Meet the Breed
Follow that Nose: Armed with an unparalleled scenting ability, the iconic Bloodhound excels in tracking, mantrailing and drooling on loved ones.
When people think of the Bloodhound, they often picture the family dog in the TV series The Beverly Hillbillies, or Trusty in the Disney animated film Lady and the Tramp. Although Bloodhounds are often portrayed as big dogs lazing on the porch for most of the day, nothing could be further from the truth. If they had their way, Bloodhounds would be off following a fascinating scent for miles.
The ancestors of the Bloodhound were known for their scenting prowess throughout the Mediterranean countries long before the Crusades. Hubert, a 7th-century French monk living in the Ardennes region on the border of Belgium and France, developed the breed known as the St. Hubert Hound from the local large hunting hounds. Through the centuries, these dogs were crossed with other large scenthounds, such as the Talbot Hound and the Southern Hound (both now extinct) used by the European aristocracy to hunt deer and wild boar. The dogs were used in packs accompanied by huntsmen on horseback. These different strains blended to produce the breed known today as the Bloodhound. In French-speaking parts of Europe it’s still known as Chien de St. Hubert.
The breed made its way to Britain around the time of the Norman invasion of 1066, and by the 12th century, was being hunted in packs and as single hounds and braces (a pair of dogs working together) by the English nobles. It was a time when everyone high on the social ladder, even bishops, rode to hounds. In fact, church dignitaries were responsible for much of the development and refinement of the modern Bloodhound.
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