One of the oldest Scenthounds (some have traced the Bloodhound to Mediterranean countries in the third century), most believe that the breed was developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. The name refers to blooded hounds, meaning they were of pure blood and noble breeding. The Bloodhound’s trailing skills in the field of law enforcement have earned the breed high honors. This highly recognizable dog excels in shows and trailing but has enjoyed moderate popularity as a pet.


Large, 80 to 110 pounds; females 23 to 25 inches; males 25 to 27 inches.


Black and tan, liver and tan, and red.


Trustworthy, extremely affectionate, calm; tolerant of children and playful. Reserved with strangers. Ruled by its nose.

Energy level:

Lots of energy until 3 or 4 years of age; then low.

Best owner:

Active owner with a firm approach to training.


Daily exercise, securely fenced yard, leash, drool tolerance, facial cleaning (ears and wrinkles pick up food and water), soft bedding, weekly brushing.

Life expectancy:

7 to 10 years.