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History of the Bloodhound

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History of the Bloodhound:

The Bloodhound was much used in olden times in hunting and in the pursuit of fugitives; two services for which his remarkable acuteness of smell, his ability to keep to the particular scent on which he is first laid, and the intelligence and pertinacity with which he follows up the trail, admirably fit him. The use and employment of these dogs date back into remote antiquity. We have it on the authority of Strabo that they were used against the Gauls, and we have certain knowledge that they were employed not only in the frequent feuds of the Scottish clans, and in the continuous border forays of those days, but also during the ever-recurring hostilities between England and Scotland.

Throughout history the very name of the Bloodhound calls up visions of feudal castles, with their trains of knights and warriors and all the stirring panorama of these brave days of old, when the only tenure of life, property, or goods was by the strong hand.

This feudal dog is frequently pictured by the poet in his ballads and romances, and in "The Lady of the Lake" we find the breed again mentioned as

"--dogs of black St. Hubert's breed,
Unmatched for courage, breath, and speed."


In the history of the bloodhound these famous black Bloodhounds, called St. Huberts, are supposed to have been brought by pilgrims from the Holy Land. Another larger breed, also known by the same name, were pure white, and another kind were greyish-red. The dogs of the present day are probably a blend of all these varieties.

Continued history of the bloodhound...


The Bloodhound, from the nobler pursuit of heroes and knights, came in later years to perform the work of the more modern detective; but in this also his services were in time superseded by the justice's warrant and the police officer. We find it recorded about 1805, however, that "the Thrapston Association for the Prevention of Felons in Northamptonshire have provided and trained a Bloodhound for the detection of sheep-stealers."

The reputation it obtained for sagacity and fierceness in the capture of runaway slaves, and the cruelties attributed to it in connection with the suppression of the various negro risings, especially that of the Maroons, have given the animal an evil repute, which more probably should attach to those who made the animal's courage and sagacity a means for the gratification of their own revolting cruelty of disposition. It has been justly remarked that if entire credence be given to the description that was transmitted through the country of this extraordinary animal, it might be supposed that the Spaniards had obtained the ancient and genuine breed of Cerberus himself.

Famous Breeding stock in Bloodhound history:

Four superlative Bloodhounds of the past stand out in unmistakable eminence as the founders of recognised strains. They are Mr. Jenning's Old Druid, Colonel Cowen's Druid, Mr. Reynold Ray's Roswell, and Captain Clayton's Luath XI.; and the owner of a Bloodhound which can be traced back in direct line of descent to any one of these four patriarchs may pride himself upon possessing a dog of unimpeachable pedigree.


Standards in Bloodhound history:

GENERAL CHARACTER--The Bloodhound possesses, in a most marked degree, every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by
scent (_Sagaces_). He is very powerful and stands over more ground
than is usual with hounds of other breeds. The skin is thin to the
touch and extremely loose, this being more especially noticeable about
the head and neck, where it hangs in deep folds.
HEIGHT--The mean average height of adult dogs is 26 inches and of adult bitches 24 inches. Dogs usually vary from 25 inches to 27 inches and bitches from 23 inches to 25 inches; but in either case the greater height
is to be preferred, provided that character and quality are also combined.
WEIGHT--The mean average weight of adult dogs in fair condition is 90 pounds and of adult bitches 80 pounds. Dogs attain the weight of 110 pounds, bitches 100 pounds. The greater weights are to be preferred, provided (as in the case of height) that quality and proportion are also combined.
EXPRESSION--The expression is noble and dignified and characterised by solemnity, wisdom and power.
TEMPERAMENT--In temperament he is extremely affectionate, quarrelsome neither with companions nor with other dogs. His nature is somewhat shy, and equally sensitive to kindness or correction by his master.
HEAD--The head is narrow in proportion to its length and long in proportion to the body, tapering but slightly from the temples to the end of the muzzle thus (when viewed from above and in front) having the appearance of being flattened at the sides and of being nearly equal in width throughout its entire length.

| End of history of the bloodhound page, you may also be interested in these articles...|

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If you're interested in the history of dogs you may find these pages useful as well:

Dogs in America, the history of how dogs came to be in North America

Our complete listing of Dog Breed History, this page serves as a table of contents with links to individual Breed History.


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