Bloodhounds are large, substantial dogs standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 110 pounds. Their most famous features are a long, wrinkled face with loose-hanging skin; huge drooping ears; and warm, deep-set eyes that complete an expression of solemn dignity. The coat color can be black and tan, liver (reddish brown) and tan, or red. A thick, powerful body and legs allow Bloodhounds to follow a trail over miles of tough, punishing terrain.
- Historical accounts of the Bloodhounds have little evidence to prove how far back the origins of the breed reach, but many authorities believe that the breed was known throughout the Mediterranean countries long before the Christian Era.
- In the 3rd century A.D., Claudius Aelianus noted the Bloodhound in his HISTORIA Animalium describing a dog that was unrivaled for its scenting powers and determination to stay on the trail until the quarry was located.
- The Bloodhound made its appearance in Europe long before the Crusades, with the first specimens being brought from Constantinople. There were two strains, black and white. The blacks were the famed St. Huberts of the 8th century, and the whites later became known as the Southern Hounds.
- It was from the black stock that the first importations were made to England. In the 12th century, the English elite were at the forefront of fostering the development of the breed for use in packs in hunting on horseback.
- Although the Bloodhound reached approximately its modern form in England, the breed has perhaps reached its greatest development in the United States, as far as usefulness is concerned.
- Established in America for over a century, it proved early on to be a tireless worker for law enforcement, being so accurate that evidence trailed by a Bloodhound has been accepted in a court of law.
- Today, the Bloodhound has a loyal following of people that enjoy exhibiting a well-bred dog that can successfully compete in Conformation, Obedience and Tracking events.
The above text and image © 2017 American Kennel Club.