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History of the breed
Dogs with an unusually keen sense of smell existed in the Mediterranean countries, long before the advent of our era. Bloodhounds are representatives of the oldest type of hounds, although the appearance of dogs has seriously changed, thanks to the efforts of people.
Bloodhounds were bred in ancient Greece. Over time, these dogs appeared in Ancient Rome. From there, hunting dogs spread throughout Europe.
The author of the book “History of Animals”, Claudius Elian, in the 3rd century, spoke with enthusiasm about bloodhounds: in his opinion, these hounds have no rivals in terms of instinct and determination. If the dog is on the trail, it will not stop until it finds the animal.
In the 8th century, black and white Bloodhounds came under the patronage of the brethren of St. Hubert’s Monastery. The monks preserved and improved the breed – for several centuries they bred and crossed bloodhounds with other dogs, having received several new breeds of hounds: English, French, Swiss. All new breeds showed characteristic bloodhound features: skin folds and long, drooping ears.
Representatives of the highest clergy of the 12th century did not consider participation in dog hunting as shameful, there was a place for kennels in any monastery, and special attention was always paid to bloodhounds in huge packs of hounds. No other dog could successfully find the animal on the old trail. The breed was appreciated and carefully preserved.
Hounds were also actively used as bloodhounds. In 17th century Great Britain there were laws obliging to call bloodhounds on guard duty and forbidding residents to obstruct the passage of a dog into a house. Moreover, if a dog on duty showed a desire to enter, the owners were obliged to open the door for him. There was one penalty for refusing to cooperate with a dog: the death penalty.
The name of the breed gave the desire to preserve the best qualities of dogs: bloodhound is translated from English as “purebred hound”.
The English doctor Johann Cayus, a famous dog lover, explained this name in another way: dogs follow the bloody trail of the victim. The wounded beast, which has enough strength left to escape from the hunter, still leaves blood, and these hounds begin to pursue by the smell of blood. Therefore, they are rightfully called “blood”.
It was Kayus who mentioned the alternative use of the breed: if the thieves did not leave traces of blood, the dog will still follow the trail for long distances, find the thief in the crowd, make his way through impassable thickets, even swim across the river and get on the trail on the other bank, spinning a little so that find him.
At the beginning of the 17th century, black bloodhounds became constant companions of English hunters, helping in the extraction of deer, wolves, and lynxes. By this time the appearance of the dogs was as close as possible to the modern one. They do not differ in speed, but their amazing flair and dedication in pursuing animals on the trail have no analogues. The rest of the hounds were already following the Bloodhound that had taken the trail..
Bloodhounds entered the New World at the same time as the Europeans. There, dogs received a new use and hatred of blacks: slave hunters. Bloodhounds were allowed to follow the trail of slaves who had escaped from plantations. Persistent hunters could pursue a victim over a distance of over 100 kilometers. It was in the USA that Bloodhounds finally acquired their modern look. But during the civil war, pedigree dogs were almost completely exterminated by former slaves.
Artists belonging to the movement of fighters for the abolition of slavery in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries often chose the persecution of escaped slaves by bloodhounds as a subject for their paintings.
In the International Cynological Association, the breed is registered as Belgian, although it acquired its qualities thanks to the English monks, and was finally formed with the active participation of American slave owners.
Bloodhounds appeared in Russia under Peter the Great – the dogs were bought for the Izmailovsky menagerie for a lot of money. But after the death of the emperor, no one was interested in the hounds. Professional breeders of this breed appeared only in the USSR in the late 1980s.
Now the main purpose of the breed is companion dogs or show specimens. Although hunting dogs have also survived, they are equally successful in tracking down large and small game – from moose to badgers. Bitches are believed to be more suitable for hunting. Bloodhounds work most effectively on the trail of blood – tracking down wounded.
Description of the breed
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Bloodhound has all the best qualities of pack dogs that hunt with the help of flair. The breed is stronger and has more endurance than other types of hounds. Distinctive features are thin and loose skin that forms large folds, especially on the head and neck.
- Height at withers in males – up to 68 centimeters, in bitches – up to 63 centimeters.
- Weight males – up to 50 kilograms, bitches – up to 37 kilograms.
- Head – not wide, heavy, muzzle – long. The skin hangs down from the head in folds – this is especially pronounced on the forehead and on the sides of the muzzle. Long, drooping lips with drooping wings that merge with the neck folds. Nose – black or brown.
- Ears – longer than the muzzle, set low, drooping. Covered with short hair.
- Neck – long, strong. Gives the dog the opportunity to follow the trail for a long time with his head down.
- Limbs – straight, strong. Their good development contributes to endurance. When the dog is in a stance, the limbs are wide apart..
- Tail Set on high, long and thick, tapering towards the tip. Normal position – slightly above the back line.
- Wool – short but thick. Tough to the touch.
- Color – one color. The most common colors are reddish brown or black and brown. Sometimes white patches appear on the chest, fingers and tail.
Character and features
Aristocratic manners are combined with a sincere affection for the owner and his family. Especially “thoroughbred” loves children, so, rather, it is necessary to protect the dog from them, and not vice versa. This is not a joke: children should not be allowed to hurt the dog, take away food or toys – the Bloodhound will think that it should be. This will affect the working qualities of the dog.
Despite the reputation of a “slave hunter”, representatives of the breed are often timid and shy, they feel good about themselves and respond to intonation. However, many dogs are stubborn and headstrong. Raising and teaching bloodhounds should be firm and confident, but not rude.
Bloodhounds treat all people and animals well – there will be no problems with the establishment of another pet. Difficulties can arise with dogs of the same sex – no one likes competitors.
In the presence of the hosts, the Bloodhound will welcome any guests, even if they are the first time. The dog especially likes traditional events that are repeated at intervals. Nobody knows how the hound marks dates in the internal calendar, but she is waiting for the next event and takes an active part in the reception and entertainment of visitors. But if the dog is at home alone – it is better for strangers not to appear – the hound will desperately defend its territory.
A subtle flair is both an undeniable merit and a problem. On a walk, Bloodhounds can become so carried away by an unknown or interesting smell that it is difficult to stop their pursuit. It is not known where the dog can take in the process of chasing the source of the smell. Bloodhound is able to detect the scent left behind more than four days ago and follow the trail. For a dog, it makes no difference who left the trail – it will go to the end, regardless of the distance. The hound reacts even to human tracks, which is unusual for other breeds. Therefore, during any walk, the pet must be kept on a leash.
Dogs eat everything that fits in the mouth. The owner’s task during a walk is to carefully monitor what the dog is chewing at the moment.
The puppy grows up late – an adult bloodhound dog can be considered only after reaching the age of two. Up to this point, the hound remains a fun and playful puppy.
These hounds are excellent swimmers and dive without problems.
The thoroughbred is the most obedient dog imaginable. Even in the pursuit of a Bloodhound, curiosity and a competitive spirit are motivated: “I’ll find it anyway.” If a dog tracks down a person, then, having found him, he considers the task completed. They will not attack or detain – this is not an aristocratic business. But the recognition of the trail by a bloodhound is evidence for adjudication, it is so indisputable.
But for the security service dogs of this breed are not attracted – due to their natural good nature, Bloodhounds are not capable of being formidable guards.
A powerful growl, replacing a dog barking, can be heard at a distance of several kilometers.
The breed also has disadvantages:
- The sounds made by the Bloodhound can be annoying: the dog likes to howl, and during sleep it snores loudly and non-tunefully..
- Drooling will become a real problem for cleanliness-prone people – the dog is drooling constantly.
- The pet has a specific smell that is unpleasant to many people. Before you decide to have a Blandhound, you should sniff the puppy.
- Bloodhounds’ coat is short and harsh, requiring little maintenance. Many breeders use a rubber glove for brushing out. The dog may be suspicious of the brush, but does not mind gloved hands – naive pets think they are stroked.
- It is worth washing the bloodhound only when the need for bathing arises. No additional baths needed.
- After washing, you need to wipe the hound with a hard cloth towel – in order for the wool to shine.
- Particular attention should be paid to the ears – in bloodhounds, they are a weak point, infectious diseases are possible. Cleaning your ears regularly is a must, especially if the weather is hot.
- Eyes also require constant care. Standard eye cleaning procedures should be done a little more often..
- They are unpretentious in food. The classic menu is suitable: lean meat, fish fillets, cereals, vegetables. Can be switched to dry food, but meals should be taken in small portions – the usual portion is divided into two doses – due to a tendency to bloating.
Dogs love long walks and can follow their favorite trail for hours on end. The duration of the walk depends only on the endurance of the owner. The main thing is not to let your pet off the leash, otherwise it can go very far. You need to walk the dog at least twice a day for 45 minutes, regardless of whether the weather is good or not, rain, snow or heat. Perhaps, before starting a hound, the future owner should sign up for the sports section – there will definitely not be a Bloodhound lying on the couch.
The breed is poorly adapted for living in an apartment – large dogs lack grace and plasticity in small rooms. Destruction is guaranteed. Chaos will be added by the movement of the tail, sweeping small objects from horizontal surfaces. The barking, which bloodhounds rarely emit, is louder – the neighbors in the stairwell will be impressed. Dogs will happily chew on floor coverings, and boredom will push you to more serious destruction. A hound does not need a mansion – an ordinary rural house with a fenced area is fine.
Bloodhound thinks for a long time whether it is worth listening to the trainer, and slowly executes the commands. Automatic submission is not about him. At the same time, commands and new information settle in the memory of a dog for a long time.
Stubbornness and a complete lack of interest in training are the main problems that a breeder will surely face when trying to train. You will have to fight stubbornness with no less persistence, but the incentive to learn will have to use an artificial – a tasty piece. Just for the kind words the hound refuses to work.
Puppies have a tendency to play pranks from boredom and follow smells, so the first commands they are taught are “Come to me” and “You mustn’t.” Education begins at the age of two months. Over time, the list of commands expands. Bloodhound is capable of standard training programs, subject to the competent approach of the trainer.
- Dysplasia of the pelvis and elbows.
- Distended belly.
- Skin diseases in deep folds.
- Cherry eye.
- Inversion or inversion of the eyelid.
A thoroughbred Blundhound puppy will cost the new owner from 25,000 to 45,000 rubles. The exact price depends on many factors: pedigree, how developed are the qualities inherent in the breed, the medical history of the parents, age.
List of nurseries
- Xenia’s Nadezhda Moscow – www.bloodhound-nadezhda-ksenii.ru/guest.htm
- SKYWOOD HUNTER Stupino – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/1532/
- Davlet Khan Lipetsk – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/3562/
- BAGRIVERA Belgorod – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/4228/