Sep 08 2017

Bloodhounds: A Special Breed with Otis | Winslow Animal Hospital Dog & Cat


It is no secret that hounds love to sniff.   This can be a problem in some cases, because a hound is tireless when following a scent. They have a very strong tracking instinct and can be willful and somewhat difficult to obedience train and handle.  I have often said “when the nose is on, the ears are off.”  It is very important to make sure your hound is leashed at all times.  Even the most well-trained hound can forget any training when he catches an interesting scent.  The hound will pursue a scent with vehemence and completely block out any other form of sense.  Many hounds in the United States are lost this way.  While it is never a good idea to have your dog off-leash, it is doubly so for a hound.  Make sure that your hound is always in an enclosed area with a solid fence when off-leash and never walk them without a leash.


The Bloodhound is the most effective tracking hound and has been for the past 800 years.  The name Bloodhound comes from the hounds being of “pure-blood.”  Bloodhounds were used in the middle ages to track boar and over the last few hundred years have been bred to specifically track humans.  Certain traits of the bloodhound aid in its ability to follow a scent.  Their long ears are designed to drag on the ground to stir up scent particles while the folds of the skin serve to trap those scent particles.  The hound’s drool serves to moisten scent particles to help them differentiate certain scents.  The large bony lump on the head is called the occipital bone and serves to absorb any trauma if/when the hound inevitably walks into something.  The extra skin on the face covers the eyes when the bloodhound’s head is down to sniff, eliminating one sense in order to strengthen the other.  The Bloodhound is perfectly designed and bred for tracking and trailing and there is none other who can do it better.



post by TJ

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