Are Bloodhounds Good Pets? Here’s What You Need to Know

Bloodhounds are known for their powerful sense of smell. But the question is this: are Bloodhounds good pets? This breed has been around for many centuries and was given various roles. Bloodhounds have been police dogs that help in sniffing contrabands. They are also used in tracking missing individuals and detecting lost items.

With their droopy ears and eyes, Bloodhounds may look sullen, but they can be great pets, too. In this post, we will take a look at this breed and everything you need to know.

Remember: Bloodhounds are not for everyone! Make sure that you study this breed first before bringing it home.

Quick facts about the Bloodhound breed

Weight: Male – 90 to 110 lbs | Female – 80 to 100 lbs.
Height: Male – up to 26 in. | Female – up to 24 in.
Lifespan: 7 to 15 years under ideal living conditions
AKC Group: Hound
Distinctive characteristics: Long, droopy ears, wrinkled skin on the face, mournful expression
Energy level: Intense, requires at least 20 minutes of daily exercise
Price: Anywhere between $1,400 and $5,500, depending on the pedigree
Rarity: Uncommon
Coat color: Tan with hints of brown and red

In this video, the Animal Planet tells us more about Bloodhounds:

History of the Bloodhound dog

Bloodhounds have been around for long. They can be traced back to the first century AD during medieval Europe. This breed was first referenced by Sir Humphrey de Bohun back in 1350. However, there’s only little known about the exact origins of the Bloodhound.

The Bloodhounds we have today were bred and perfected in Western Europe about one thousand years ago. In England, the Bloodhounds were one of the highly prized breeds. Bloodhounds were popular due to its strong sense of smell that proved useful for tracking and hunting wrongdoers.

In 1805, Bloodhounds came to fame as trackers of poachers and thieves. Soon enough, they were gracing dog shows and have been companion canines.

However, when the Civil War erupted, the image of Bloodhounds was tainted due to vicious depictions on Uncle Tom’s Cabin novel.

The interest in Bloodhounds re-emerged in 1888 when wealthy Americans saw the breed on a dog show. From there, Bloodhounds were reproduced to come up with higher pedigree versions.

Nowadays, Bloodhounds are trained for police work, mainly for search and rescue operations. Also, Bloodhounds are deployed to airports to sniff contrabands.

Many pet owners also domesticated Bloodhounds as household dogs. This works, too, but they require experienced owners as well as a large yard.

The personality of a Bloodhound

are Bloodhounds good pets

Bloodhounds are gentle canines. Although they may appear imposing, these doggos have a personality true to their facial expression. It’s docile, noble, and mild-mannered. If trained well, these dogs are far from aggressive.

However, they can be stubborn at times, especially when they get hooked to a scent. Take note that Bloodhounds will follow a scent no matter what, so you should have enough patience. This is why Bloodhounds can become escape artists, so you must have a fenced yard if you are to keep this doggo.

Moreover, Bloodhounds can get along with other dogs if introduced well. However, avoid mixing them with dogs of the same sex as it may stir a dog fight.

Also, Bloodhounds are friendly to kids, though supervision is still needed, much so for very young children.

Bloodhounds are not the best guard dogs. The moment they sniff a scent, they will leave their post until they have satisfied their olfactory urges.

When Bloodhounds get excited, they can be very vocal. They can bark to no end when bored or excited. Still, each Bloodhound is different from the other. Some are quiet and happily lazying around the yard.


The temperament of Bloodhounds varies widely per dog. Also, it will be affected by various factors, including genes, socialization, training, and predisposition.

Always get a puppy from a responsible breeder to ensure that it doesn’t have any strong predisposition to negative behavior. If possible, we recommend meeting the dog parents to check their temperament.

When choosing a Bloodhound puppy from a litter, avoid those that hide in the corner or the ones that beat up its littermates. Choose the laidback one if you want a calm and friendly household pet.

Take note that Bloodhounds also need socialization to become well-rounded canines. Exposing the hound to other dogs and humans will be a big help in shaping its temperament.

As a pack dog, Bloodhounds will love the company of another canine as long as it suits their personality. Keeping them accompanied by another dog will also help prevent intense baying and chewing. Also, it will help prevent the development of separation anxiety.

Overall Health

Just like any dog, Bloodhounds can be prone to various diseases. If you want a healthy Bloodhound, you must get the pup from a legitimate breeder. Ask for a health clearance to prove that the Bloodhound you’re getting is in perfect health.

Take note that each Bloodhound is unique and will have specific health conditions.

Unlike other breeds, Bloodhounds are more prone to the following conditions. Still, this doesn’t mean that all Bloodhounds will sustain or develop these conditions:

*Hip dysplasia

Bloodhounds are stocky doggos, which is why their joints bear the brunt of their daily activities. The continuous wear and tear may worsen their hip dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition and deformity on which the thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. In worst cases, the thighbone doesn’t fit at all.

This condition may manifest as limping on the hind legs. Over time, if the condition isn’t given medical attention, the limping may end up to immobility.

To avoid getting a Bloodhound with dysplasia, ask the breeder for the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) clearance of the pup.


This condition is characterized by excessive sagging of the bottom eyelid. As the lower eyelid gets pulled down, a part of the eye gets exposed. This will lead to various irritations and infections.

In worst cases, ectropion may require a surgical operation to correct the eyelids.

*Gastric torsion

Scientifically known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), gastric torsion is more common among deep-chested dogs like Bloodhounds. This happens when a dog consumes too much air and food that leads to bloating. Drinking too fast may also cause bloating.

If the dog fails to get rid of the excess air or food in the stomach, its belly may start to twist and cause restricted blood flow into the heart. From mere distention, gastric torsion can be deadly in a matter of hours.

Usually, veterinarians will have to drain the excess food or air. In worst cases, the vet will puncture the stomach area from the outside to ease the distention as soon as possible.

*Fold dermatitis

Fold dermatitis happens when excessive friction paired with moisture happens within the folds of a dog’s skin. Initial signs of fold dermatitis include bad odor on the skin folds, redness, and sores. For Bloodhounds, fold dermatitis can be found on the face, vulvar folds, and other skin folds in the body.

Mild cases of fold dermatitis can be cured through topical ointments and creams. Some may require antibiotics or, worse, a surgical operation.


Bloodhounds are one of the friendliest breeds if raised in a caring environment. Although they are large dogs, Bloodhounds are gentle giants for kids. They can tolerate roughhousing, though you should supervise your child closely if they are playing with a Bloodhound.

Moreover, Bloodhounds don’t mind living with another dog or welcoming a stranger. However, if you are to raise them with a cat or another Bloodhound, you must introduce the other pet at an early age.

Just like any dog, Bloodhounds should be treated well so they wouldn’t snap or hurt anyone. If you are to get this rid, you should teach your kids how to handle the pet well.


One of the biggest downsides to Bloodhounds is the additional work of grooming. This pooch is a heavy-shedder and slobbers a lot. If you have allergies, this breed may not be the best choice for you.

You need to brush a Bloodhound rigorously every single day. Also, you have to watch out for the drooling as it may get into your couch and furniture. Aside from that, you should keep distance when your dog Bloodhound shakes its head. Their saliva can splatter up to 20 feet during a head shake. Make sure that you wipe your dog’s drool from time to time, especially after eating.

Overall, Bloodhounds aren’t indoor dogs. They are much better kept outdoors, so the shedding and drooling won’t wreak havoc on your household. However, you should give them a safe and comfy spot. We recommend building a dog house.

Aside from keeping your Bloodhound’s coat clean, you should also clean its droopy ears once a week. Since their ears are flappy, it can hide a great deal of dirt. Failure to clean your Bloodhound’s ear will lead to foul odor and serious infection.

You can ask your dog’s vet for an ear cleaning solution you can use.

Intelligence and trainability

Bloodhounds are intelligent dogs, but due to their sniffing prowess, they can be stubborn and headstrong. Also, Bloodhounds are mouthy dogs and may bark incessantly when bored.

When training this pooch, you should do so in a fenced area with no distractions. A smelly treat will surely go a long way in training a Bloodhound. Also, you should know how to get your dog’s attention if it starts to wander around.

With enough patience and consistency, you can train a Bloodhound to follow commands. It takes skill and consistency to train a Bloodhound, but it surely pays off.

You should always start with obedience training as the foundation of other intermediate drills. Take note that this breed would try to take charge, so you should keep a firm stance.

Bloodhounds aren’t always eager to please their owners, so you should always stay as the alpha.

Take note that Bloodhounds will be sulky and pouty canines if they feel mistreated or if forced to follow a drill. Positive reinforcement will go a long way here.

Energy level

Bloodhounds aren’t couch potatoes. They love romping around and following a scent. Don’t expect them to sit and sleep all day long. When bored, this dog can be painfully noisy and destructive.

You should give Bloodhounds daily walks and playtime to stay happy. Activities that involve their noises will surely keep this doggo hooked and satisfied.

Just watch out about the intensity of this dog as they can come strong unintentionally.

Feeding requirements

Bloodhounds have a hefty appetite, so you should always practice portion control with this breed. About 4 to 8 small cups of food spread all over the day is ideal.

This breed is also susceptible to obesity, so you should be in control of their diet. Avoid giving too many treats so it won’t ruin their diet.

Aside from that, you should give a Bloodhound enough chew toys or treats to satisfy their mouthiness.

Take note that the amount of food your Bloodhound is dependent on its activity level.

For puppies, about three to four small meals a day is ideal. From there, you can increase the amount of food on the same or fewer servings.

However, if your Bloodhound is prone to gastric torsion, we recommend serving the day’s meals in multiple yet smaller servings. This will prevent your dog from slobbering everything in one go. Also, this will help combat hypoglycemia.

You can start reducing the servings as your Bloodhound gets older. By the time your doggo reaches 6 months, you can reduce it to three servings a day.

Take note that the number of servings isn’t equivalent to the amount of food. You can serve a large amount of food in smaller yet multiple servings.

Who should get a Bloodhound?

Photo Credits – Animal.NET

Are you planning to get a Bloodhound as a pet? Before you do so, you must consider a few things.

First of all, this dog is high-maintenance. It’s not for first-time owners and those with very little experience in dog ownership.

Aside from that, Bloodhounds aren’t suitable for apartment living. This energetic dog requires a yard where it can play and romp around.

Moreover, Bloodhounds can’t tolerate being alone for long. If you leave them behind for long hours, it will bay and bark, which can annoy your neighbors.

Nevertheless, all the work is worth it if you’re really prepared for a Bloodhound. This dog is very sweet and loyal to its owners. Although it’s not the cuddliest type, Bloodhounds are surely a joy to have at home.

Bringing home a Bloodhound

Are bloodhounds good pets? Yes, but only to those who are prepared to take care of them. You should research well and ensure that this breed is suitable for your lifestyle.

Here are some of the requirements if you are to bring home a Bloodhound:

*Fenced yard

Bloodhounds can get lost in the neighborhood if you don’t leash them or contain them in a fenced yard. Once this doggo gets hooked to a scent, it will try to escape your property. Make sure that your fence is high enough that the hound can’t dig beneath.

*Proper training

Proper training is necessary for all dogs, especially a Bloodhound. You should teach this dog how to come back and listen when you call its name. The key here is starting the pooch young, so it learns commands and sticks to it.


Bloodhounds are willful dogs that require patience and an equally headstrong master. If not, they will try to impose their ways and lord over you. They are not the easiest dog to have, but they surely suit an owner who has the patience and capability to care for a high-maintenance canine.

*Things to get busy at

Bloodhounds are used to working so you should always give them something to get busy at. You can utilize its strong sense of smell by staging a scavenger hunt. This will keep them engaged while you’re teaching basic commands.

*Dog-proofing your home

Before you bring home a Bloodhound, you should dog-proof your home first. This breed will chew and swallow anything that comes its way. It could be your TV remote, batteries, rocks, slippers, shoes, and so on.

Make sure that you’ve kept these things away to prevent damages to your belongings.

Bloodhounds and kids

If you have young kids and planning to get a Bloodhound, you have to set limitations first. This doggo is large and can easily topple a child during playtime. Nevertheless, Bloodhounds are gentle in terms of affection and roughhousing. Still, supervision is needed to guarantee your child and the dogs’ safety.

Overall, Bloodhounds aren’t ideal for homes with infants, especially if you’re planning to keep it indoors. Their large size, intense drooling, and shedding may cause issues, especially if the child has sensitivities.

Bloodhounds are tolerant of kids, but you should teach your children how to respect the pooch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will Bloodhounds become aggressive toward humans? 

A: If trained and raised well, Bloodhounds will be docile and affectionate toward humans. Just like any dogs, Bloodhound’s temperament depends on how you raise it. Also, proper breeding is a big factor, as well. Avoid getting a pup with an aggressive parent.

Q: Will Bloodhounds protect me?

A: Bloodhounds aren’t known to be guard dogs. They are kind and gentle canines that will welcome almost everybody. If you’re looking for a doggo that will guard and protect your home, Bloodhounds aren’t the best choices.

Q: Where should I keep a Bloodhound, indoors, or outdoors?

A: Due to their intense shedding, drooling, and energy, Bloodhounds are best kept outdoors at some point. Still, Bloodhounds should live near their masters indoors. If you can deal with the shedding inside your home, you can keep the Bloodhound inside your home. It all depends on your preference.

Q: Do all Bloodhounds stink?

A: Each dog will have a unique smell. However, Bloodhounds tend to smell stronger due to their skin folds and intense drooling. However, if you groom the pooch regularly, you can minimize the bad smell. If your Bloodhound has an unbearable smell, it’s worth checking with a veterinarian for a potential health problem.

Q: Are Bloodhounds high-maintenance dogs?

A: Yes, Bloodhounds shed and drool a lot, which makes them difficult to groom. Also, they need a lot of exercise and attention. Due to their droopy face and skin folds, they require more grooming attention to ensure that they will stay clean and healthy.

Final words

Are Bloodhounds good pets? Yes, as long as you’re prepared for it as a pet owner. Bloodhounds are unique dogs and suits only experienced masters.  As much as this breed may appeal to you, it’s important to do your research so you will not regret bringing home a puppy. What do you think of Bloodhounds? Are you an owner of one? Share your experience with us in the comment section!