Bloodhounds make wonderful family companions. Known for their comical disposition and strong pack nature, Bloodhounds bond strongly with their family pack. Bloodhounds are noted for enjoying the companionship of other dogs and generally do best in a home where they have plenty of time with their family members, furry and non-furry alike.
Bloodhounds are a large dog, often weighing between 80 – 110 pounds. This should be taken into account when considering the breed, as their size will contribute to their cost, both in feeding and in veterinary expenses.
Bloodhounds require a leader in their family; otherwise they may take on this role. They are a very sensitive breed, therefore require a firm, but kind leadership to enable them to blossom into perfect family members.
Young Bloodhounds mature slowly, therefore will require a patient owner, one willing and able to offer adequate exercise, training and supervision through to young adulthood. Bloodhounds are often portrayed as the lazy, sleepy dog on the front porch, but this is not the case until at least mid-life of the Bloodhound. Middle to senior aged Bloodhounds make wonderful additions to busier families that have less time for supervision and exercise requirements.
Bloodhounds have the strongest scenting ability of all dogs, therefore, they cannot be trusted off leash. Bloodhounds require a securely fenced yard or a dedicated owner able to offer all outings on leash, with supervision. Invisible fencing or tie outs are not suitable alternatives for the Bloodhound. Bloodhounds will be lured away on a scent, but rarely make it back home.
Bloodhounds require minimal grooming of their short coat, but they do shed year round. Weekly brushing will help to minimize this. Regular maintenance of their long, heavy ears is a must, otherwise infection can take hold.
Bloodhounds do drool and generally are not a good choice for those meticulous housekeepers or those wanting a lower maintenance dog. Some drool more than others, but most will drool during times of excitement and around food.
All dog breeds have certain medical conditions that are more prevalent in their breed than other breeds. The Bloodhound is no exception. Anyone considering a Bloodhound should educate themselves on the medical conditions more commonly found in the Bloodhound. Most notably in the Bloodhound is gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), more commonly refered to as “Bloat and Torsion”. Details on Bloat and Torsion can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloat
Bloat and Torsion is not an inexpensive occurrence, generally costing between $1500 - $4000 depending on your location and the time bloat and torsion may occur (regular veterinarian’s hours vs. emergency clinic hours). Many Bloodhounds will never experience Bloat and Torsion, but all Bloodhound owners should be prepared for this unfortunate event.
Choosing The Right Bloodhound For You
So, you’ve read "Is A Bloodhound A Good Match For You" and have decided that the Bloodhound is indeed the right fit for your family. Now it’s time to consider some important factors in choosing the right Bloodhound for your lifestyle and expectations.
Generally when an adopted Bloodhound is returned to OBR it is for reasons that were detailed to the adopter from the start. Some of these include “he/she needs too much exercise and we don’t have the time” or “he/she is destructive in the house and needs too much supervision”. It’s important to have a realistic expectation in the Bloodhound you adopt. Often this can be over-shadowed by the excitement of adding a new dog to the family, without careful consideration of the day-to-day reality. Your OBR adoption co-ordinator will help you through this process, however to be successful, an adopter must be realistic in what they can, and will, offer long term.
Not all Bloodhounds are created equal. A number of factors can contribute to the energy level and behaviour of a Bloodhound. However, age is generally the leading factor in what you can expect from your Bloodhound. Each stage of life has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the best Bloodhound for you will depend on your lifestyle. Taking the time now to carefully consider the time, commitment and patience you have to offer to a Bloodhound, will save heartache and disappointment to both you and your new Bloodhound in the future.
Please review the guidelines below. These will help you understand the commitment level for each life stage of the Bloodhound to help you make the best choice possible. Be realistic about your lifestyle now and over the next few years.
Puppy to Age Three
Moderate to high commitment level in both time and patience
Best suited to those that have plenty of spare time each day and more time to focus on a young Bloodhound’s needs
Best suited to those without young children, as often the time needed to invest in a young Bloodhound is not feasible. Bloodhounds at this age are often bouncy and still have plenty of training to master and can easily knock down and hurt a child unintentionally.
Best suited to those with another young, active dog(s) to entertain the high energy level of a Bloodhound at this life stage
Best suited to the outdoor enthusiast that is interested in long hikes, cycling, roller-blading etc. year round…a Bloodhound’s energy is not dictated by weather
Best suited to those with a nearby, fenced dog park for exercise and socialization. A young Bloodhound is rarely worn out on a leash walk, but instead needs the security of running off-leash with other dogs in a safe, fenced environment. Are you committed to an hour outing, possibly two, per day?
Able to provide 6-9 cups of high quality dog food per day to ensure proper growth of the maturing Bloodhound during his/her critical growth period. Inadequate food supply or poor quality dog food can result in painful, costly bone disabilities
Willingness to commit to consistent training to ensure your young Bloodhound develops into a good canine citizen. This may consist of the proper use of a crate
Must have the ability, time and desire to supervise a young Bloodhound to avoid costly, mischievous behaviour that may arise with a bored Bloodhound
Willingness to “puppy proof” your home, as needed
Age Four – Six
Best suited to those with busier lifestyles with less time for multiple, daily exercise regiments…once daily exercise is generally sufficient
A daily leashed walk is generally adequate
Medium commitment level for supervision. These Bloodhounds can generally be occupied with a challenging toy or bone to chew, with less supervision than a younger Bloodhound
Depending on the background of the Bloodhound, some middle aged Bloodhounds will need to learn general “house manners”. Best suited to those that can offer consistent training and those with patience to see the training through to the desired results.
Seven and Up
Perfect for those with busier lifestyles. These Bloodhounds are content to sleep the day away while you work, but still enjoy the company of their families at the end of your day
Much lower activity level. These Bloodhounds still love a walk at a slower speed, but generally are content to stay home and cuddle during inclement weather and when your schedule does not allow for added time for routine walks
Seldom do these more mature Bloodhounds require indoor supervision, although food items can always be a temptation no matter a Bloodhound’s age.
Best suited for those that cannot physically handle an eighty to a hundred pound, active dog.