Originating in Belgium and France, the Bloodhound is what you would expect of a scent-hunting hound dog. It is a common misconception that the word "bloodhound" means that they follow a blood trail, but this is not the case. These dogs were owned by the nobility that considered the dogs "blooded" or "of pure breed." St. Hubert Hounds, ancient scent-tracking dogs that were bred by Hubert who later became the patron saint of hunters, are considered to be early ancestors that were known at least as far back as the Roman Empire. They were also one of the first breeds brought to colonial America where they were referenced in Benjamin Franklin's writings as early as 1764. Mantrailing alongside Bloodhounds became a popular activity and it didn't take long before the police force recognized the extraordinary scenting abilities of the breed. The testimony of a Bloodhound is even accepted in courts, which attests to their skills as a scenthound.
Widely recognized by their thin and extremely loose coat, the Bloodhound's unique appearance is their wrinkly, droopy-look. These features give the breed an expression of nobility and wisdom. Large and well-muscled, the Bloodhound is an impressive-looking dog that is commonly seen in criminal movies following a trail. Their coat is rough, dense, short, and water-repellent. With a powerful body and legs, these hard-working hounds are able to work in any sort of rough terrain for long periods of time until the job is done. They have deeply sunken eyes, a long muzzle with a black nose, and the ears of the Bloodhound, another recognized feature, are extremely long, thin, and soft to the touch. The tail of the breed is moderately long and thick at the base.
The Bloodhound is a tough breed that stands their ground. With a keen nose, they are widely used as a police dog with a specialty in tracking people, whether it be kidnapped victims or escaped criminals. The line of work that these large dogs participate in showcases their loyalty, efficiency, and trustworthiness. They are known to be affectionate and easy-going with children, adults, and other dogs, however, supervision may be needed with small children because of the breed's size. They can also do well with other animals in the household if properly socialized or raised with them from a young age. Bloodhounds can be independent and stubborn, but are also known to be very attentive towards their owners and require only gentle obedience training. Like a typical hound dog, they generally need plenty of outdoor time and opportunity to be active, therefore, they are usually not recommended for apartments or condos. Due to their persistence, Bloodhounds are known for always following a scent, no matter what, and should be kept within a fenced yard or always on a leash when going on walks to prevent wandering off. Renowned for its exceptional nose, the Bloodhound also makes for a great house pet and lifelong companion.