By Adriana Pavlinovic

Purchasing A Bloodhound Puppy

You have done your research and now feel that you are ready to buy a Bloodhound puppy. Remember that this puppy will be a part of your family and life for many years to come. Do not give in to impulse buying. The American Bloodhound Club (ABC) website contains a list of Regional Breed Referral Advisors. These Regional Advisors, and the National Breed Referral Advisor will have information on club members that are planning or have litters available. Also, please consider contacting the Regional Clubs listed & attending their events.

Before contacting breeders read the ABC Code of Ethics. All ABC members agree to abide by this code of ethics.

Below are suggested questions to ask a breeder. Expect a reputable breeder to ask you questions also. Many breeders use a written or emailed questionnaire to help match puppies to future homes.


Question: Are both parents registered with the American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club?
There are many other registries, but not all are equal. Copies of the parents’ (sire’s & dam’s) AKC registration certificate should be available in hard copy for you to look at as well as a three to four generation pedigree.

purchase2Question: Do you X-ray the hips of your breeding stock? Do you X-ray the elbows of your breeding stock? Do you do auscultation or echocardiogram of your breeding stock’s hearts? What other health clearances do you do?

Answer: Yes. Hip X-rays should be certified & rated by the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals), GDC (Canada), PennHip, or a certified radiologist. Elbow X-rays should be certified & rated by the OFA, GDC or a certified radiologist. The heart should be certified & rated with OFA by a cardiologist. Additionally some breeders may have patellas, shoulders, & thyroid certified with OFA and CERF done for eyes. There is also a DNA test for degenerative myelopathy (DM). Required certifications for bloodhounds being bred are hearts, hips, & elbows. You can check the ratings yourself by going to the OFA website and inputting the dog’s AKC registered name or AKC registration number.

Question: Do you help with bloodhound breed rescue?
All breeders should help with breed rescue in some way.

Question: What are some of the health issues in bloodhounds? Do you give a written contract that covers those health concerns or any guarantees?
All breeds & lines have health concerns which breeders are attempting to eradicate by testing and doing health clearances. A written contract is a must to protect the puppy, buyer, and breeder. OFA heart, hips, and elbow certificates or reports should be available to you. Bloat/GDV/Gastric Torsion is a concern for the breed and some puppy contracts will ask for a preventative gastropexy by a certain age. See the ABC website healthlink resource section for more detailed discussion on this subject. specifically the "Dog Owner’s Guide: Bloat," article and "Gastropexies," article. Eye, ear and skin issues are some other problems in the breed.

purchase3Question: Are you a member of the American Bloodhound Club and/or a regional bloodhound club?

You can find a list here.

Answer: Breeders that are involved with their breed, as a rule are better breeders. Individuals are not members of the American Kennel Club (AKC). Having an AKC registration certificate does not make you a member of the AKC.

Question: How many dogs do you currently own? How many different breeds of dogs do you own? How many litters do you breed a year? Why did you breed this litter?
Breeders should be up front when asked questions. If they are evasive you may not want to buy a puppy from them.

Question: Do you have a website?
A "glitzy" website does not always mean that it is a reputable breeder. Let your questions and the breeder’s answers guide you.

purchase4Question: Is it possible to visit your kennel and see the parents of the puppies and the puppies at the appropriate time?
A buyer should be able to visit the home of the breeder, to meet the breeder, and to see the condition of the dogs, and the kennel. Although elaborate equipment is not necessary, the area should be clean. The puppies should be healthy and in a warm, dry, and clean environment.

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.