A dog of great size and imposing dignity, the Bloodhound is recognisable by even the least doggy people. His amazing ability to follow a human scent over all types of terrain after many hours has given him an almost super-canine reputation, which has been fostered by writers of detective fiction.
The Bloodhound is possibly descended from hounds once kept at the monastery of St Hubert in Belgium, but he has been bred and developed in Britain since before 1300. In the 19th Century he was used to rescue the French Chien de Saint Hubert from extinction and carries that name in parts of Europe. He was originally used as a leashed hound in hunting deer and wild boar, but also from very early times in tracking humans. In Scotland he was known as the sleuth-hound and he was used up to about 1600 on both sides of the Scottish border in pursuit of raiders and cattle thieves.
The looseness of his skin, especially over the head, and his long pendulous ears are possibly the most characteristic features of the breed. His powerful limbs and body make him a truly big dog, weighing up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds).
He is generally good-natured and affectionate, but can be surprisingly sensitive. He has the sort of voice that cannot be ignored. His short coat cleans up easily in spite of his tendency to plough his way through ditches when on the trail.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
More than 2 hours per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Once a week
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Under 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Hound Breed Group
Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.