AKC Hound Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The gentle Bloodhound’s name originates not from any quest for blood, but from the fact that only “bluebloods” owned this “pure-blooded” breed. The Bloodhound type is very old, with its direct predecessor, the St. Huberts Hound, present by the eighth century in Belgium. The breed came to England in the eleventh century, and to America in the nineteenth century. The scent-tracking prowess of the Bloodhound is legendary. This breed can successfully follow trails more than 100 hours old, and stay with a trail for more than 100 miles. The Bloodhound is used worldwide for rescue and criminal searches, and evidence based on its scenting prowess is admissible in courts of law. One Bloodhound brought about more than 600 criminal arrests and convictions.


The Bloodhound is a powerful, very massive hound with a long muzzle, very long, drooping ears, and deep-set eyes. His jowls and loose, hanging, wrinkled skin give the Bloodhound a rather mournful, dignified expression. The nostrils are large and open, and the folds of the skin are said to aid in holding scent particles. The color of the eyes varies from hazel to yellow, and corresponds to the color of the dog. A scissors bite is preferred. The short coat is easy to care for with a hound’s glove and comes in black and tan, liver and tan, and red. A little white is permitted on the chest, feet, and tip of the tail.

Key Facts

  • Height: 25 to 27 in. (male); 23 to 25 in. (female)
  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 90 to 110 lbs. (male); 80 to 100 lbs. (female)
  • Availability: Might take some effort to find
  • Talents: Hunting, tracking, man trailing, police scent work, narcotics detection, and search and rescue


Has a tendency to bay, snore, and drool a lot. Also might sniff excessively or wander off on the trail of an intriguing scent. Buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip-dysplasia clearance, as the breed tends to hip dysplasia. Eye problems due to eyelids turning in or out are common, as is skin-fold infection. Clean and dry skin folds daily. The Bloodhound has a distinctive doggy odor that is offensive to some people.


Kind, patient, noble, docile, and lovable. Extremely affectionate. A good-natured companion. Fairly energetic out of doors; generally quiet indoors. Needs firm, but gentle training—this breed tends toward willfulness.


  • Children: Excellent with children
  • Friendliness: Loves everyone
  • Trainability: Somewhat difficult to train
  • Independence: Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance: Low
  • Other Pets: Might be aggressive with dogs of the same sex; do not trust with non-canine pets
  • Combativeness: Some can be a bit dog-aggressive
  • Noise: Likes to bay
  • Indoors: Relatively inactive indoors
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming: A little grooming is needed.
  • Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat: Short coat
  • Shedding: Average shedder
  • Exercise: Needs moderate exercise
  • Jogging: A fair jogging companion
  • Apartments: Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space: Best with at least an average-size yard
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Longevity: Short (under 10 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Bloodhound Breed Standard

Bloodhound Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Bloodhound

Bloodhound Gifts