Showsight Presents The Bloodhound

A NOSE WITH A DOG ATTACHED: BLOODHOUND FORM AND FUNCTION by CAMILLE MCARDLE, DVM

W e love our dogs for as many reasons as there are dogs. But there are some fantastic things that dogs do besides just loving us back: herding, serving the disabled, water rescue, guarding, hunting, retrieving, police work, scent work. It is in this last category that the Bloodhound is king! Hard-headed, sensitive, large and independent, this breed is not for every- one. They drool. They are curious, entertaining themselves by seeing what is inside the stuffed furniture if left alone. They are strong and can easily drag a smaller person along if they want to go somewhere. They can be difficult to show and therefore difficult to judge.

Following a scent trail, even hours or days old, is hard-wired into this breed. We start seeing this gift in puppies only a few weeks old. Bloodhounds only a few months old have successfully locat- ed missing people. For them, following a scent trail is their favorite thing to do. In the American Bloodhound Club we highly value this ability and we breed to enhance it in every way possible. Lives might be at stake. For those interested in judging this breed we ask that you always keep in mind the purpose of the Blood- hound: to follow scent. A successful trail requires more than a good nose. Equally as important is having the con- formation, as a whole and in parts and

pieces, that will support the animal for miles and miles, hour after hour, until the missing person has been found. If the lost kid wandered 15 miles away but the hound wants to stop after 10 miles because its feet or back hurt that child could die. The very first words in the Blood- hound breed standard tell us that he “…possesses, in a most marked degree, every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent.” So what are these characteristics that you need to look for? Your first impression should be that of power and substance. This is not a racy breed. A good Bloodhound needs to be solid and somewhat rectangular,

Very desirable furnishings on this black and tan bitch

Overall impression of substance and power, with deep body

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2018 • 341

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