A large, black and tan dog, sits on the grass looking up at the camera. The dog has clearly been for a swim with it's wet, soggy coat.


15 September 2023

Let’s talk about… Bloodhounds: what are they?

  • Bloodhounds are a fascinating breed known for their exceptional sense of smell. This sense of smell is estimated to be 1,000 times more powerful than that of humans. making them one of the best scent tracking dogs in the world.
  • They have a rich history that traces back to mediaeval times and are believed to have been bred by monks in Belgium.
  • These dogs are large and powerful, with droopy ears and loose skin that adds to their distinctive appearance.
  • Bloodhounds are renowned for their tracking abilities and are often used in search and rescue operations or as scent detection dogs.
  • They stand at an average height of 58-69 cm for males and 56-63 cm for females.
  • They weigh between 40-55 kg.
  • Their life expectancy ranges from 10 to 12 years.
Bloodhound  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 4/5 Trainabiltiy 3/5

What is the temperament of Bloodhounds like?

  • Bloodhounds are known for their gentle and affectionate nature.
  • They are generally friendly and patient dogs, making them good companions for families.
  • However, they can also be independent and stubborn at times, which can pose challenges during training.
  • It's important to provide consistent guidance while also using positive reinforcement methods to keep them engaged.
  • Bloodhounds have a strong instinct to follow scents, so it's crucial to keep them on a leash or in a secure, fenced area when outside.
  • They may easily get distracted by interesting smells, and their tracking instinct can lead them to wander off if not properly supervised.
Cooper, the Bloodhound

How much exercise do Bloodhounds need?

  • Bloodhounds are an active breed that requires a significant amount of exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
  • They should have at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day to prevent boredom and promote their overall well-being.
  • This exercise can include brisk walks, jogging, or engaging in activities that challenge their scent tracking abilities. Providing them with opportunities to use their powerful nose is important for their mental stimulation.
  • It's worth noting that while exercise is essential, excessive exercise at a young age can put strain on their joints and growth plates.
  • For Bloodhound puppies, it's recommended to provide shorter and less intense exercise sessions to allow for proper growth and development. Consult with your veterinarian for specific exercise guidelines tailored to your puppy's age and individual needs.
Lara, the Bloodhound

Do Bloodhounds need a lot of grooming?

  • Bloodhounds have a short and dense coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean and healthy.
  • Although their coat is relatively low-maintenance, they are prone to drooling and can develop a distinct "hound odour."
  • Wiping their face and ears regularly can help manage drool and prevent skin issues.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Maya, the Bloodhound

Are Bloodhounds easy to train?

  • Bloodhounds are intelligent dogs, but they can be independent and stubborn, which can make training a challenge.
  • Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement techniques are key when training a Bloodhound.
  • It's important to be confident while using rewards, treats, and praise to motivate and engage them.
  • Due to their exceptional scent tracking abilities, Bloodhounds may easily get distracted by smells during training sessions.
  • Keeping training sessions short, varied, and interesting can help maintain their focus and prevent boredom.
  • Early socialisation is also crucial to help them become more comfortable around new people, animals, and environments.
Lucy, the Bloodhound

What do Bloodhounds eat?

  • A well-balanced and high-quality dog food is essential for the health of a Bloodhound.
  • Their diet should provide the necessary nutrients to support their large size and active lifestyle.
  • Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate amount and type of food for your Bloodhound, taking into consideration their age, weight, and activity level.
  • For Bloodhound puppies, it's important to feed them a puppy-specific diet until they reach approximately 12 months of age.
  • Puppies should be fed 3-4 times a day until they are 6 months old, when this should be reduced to twice daily.
  • Puppy food is formulated to meet their specific nutritional needs for growth and development.
  • Follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with your vet on the best diet for your individual pooch.

Are Bloodhounds healthy?

While Bloodhounds are generally a healthy breed, they can be prone to certain health issues that are important to be aware of:

Bones and Joints

  • Elbow Dysplasia - this condition is where there is an issue with how the bones fit together at the elbow joint
  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint, which can lead to discomfort and arthritis


  • Corneal Ulcers - open sores on the cornea of the eye
  • Ectropion - with this condition the eyelid rolls out, which can expose the eye to dryness
  • Entropion - this is where the eyelids roll in, causing eyelashes to rub onto the surface of the eye


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Atopy - when the immune system overreacts to an allergen and results in skin irritation.

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Bloodhound is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Bloodhounds

BorrowMyDoggy has 38 Bloodhound members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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