by Adriana Pavlinovic
Activities to enjoy with your Bloodhound
Bloodhounds as you have already found out, or soon will, are rarely the inactive, lethargic dogs that Hollywood movies or TV shows like Hee Haw or The Beverly Hillbillies portray them to be. Yes, they do rest and take a nap eventually, but it is after a period of activity and exercise which ideally channels their energy into positive endeavors which are healthy. Pretty much every bloodhound owner can attest to the motto that, a pooped bloodhound is a happy hound, and therefore a happy owner. Likewise, many a bloodhound owner can share the anecdotes to horror stories of activities that their creative bloodhound has come up with to pass the day when bored, or the cost of an emergency vet bill.
Keep in mind the original purpose of this breed, a prized scent hound selectively developed over centuries for stamina to hunt. Since in this day and age we are lucky to have grocery stores, and farmers markets as well as Walmart, Costco, or other retail chains, the original need for a superior "nose" to keep oneself and family fed has been transitioned in the United States towards finding people via search and rescue or law enforcement. However not every Bloodhound owner wishes to become involved in mantrailing, yet here is this energetic and active large/X-large dog to contend with.
So, how do you keep your house and possessions in their existing condition or close to, and your bloodhound happy and healthy? Well, providing some form of physical activity daily is a must with the bloodhound. Having said this, please remember to adjust the physical activities based on age and development of your hound i.e. puppies should be monitored during the growth periods to make sure they don’t overdo and injure a joint. Your breeder, your vet, and the American Bloodhound Club can give you additional insight here.
Bloodhounds enjoy spending time with their owners/families and want to "be included." They need to be acclimated to various surroundings and noises. Walks around your neighborhood, trips to the local park, play at a supervised dog park, as well as dog socialization classes offered by a local kennel club or Petsmart will assist you. Additionally, the American Kennel Club (AKC) offers various performance events (AKC Tracking, Obedience, Rally, Agility, and conformation shows for those who would like to exhibit at a dog show). We have even had a Bloodhound earn a Lure Coursing title. The American Bloodhound Club (ABC) promotes the sport of mantrailing via Trailing Trials. Other bloodhounds and owners participate in Therapy work at nursing homes, or reading programs at schools. Since the Bloodhound is a versatile breed that responds well to positive training with time, there are many activities that can be enjoyed.
Most importantly remember your sense of humor when dealing with Bloodhounds, and that the "nose" drives most of their actions. Things you touch, and wear have special appeal to them because they contain your scent (wallet, shoes, socks, soap, remotes, knives, etc. etc.). Those 100 flower bulbs that you so painstakingly just planted in the back yard may to your chagrin reappear above ground before spring as your hound searches for your scent in that dirt. I’ve found that a colorful front yard is alternatively more enjoyable, and that fencing a garden is a positive solution. My rule of thumb has always been, if it’s important keep it 5’ and higher or behind a closed cabinet, door, or closet, although a microwave or oven have come in handy too as long as you don’t turn them on.
Enjoy your Bloodhound, he or she is truly like no other breed. Just come to any gathering of Bloodhound owners and bring up the topic of, "does your bloodhound…?" The American Bloodhound Club has six regional clubs which each host a variety of events annually for Bloodhounds and owners. Check for the regional group closest to you, or email me at with your question. I’ll look forward to talking about, "does your bloodhound…?"
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Disclaimer: The American Bloodhound Club is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in this article.
Disclaimer: This article is provided by the American Bloodhound Club purely as the personal opinion of the author for informational purposes only. The American Bloodhound Club, it's members and the author make no warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this information or will be liable for any loss, damages, claims or injury that accompany or result from any use of this material. This article may not be copied or distributed without the inclusion of this disclaimer.