Lifestyle needs


The Bloodhound is a very large dog, famous for his ability to follow a scent, particularly human scent, over large distances.  He is a powerful dog, weighing about 50 kilos and would need a large house with a large garden.  He should have plenty of exercise – more than two hours a day – and the opportunity to run free.  He needs to be trained well, particularly in recall, to ensure that he doesn’t ‘lose’ himself following a trail.  He has a loud bark but usually is not aggressive.  His short coat needs grooming regularly.

Inbreeding coefficient – COI

(should be as low as possible)

The breed average COI is 11.7%.

See A Beginners Guide to COI.

Effective Population Size (EPS)   890.49

EPS is a measure of how many individual are contributing genetically to a breed population (KC registered dogs).  It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservation biologists and below 50 puts a breed at grave risk.

Health and welfare problems due to conformation

(body shape and physical characteristics)
  • The Bloodhound’s loose skin is prone to skin infections
  • Multiple eye problems: His loose eye rims can also be a welfare concern as dirt and dust can irritate his eyes; Ectropion (outward turning of lower eyelid); Entropion (inward turning of eyelid); Cherry eye; Dry eye
  • His long, pendulous ears can become injured whilst dragging along the ground following a scent.
  • Bloat/Stomach torsion(stomach fills with air and can twist – requires urgent vet treatment) Common in deep chested breeds.

BVA/KC Health Schemes

  • Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 20 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia (abnormality of the elbow joint causing pain and disability) score ideally 0:0
  • Eye disease: Multi-ocular defects (MOD) (Schedule B) (litter screening)
  • The Bloodhound is one of the 15 high profile breeds designated by the Kennel Club as requiring particular monitoring by reason of visible conditions which may cause health and welfare concerns.

DNA tests available

None available

Unofficial (breed club) schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents (or check the KC’s health test results finder). If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other diseases reported

(for which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
  • Ectropian (outward turning eyelashes exposing eye tissue)
  • Entropian (inward turning eyelashes)
  • Dermatitis (skin inflammation – particularly skin fold dermatitis
  • Aortic stenosis (narrowing of the artery leading from the heart, causing progressive heart failure)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life.  Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.  Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Advisory Council’s Standard for Breeders:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds