The Bloodhound

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If you you're in the market for a large hunting dog, then consider the bloodhound. Aside from making great hunters, they are also great pets, because of their gentleness and friendly demeanor. And since we have large game out here in Georgia, like deer, bear and boar, bloodhounds are among the best when it comes to tracking big game. The bloodhound has a history going all the way back to the Dark Ages, originally bred to hunt larger game, but became used over time to track people. Throughout history, they have been used to track criminals, and they have been a favorite among police officers and rescue officials who rely on this dog's stellar scent-tracking abilities to find missing persons.

How good is their sense of smell?

They have the ability to track scents that are days old, and the number of smell receptors are 4 billion in a bloodhound, compared to just 5 million in humans. There is a science and precise method when tracking humans, but since we're talking about hunting, its nasal chamber is larger than many other hunting breeds, which is crucial, since the nasal chamber is the part of the snout where scents are pinpointed. Check out the following video below:


If you compare the bloodhound to another scent-hound like the beagle, they are about the same when it comes to scent-tracking. But the bloodhound is a better option if you're looking for a larger hunting companion, and if you plan of tracking larger game animals.

Pack Animals or Lone Wolves?

Bloodhounds were originally bred to be leash dogs, but they have been bred to hunt in packs, like the beagle. Owners in England have been adept at getting their bloodhounds to hunt in unison, and they will often follow their masters on horseback when tracking large game. In the United States, bloodhounds have hunted in packs when tracking humans, and they can cooperate when it comes to hunting animals. There are drawbacks when it comes to bloodhound pack hunting, since there is not always cooperation in the pack, and these dogs tend to follow different scents they find interesting.

Training

Bloodhounds are similar to the beagle, since their strong sense of smell tends to distract them. This can make them rather stubborn, and it can be harder to get them to focus. Scent training will be crucial for this animal, and there are training methods like distinguishing false scents, differentiating between animal and human scents, among other things. Above all, a good rule of thumb to follow is to allow the dog to trust its nose, and the master must trust the dog. There are many ways to train a hunting dog, and there are videos, books and manuals that will help you. But one thing to keep in mind is to allow the dog to have fun. Training should not be a punishment, but an enjoyable experience, where both dog and master can become closely bonded. Reward them with treats, and make it a playful venture by keeping a variety of toys on hand.

Health

Each dog breed has its flaws and illnesses, and the bloodhound is no different. Gastrointestinal problems is the number one problem for bloodhounds, and a primary cause of death. And aside from gastrointestinal ailments, cancer is another leading cause of death for these animals. Owners should be especially watchful of bloating in this breed, and it can be managed by not overfeeding them. If bloating does occur, take them to the vet to be on the safe side. There are also problems relating to skin, eye and ear issues, and the thickness of their coats can make them susceptible to overheating. The bloodhound lives an average seven years (longer if they are cared for properly cared for). Their lifespan makes them one of the shorter living breeds.

Overall, this is a great dog to have for not only hunting game, but to track humans if anyone in your community goes missing. If you're interested in adopting a bloodhound in the state of Georgia, click here.

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