Bloodhound – Dog with Best Sense of Smell

What is the History of a Bloodhound? How did they get their Name? What is the Appearance and Personality of this Dog Breed? Do they make Good Pets?
dog with best sense of smell.

Don’t we all love dogs, as pets & otherwise too? Is Bloodhound a dog with best sense of smell? As long as they have been a domestic companion for humans, they have proven to be quite helpful to the hunters. Their ability to look, smell and hunt the targeted animal has always been appreciated. Thus, they are detectives by nature.

1. History of Bloodhounds & Humans

During the Middle ages, bloodhounds were bred for hunting animals & tracking purposes. This is the reason they are also known as Scent hounds. They are among the several breeds that are descendants of the hounds bred by the monks at the Saint-Hubert Monastery, Belgium. According to researchers, this breed of dog was first brought from Constantinople i.e. modern-day Istanbul in Turkey. From there on, they were carried to Belgium, France, England, and several other neighboring countries. (See Can you have a pet squirrel?)

2. Reason Behind Their Name

A bloodhound’s name has several reasonings hidden behind it.

  • One belief is that bloodhounds were presented as blood-thirsty creatures in some of the literary works.
  • Another reasoning is the word hound, which means to pursue relentlessly. They are good hunters and can track their prey from miles away.
  • But, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the name bloodhound comes from their stronghold of tracking their prey from the scent of their blood. This was later accepted as the most appropriate reason for the naming of this dog breed. 

3. Appearance of Bloodhounds

Bloodhounds have long-droopy ears, and their face has loose-wrinkled skin. They have sad-looking faces but, they are very polite. The color of their coat can be red, black-tan, or liver-tan. They do not have a fluffy coat as it is hard and made up of only fur with no hair. (See When are the Dog Days of Summer?)

  • The male hounds can reach a height between 25 to 27 inches on average; often they gain a height up to 32 inches. Their weight can range between 40 to 60 kilograms.
  • While the female hounds can weigh up to 36 to 45 kgs, and their height falls between 23 to 25 inches.

4. Personality of Hunting Dogs

Training a bloodhound seems a rather difficult task as once they begin tracking a strange or interesting scent, they will not obey commands. They will follow the scent as far as they can. But apart from being stubborn in this matter, they are polite, gentle, and noble, accompanied by a calm personality. However, they should be trained from puppy stages. With proper training, these hounds can be considered good pets, as they easily get along with other animals and kids in the house. (Also see How To Tip A Cow?)

5. Living With a Bloodhound

As mentioned earlier, a dog with best sense of smell is a challenge for its owners. Having them as a pet can be troublesome for the owner because they do not mature till they are two years old. Until then, they are curious about everything, especially each & every smell. They will chew and/or swallow anything that has an interesting scent including television remotes, batteries, towels, etc.. Physical activity is very important for this breed so that their energy and curiosity are well fed. But just like other large dog breeds, they only have a life span of 10 years. (See What are the personality differences between dog and cat owners?)

bloodhound dog. Bloodhound – A dog with best sense of smell

6. Sense of Smell Stronger Than Humans

Bloodhound is famously known for being a dog with best sense of smell. Its sense of smell range is 1,000 times stronger than that compared to a human. The olfactory bulb is a neural structure present in the vertebrate forebrain and carries out the process of olfaction that is the sense of smell. These bulbs are laden with olfactory receptors ranging between 125 to 220 million in an average dog. This is the reason why police officers use bloodhound dogs to assist them on a missing person’s case. Because when they sniff a particular scent off a piece of clothing or some object that belonged to the victim, it rushes in and travels into the nasal cavity of the dog. (See Why Do Cats Love Catnip?)

7. Formation of Odor Image

The odor image or smell photograph is created with a variety of smells and scents that a human could never create or detect. Due to this skill of having a high-intensity power of smell, the bloodhound dog can make out the exact scent trail using the odor image; despite the innumerable scents saved in its memory. Therefore, once the bloodhound finds out the exact scent trail that matches the odor image, it can easily follow and search the specific scent even while being surrounded by the other environmental smells around it.

8. Long Scent Trail

Bloodhound, a dog with best sense of smell, can follow a scent trail for more than 130 miles. However, if a human picks up a scent of someone’s perfume by walking past them, they can only remember that scent for the next couple of seconds or until the person walks past again. Whereas, in the same situation, the bloodhound dog can still smell that scent, and have it saved in its memory for the next 300 hours. So, to explain it in human time-span, the bloodhound dog breed can have a particular scent in their memory for thirteen days. (Also read Why Are Rabbits’ Feet Lucky?)

9. Ways to Trap Scent

Not only do they sniff scent through their nasal cavity, but other parts of their body also help them to become the dog with best sense of smell. The wrinkly skin of this breed traps in the scents. Furthermore, the long, droopy ears act as scent sweepers. It means that all the scents in the atmosphere and the ground are dragged towards their nose.

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