Showsight Presents The Bloodhound

BREED FEATURE

Judging the BLOODHOUND

I have bred Bloodhounds since 1980. I have been an AKC conformation judge and an American Bloodhound Club Mantrailing field trials judge, and I have strong ideas on how the breed should be judged. Th e Bloodhound is in every respect a functional hound. Both the breed standard and the hound itself correlate with the Bloodhound job description. by Anne L. Legge

Y our first look at your class of hounds is holistic, checking for correct size, silhouette, and proportions. Th e Bloodhound is not square but rectangular or o ff -square, “stands over more ground than is usual with other hound breeds.” Your first impression should be of a strong and powerful dog because his job requires endurance to trail in all kinds of weath- er for hours over all kinds of challeng- ing terrain from rugged mountains to paved parking lots. Bone and substance are important to the successful work- ing Bloodhound--do not reward light bone. (Although for simplicity I refer to the hound as “he”, some of our great show dogs and working hounds have been bitches. Th e height and weight figures in the standard are not requirements but describe an average: 26 inches for adult dogs, 24 for adult bitches, 90 pounds

for adult dogs, 80 pounds for adult bitches. Th e stan- dard does not say “the big- ger, the better,” but that the greater heights and weights are to be preferred if charac- ter, proportion, and quality are equal. For whatever rea- son, the Bloodhounds in your ring today will be taller and heavier than the figures in the standard. Bear in mind that these dogs are worked in har- ness and on a lead, pulling the handler behind, and that they may need to be assisted over walls or fences.

scent, but the Bloodhound is supreme in his ability to discriminate one scent from all others. When the Blood- hound drops its head to the trail, the wrinkles and ears form a cup around the nose with its large, open nostrils. For this reason, the superabundant thin, loose skin is desirable on the head and neck. Th ere is no justification for festoons of skin on the hindquarters and

Th e head of the Bloodhound is important to both the working func- tion and the breed type of the hound. Accordingly, more than one-third of the standard addresses the head and neck. Th e nose, the ears, the wrinkle, even the notorious slobber all serve to enhance scenting ability. All dogs

“All dogs scent, but the Bloodhound is SUPREME IN HIS ABILITY TO DISCRIMINATE one scent from all others.”

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