The Bloodhound is the oldest scent hound and the one having the keenest sense of smell of any dog. This hound is popular as a working dog in tracking a police suspect or in a search and rescue operation. In a court of law, they are one of the few breeds whose testimony can be upheld.

They have a history that extends back to the 7th century AD in France. The name was derived from the expression “blooded hound”, meaning a hound of pure breeding.

The Bloodhound’s most famous features are a long, wrinkled face with loose skin; huge, drooping ears; and warm, deep-set eyes that complete an expression of solemn dignity. Coat colors can be black and tan, liver and tan, or red. Powerful legs allow them to scent over miles of punishing terrain.

When you are owned by a Bloodhound Dog, you have an incredible responsibility to them. They are big, powerfully built, slobber, and they eat a lot. They have absolutely no road sense at all so you need to protect them with a fenced yard and walk them only with a lead. In return, they will be incredibly devoted and loving – will warm your heart as well as make you laugh.

General Appearance

The Bloodhound possesses, in a most marked degree, every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces). He is very powerful, and stands over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds. The skin is thin to the touch and extremely loose, this being more especially noticeable about the head and neck, where it hangs in deep folds.


In temperament he is extremely affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs. His nature is somewhat shy, and equally sensitive to kindness or correction by his master.


The mean average height of adult dogs is 26 inches, and of adult bitches 24 inches. Dogs usually vary from 25 inches to 27 inches, and bitches from 23 inches to 25 inches; but, in either case, the greater height is to be preferred, provided that character and quality are also combined.

The mean average weight of adult dogs, in fair condition, is 90 pounds, and of adult bitches 80 pounds. Dogs attain the weight of 110 pounds, bitches 100 pounds. The greater weights are to be preferred, provided (as in the case of height) that quality and proportion are also combined.


The colors are black and tan, liver and tan, and red; the darker colors being sometimes interspersed with lighter or badger-colored hair, and sometimes flecked with white. A small amount of white is permissible on chest, feet, and tip of stern.

Learn more at the American Bloodhound Club.