Hollywood has given us two images of the droopy-faced Bloodhound. One, a focused detective's companion, sniffing out the bad guys from wherever they hide. Two, a lazy porch-dweller sitting along side southern gentlemen as they sip their iced tea. Neither of these images is entirely wrong. Bloodhounds are some of the best tracking dogs around, and they do love to relax. A laid back breed that is very good with children and other pets; Bloodhounds make excellent companions for families of any size.
The Bloodhound's reputation for relaxation can be misleading. While they are happy to nap the afternoon away, they do need lots of activity. They will do ok in an apartment, as long as they get several long walks a day. A house with a fenced in yard where he can run and romp with children or other dogs is the most ideal situation for a Bloodhound. The fence is very important – if a Bloodhound catches a scent and decides to take off, you'll have a hard time getting him back home.
Those who consider themselves to be “outdoorsy” should consider a Bloodhound. He makes an excellent hiking companion and will happily trot alongside joggers and bikers.
Bloodhounds are intelligent and in addition to physical activity, they need lots of mental activity as well. Problem solving or tracking activities can satisfy their need for mental stimulation.
Bloodhounds are stubborn and intelligent. They can spot a “softy” a mile away and will use his droopy eyes to manipulate a situation. It is important to be consistent and confident when training a Bloodhound – but never be stern or forceful. They are sensitive animals and will not respond well to harsh treatment. Positive reinforcement and lots of treats will help get desired behavior from a Bloodhound.
Bloodhounds are happy when they are able to track. Enrolling a Bloodhound in tracking activities can keep him happy and entertained year-round. Hunters won't need to put too much work into training a Bloodhound, his talents are inborn. They are such good trackers that Bloodhounds are often used by law enforcement to find missing children and wily criminals.
Bloodhounds take a while to grow up, so owners should be prepared for a prolonged puppyhood that includes chewing, barking and lots of jumping on people and things. Housetraining can also take a long time with this breed.
Bloodhounds are notorious for baying, especially at night or when left alone. They probably shouldn't be left outside at night – they will wake the entire neighborhood. Separation anxiety can also develop with Bloodhounds. They love spending time with their families and if they aren't exercised enough, can develop anxiety when left alone that usually manifests itself in chewing behaviors.
And finally, Bloodhounds slobber and drool. A lot. Someone who has lots of expensive couches might want to reconsider adopting a bloodhound because he'll want to be near his people when they relax and there is no stopping the drool.