The Bloodhound's were created in medieval France to trail deer and boar. Today, he's a highly active and intelligent dog breed whose keen sense of smell has found him a special place in law enforcement and search and rescue.
This wrinkled hound is gentle and affectionate, but he's far from lazy. He can follow a scent trail for miles and will always prefer that to sleeping on the sun porch. Expect to commit to long walks every day if you live with a Bloodhound.
- This is a very active breed, not the lazy dog you may have seen portrayed on The Beverly Hillbillies. Bloodhounds are working dogs and need long daily walks or runs.
- Bloodhounds are not suited for apartment living. They do best in a home with a large fenced yard.
- Bloodhounds are pack dogs and will enjoy the company of other dogs. A cat will do in a pinch.
- Bloodhounds slobber and shed. Keep baby wipes or hand towels on hand throughout the house, and brush them weekly or more often if needed.
- Bloodhounds love and are extremely tolerant with them. Teach children how to treat a Bloodhound properly and supervise play between them. Bloodhounds may be too large for toddlers; they can knock them down with a single swipe of the tail.
- Bloodhounds need a fenced yard. This is not an option but a necessity. If they come across an interesting scent, they will follow it, head down, nose to the ground, eyes covered by their wonderful ears, oblivious to traffic and other dangers.
- For the same reason you need a fenced yard, you need to walk a Bloodhound on leash.
- Known for their stubbornness, Bloodhounds need an owner who is firm, loving, and consistent. A Bloodhound who is mistreated or feels he is mistreated will pout and hide. Bloodhounds do well with positive reinforcement training.
- Bloodhounds are prone to recurring ear infections. Routinely check their ears and clean them on a regular basis.
- Bloodhounds will chew and swallow the most unimaginable items, from rocks and plants to batteries and TV remotes.
- When they're not following a trail, Bloodhounds prefer to live indoors with the family..
The male Bloodhound stands 25 to 27 inches tall and weighs 90 to 110 pounds; females are 23 to 25 inches and 80 to 100 pounds.
Bloodhounds are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Bloodhounds will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can be worsened by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries incurred from jumping or falling on slick floors.
- Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition common to large-breed dogs. It's thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog's elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend surgery to correct the problem, or weight management or anti-inflammatory medication to control the pain.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is caused by a deficiency of thyroid hormone and may produce signs that include infertility, obesity, mental dullness, and lack of energy. The dog's fur may become coarse and brittle and begin to fall out, while the skin becomes tough and dark. Hypothyroidism can be managed very well with a thyroid replacement pill daily. Medication must continue throughout the dog's life.
- Ectropion: Ectropion is the rolling out or sagging of the eyelid, leaving the eye exposed and prone to irritation and infection. If ectropion is severe, it can be corrected surgically.
- Entropion: This defect, which is usually obvious by six months of age, causes the eyelid to roll inward, irritating or injuring the eyeball. One or both eyes can be affected. If your Bloodhound has entropion, you may notice him rubbing at his eyes. The condition can be corrected surgically if needed when the dog matures.
- Epilepsy: This seizure disorder, which can be hereditary, acquired, or of unknown cause, can be managed with medication, but it can't be cured. A dog can live a full and healthy life with the proper management of this disease.
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat): Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested dogs, especially if they're fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, drink large amounts of water rapidly, or exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists. The dog is unable to belch or vomit to rid himself of the excess air in his stomach, and blood flow to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure drops and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog can die. Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen, is drooling excessively, and retching without throwing up. He also may be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak with a rapid heart rate. If you notice these signs, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
- Fold Dermatitis: This skin infection is caused by friction or trapped moisture in the folds of the skin. The signs of fold dermatitis are redness, sores, and odor, usually on the tail, face, lips, vulvar folds, and any fold on the body. The treatment for Fold Dermatitis can vary depending on the area that is affected but it can include surgical removal of the folds or amputation of the tail in the case of fold dermatitis on the tail. It can also include topical ointments, antibiotics. The best means of treatment is to properly maintain your dog's coat and subsequent folds to prevent the condition.
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