The Bloodhound's sweet, pleading eyes mask some serious skills. Bloodhounds have incredible senses of smell. In fact, they were the first dogs whose evidence, obtained while sniffing, was admissible in court. In pursuit of a scent, if it seems like they have blinders on, it's because they do. When they put their nose to the ground, the skin around their eyes falls forward and creates flap-like blinders, blocking out any peripheral vision. Bloodhounds are large dogs who stand about 2 feet tall and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Bloodhounds are thoughtful, deliberate dogs who have nothing but affection for their families. They are gentle, kind-hearted dogs who expect to be treated with respect and care. They require some extra time and effort during training and grooming, but they are lovable and grateful for all the attention they receive.
A Bloodhound once tracked a scent for 135 miles across the Kansas plains, so don't expect their relentless drive to let up just because you ask them nicely. Training these dogs to obey and most importantly, to listen to your commands, is important because they are incredibly self-directed. Even once they learn to respond, you might not ever be able to let them wander around off their leashes unless you have a large, fenced-in yard where they can roam with no fear of escape. Bloodhounds are literally nosy. They are constantly curious and they love to stick their snout into everything. Setting boundaries, especially indoors, and immediately designating between good and bad behavior will go a long way toward creating a well-mannered pup.
These dogs are skilled sniffers and they are fierce in pursuit of a target, but once they reach it, they'll never attack. Bloodhounds are single-minded, but they are much too affectionate and sensitive to be aggressive. With their families, Bloodhounds are gentle and loving. They love exercise and appreciate receiving plenty of affirmation.
The Bloodhound's distinctive appearance comes from his long, pendulous ears, droopy jowls and saggy skin. Their coat is loose and hangs in deep folds around the neck. Their hair is short and thin, often seen in black and tan, liver and tan or red.
Bloodhounds do shed seasonally, so brushing will remove dead hairs and help the coat and skin stay healthy.
Bloodhounds need to be bathed every two-weeks. They emit a serious dog odor, and it doesn't help that their saggy skin and long ears drag through just about everything when they've got their nose to the ground. Use an odor reduction shampoo unless you're okay living with their unique brand of musk. Their skin is thin and sensitive, so take care when bathing and when brushing with a firm bristle brush or a hound glove. Clean their facial wrinkles and skin folds with a damp wash cloth to prevent infection.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Eyes / Ears
The Bloodhound's long, pendulous ears are an issue, so check them for infection, swab them out and trim any loose hairs daily. Check the ears and flews under the upper lip after every meal, making sure to wash and dry them carefully.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.