The Bloodhound is the oldest of the scent hounds as we know them today. All scent hounds today were bred with the Bloodhound as the base. Although his beginnings are left to speculation, we owe his development to St. Hubert, the patron saint of the hunter. It was believed he originally obtained his stock from southern France. This breeding was carried on after his death by the abbots, who succeeded him. The original purpose of the Bloodhound is not completely clear but, in the time they were bred, hunting had to be uppermost. The nobility of the day soon learned they made excellent trailers of persons and were heavily used to trail and find game poachers killing the King's game. Trailing of people remains its primary purpose today along with rescue and cadaver search.
The Bloodhound is an extremely affectionate dog with a gentle nature. He gets along well with other dogs. He may be somewhat shy and is very sensitive to kindness or corrections by his owner.
As a scent hound, the Bloodhound is capable of a great deal of endurance and like any good hound, it only takes a whiff of an interesting scent to get him off and running. He has great stamina and can cover a great deal of distance in a short time. Though he adapts well to either city or country living, he requires daily exercise to maintain fitness and an enclosed area if he is off-leash.
The average height of an adult Bloodhound may be from 23-27 in (58-69 cm) at the shoulder. In good condition, an adult should tip the scales at 80-110 lb (36-49.5 kg).
The coat is short and lies flat.
Bloodhounds may be black-and-tan, liver and tan and red. A small amount of white is permitted on the chest, feet and tip of stern.
A weekly rubdown with a bristle brush or hound mitt takes care of the coat. However, the drooping eyelids and lengthy ears can gather debris and should be checked and cleaned gently on a regular basis.