SOUTHEAST BLOODHOUND RESCUE, INC.
Living with a bloodhound can be a wonderful experience. However, before you consider taking on the responsibilities that come with adding a bloodhound to your family, you should learn about the breed itself.
A bloodhound is a very large dog. While a puppy may be really cute when he is 8 weeks old and weighs 18 pounds, you must consider the fact that at the age of 6 months, he will weigh between 60 and 70 pounds and will stand about 22 inches tall at the shoulder. His tail will be able to “clear your coffee table” with one happy wag. Bloodhound puppies are puppies. They are not going to sit on the porch and do nothing. They are rowdy, playful and full of excess energy. Like most puppies, they can be destructive. Puppy’s teeth during their first year, and with a mouth the size of a bloodhound puppy's, your furniture, clothing, siding, whatever, can suffer major damage in just a few minutes.
As a general rule, bloodhounds love children. They may not be right for a home that has very young children simply because of their size. It is always a possibility when you mix very small children and very large dogs, the children could be hurt unintentionally by the dog. And bloodhounds have an inherent tendency to say hello either by sitting and putting their feet on you, or by jumping up on you. These actions alone could cause injury to the child. They also tend to go through things rather than around them and in some cases this means you as well as a child.
While bloodhounds are no longer bred to be pack animals, the breed originated as one. Consequently, it is not uncommon to find "Alpha" or dominance issues in maturing bloodhounds. This is a problem of which prospective bloodhound "parents" should be aware. The "Alpha Syndrome" is known in the bloodhound world. It generally begins when the hound begins to mature. First signs are growling, struggling or snapping when the owners are handling food, doing something the dog does not care for (i.e., trimming toenails, cleaning ears, etc.), or when the bloodhound feels threatened by another dog over territory, food or toys. Experienced bloodhound owners/handlers know to stop this behavior abruptly and immediately upon first exhibition of this behavior.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that bloodhounds are “no or low maintenance” dogs. This is a myth. Bloodhounds may not have long hair, but they do have heavy, low-set ears that must be cleaned on a very regular basis and kept dry to avoid ear problems and odors. Because of the strain their sheer size places on their skeletal system, specifically their legs & feet, it is a good idea to keep their toenails trimmed to a reasonable length. The eyes must be watched for infection that can be caused by ‘trash’ collecting in the haw (the red area underneath the eye). And while many of us do not mind the “houndy” smell, it is and will always be there with some dogs.
Don’t forget the drool. Bloodhounds are notorious for their ‘drool’. A bloodhound can have drool hanging from their lips to the floor… thicker than a clothes line. And when they shake their heads, they can sling that rope drool across the room to land on your table, wall, ceiling, clothes, hair, etc……. (TIP: if a "goober" lands on a wall or ceiling, let it dry and it brushes cleanly away with a soft broom or warm damp cloth.)
Bloodhounds are generally very affectionate, but independent hounds. They want their share of attention, but do not require it constantly. They need human attention on a very regular basis to keep the independence in their nature from creating social problems. Bloodhounds are NOT good outside dogs. They need their quality ‘human time’ each and every day. This helps to keep the dogs' temperaments sound and healthy.
Bloodhounds were bred for their scent abilities. They take this ability very seriously. A bloodhound MUST be confined in a fenced area and never allowed to roam freely about. When a bloodhound is allowed to roam, it can pick up an interesting scent and take off. We have picked up bloodhounds in rescue that have gotten as far as FOUR COUNTIES AWAY from their homes following a scent! When they are ‘working’, nothing else matters. So a securely fenced yard is an absolute necessity if you want a bloodhound. Electrical underground fencing is not a good idea with Bloodhounds, it really doesn’t work.
Rescued bloodhounds can have special needs. Some of the hounds we have available for adoption have come from homes that were abusive or neglectful. Our organization attempts to fully evaluate each hound for temperament issues with adults, children, other dogs and other animals prior to leaving foster care. Some of the rescued bloodhounds turned over to us are the result of Alpha behavior being allowed to continue unchecked until the dog became a teenager or young adult and the owner(s) became afraid of the dog. "Alpha dogs" are not ideal candidates for homes with children. Others may have never been around a ‘positive dog influence’ in their lives and these may not be suitable for placement in homes with other dogs. As you consider a dog for adoption, please read each hound’s listing carefully for issues that may make the bloodhound suitable or unsuitable for your home environment.
Finally, when looking through the listing of bloodhounds available for adoption, it is firmly suggested you visit with the dog prior to adoption. The adoptive family is solely responsible for retrieving their new bloodhound. If you live in southern Florida and see the "perfect bloodhound North Carolina, be prepared for a long road. While Southeast Bloodhound Rescue will sometimes fly rescues to new homes via the airlines, it requires a size 700 airline crate and is a very expensive. Also, temperatures are closely monitored by the airlines and they WILL NOT fly animals when the weather is extremely hot or cold. We do not recommend this method of travel, but will make exceptions if the conditions warrant it. The adoptive owners are responsible for any veterinarian charges for health transportation certificates and the airline charges which must be pre paid at the point of origin.