the dose of thyroxine determined by a veterinarian twice a day.

For proper regulation, periodic tests of thyroid hormone levels in the blood are necessary - first after approx. 6 weeks, and every 6 months thereafter.


Obesity, both in humans and dogs, has become a disease of civilization.

While there is a trend towards being fit in humans, not entirely in the case of animals.

Many people think that the fatter a dog is, the better, because it means that he is well fed.

A large part of the guardians do not notice the dog unnecessary kilograms or even become indignant when the veterinarian suggests that the animal could use a diet.

The dog, as you know, will not lose weight by itself, so the first step is to realize that our friend is too fat and take radical steps, because it is not only a matter of aesthetics, but above all health.

As in humans, obesity in dogs can lead to:

  • cardiological problems,
  • diseases of the locomotor system,
  • vascular disorders.

The weight loss process must be a combination of diet and physical activity.

There are both commercial dog foods and specialized veterinary diets available on the market to help maintain a healthy body weight.

It is also very important to use the right amount of food ration, for which it is best to use a kitchen scale.

It is also better to divide the food into smaller portions so that the dog eats it "in installments " than to pour it all at once.

All kinds of treats, cookies and "leftovers from your table " are also limited to zero if the diet is to be effective.

If we follow all these rules and the dog still has problems with shedding or it is worth consulting a veterinarian, because some diseases, such as. Hypothyroidism or diabetes can cause problems with maintaining a healthy body weight.

Stomach torsion

Virtually all large breed dogs with a deep chest and loosely suspended on a long mesentery are predisposed to gastric torsion.

As a result of the accumulation of food, fluid or gases in it, it becomes overloaded, which is manifested by anxiety, vomiting and abdominal pain.

When an additional twist occurs, the contour of the abdominal cavity grows, the dog tries to vomit unsuccessfully, and as a result of developing circulatory and respiratory disorders, it causes shock and death, therefore rapid surgical intervention is necessary.

For whom the bloodhound will be the perfect dog?

Bloodhounds are often kept as companion dogs these days.

However, they are not suitable for everyone, as they have specific requirements.

They are friendly and like children, for whom they have a lot of patience and allow them a lot.

The same applies to other pets, so they can be kept under one roof with other dogs or even cats.

They belong to active dogs, so a daily dose of intensive training is necessary for them to live, so people with a less sporty lifestyle or the elderly will not be their dream caretakers.

Due to the aforementioned passion for tracking, they must be allowed to train this skill, and also be taught obedience, because they are quite stubborn.

They can pull a lot when following an interesting scent like in a run, and because they are strong, they must be taught basic commands to prevent them from overturning us.

They require early socialization and familiarization with the surrounding world, because they can be fearful, which can turn into aggression.

Despite their loud bark, they are unlikely to be guardians, because they can be friendly even towards strangers, and most often treat them with indifference.

Quiet suburbs rather than the crowded and noisy city centers will be a dream setting for them, which you should know about when buying a dog of this breed.

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