This large dog, famous for its sad wrinkled expression and long ears has an impressive sense of smell. The Bloodhound forms part of the hound group.

Bloodhound breed Group


Size of the Bloodhound

Large. A robust and imposing dog.

Country of origin

Belgium, Great Britain

Time of original development

The Bloodhound is a very old breed, and although it’s origin are unclear, many believe this breed was developed by monks in Belgium.

The Bloodhound through History

The bloodhound was used as a leashed hound to track deer and wild boar. It is reputed to have the finest sense of smell in the dog world, along with the Basset Hound.

Today the Bloodhound is kept as a companion dog, but it can still be found working in a professional capacity, including police work such as tracking missing people, missing prisoners etc.

Bloodhound breed introduction and overview

The Bloodhound is a large, well-muscled dog with a strong head and long flat pendant ears that almost touch the ground. The dog has loose-fitting skin that form creases on the body and face, creating the sad expression this dog is famous for.

The Bloodhound was known as the Sleuth Hound in Scotland, and the Chien de Saint-Hubert in France.

Bloodhound temperament

The Bloodhound is a gentle and placid dog. It is normally a good family pet, and normally good with children. Bloodhounds can live quite happily with cats, if socialised well from an early age, but care should be taken around the smaller pets in the home.

The Bloodhound has a sensitive nature, and does not react to harsh training. This breed can also be very stubborn and due to its incredible sense of smell can often get distracted on dog walks and roam off.

Bloodhounds are also renowned for snoring and slobbering. They also have a distinctive musky smell about them, which some owners find unpleasant. Their bark is very deep and very loud too!

Colour varieties of the Bloodhound

The breed comes in a variety of colours and markings which include:

  • Black and Tan
  • Liver
  • Liver and Tan
  • Liver and White
  • Red

Size and weight of the Bloodhound

Height bitch 58-63cms

Height dog 63-69cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 30-45kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 40-50kgs

Exercise requirements of the Bloodhound

High. Despite the Bloodhound’s large size and deceptively cumbersome looking frame, this dog is very athletic and actually needs at least 2 hours of exercise every day.

Is the Bloodhound a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No. This breed is very difficult to train, so probably best for an experienced handler who understands the instinctive hunting behaviour of the dog.

Bloodhound coat length

The glossy coat is short and low maintenance. The Bloodhound is the perfect all-weather-walking dog as rain and mud tend to simply slide off the short coat.

Grooming requirements of the Bloodhound

Low. The short no-fuss coat requires little grooming, although a regular brushing with a good quality bristle brush, or polish with a chamois leather will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

Ears need to be checked after dog walks for signs of infection, foreign bodies, dirt and ticks.


No. The Bloodhound sheds continually throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Bloodhound

The breed has a few problems, so do consult your breeder:

  • Bloat
  • Eye problems
  • Skin problems
  • Ears problems - The long pendant ears should be checked on a daily basis for any signs of infection.

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Bloodhound

This breed has quite a expected lifespan at between 7-10 years.

Approximate Bloodhound pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around a £1,000 for a puppy, and be aware that available litters of puppies are few and far between. There were just 77 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is expected. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy. There are generally 8-10 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Bloodhound would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 40kgs requires around 436gms of complete dry food per day.

A dog weighing 50kgs requires around 509gms of complete dry food per day.

The weekly cost of feeding a 40kgs bitch is around £10.75

The weekly cost of feeding a 50kgs dog is around £12.50

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket on the high street. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment