How do bloodhound dogs find people

For this reason, many bloodhounds are used by police forces to find missing persons. In fact, according to The Alliance of Search K9s training coordinator, Clyde Watson, bloodhounds are historically the best type of breed for tracking criminals and missing persons. Bond with your bloodhound.

It is imperative that your bloodhound wants to be around humans and wants to come to them. Train your bloodhound to come to you when you step away from him. Teach this command while in an enclosed setting, with your bloodhound able to roam. When your bloodhound begins to sniff the ground, run away from him while calling his name. When he comes to you, reward him with a treat and praise in a high-pitched tone of voice.

Your dog should eventually associate your vocal praise with a reward for a job well done. Bloodhounds can pick up a scent both in the air and on the ground. When a Bloodhound picks up and identifies an odor, an image of the scent is sent to his brain. To a tracking dog, a scent photo is more vivid to them than a photograph is to us. Once a Bloodhound has learned a certain scent he never forgets it and can follow it regardless of all of the other smells he may come across while on a trail. Powerful legs and a sturdy body give this exceptional hound the ability to track a scent over even brutal terrains when necessary.

The exact origin of the Bloodhound is unknown. Many experts say this dog was well known in Mediterranean countries well before the Christian period began, but the breed is an ancient dog with documented evidence going back to the third century A. The dog we know today was developed in Great Britain. They were originally bred to follow a blood scent from wounded deer, wolves and other large animals.

As the deer population began to decrease, hunters turned their attention to fox and the Bloodhound was replaced with the much faster Foxhound.

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With the rise of fox-hunting, the decline of deer-hunting, and the extinction of the wild boar, as well as a more settled state of society, the use of the Bloodhound diminished. It was kept by the aristocratic owners of a few deer-parks [27] and by a few enthusiasts, [11] with some variation in type, until its popularity began to increase again with the rise of dog-showing in the 19th Century. Very few survived the Second World War , but the gene-pool has gradually been replenished with imports from America. Nevertheless, because of UK quarantine restrictions, importing was expensive and difficult, throughout the 20th century, and in the post-war period exports to the USA, and to Europe where the population had also been affected by the war, considerably exceeded imports.

During the later 19th century numbers of Bloodhounds were imported from Britain by French enthusiasts, who regretted the extinction of the ancient St Hubert. They wished to re-establish it, using the Bloodhound, which, despite its developments in Britain, they regarded as the St Hubert preserved unchanged. Many of the finest specimens were bought and exhibited and bred in France as Chiens de S.

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Hubert, especially by Le Couteulx de Canteleu, who himself bred over Whatever few original St Huberts remained either died out or were absorbed into the new population. In the mid 20th century the Brussels-based FCI accepted the claim of Belgium to be the country of origin. There are now annual celebrations in the town of Saint-Hubert, in which handlers in period dress parade their hounds. When the first Bloodhounds were exported to the USA is not known.


Bloodhounds were used to track runaway slaves before the American Civil War , but it has been questioned whether the dogs used were genuine Bloodhounds. However, in the later part of the 19th century, and in the next, more pure Bloodhounds were introduced from Britain, and bred in America, especially after , when the English breeder, Edwin Brough, brought three of his hounds to exhibit at the Westminster KC show in New York City.

In Britain there have been instances from time to time of the successful use of the Bloodhound to track criminals or missing people. However man-trailing is enjoyed as a sport by British Bloodhound owners, through national working trials, and this enthusiasm has spread to Europe. In addition, while the pure Bloodhound is used to hunt singly, bloodhound packs use bloodhounds crossed with foxhounds to hunt the human scent. Meanwhile, the Bloodhound has become widely distributed internationally, though numbers are small in most countries, with more in the USA than anywhere else.

Following the spread of the Bloodhound from Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, imports and exports and, increasingly, artificial insemination, are maintaining the world population as a common breeding stock, without a great deal of divergence in type in different countries.

During the late 19th century, Bloodhounds were frequent subjects for artists such as Edwin Landseer [33] and Briton Riviere ; the dogs depicted are close in appearance to modern Bloodhounds, indicating that the essential character of the Bloodhound predates modern dog breeding. However, the dogs depicted by Landseer show less wrinkle and haw than modern dogs. Throughout most of its history the bloodhound was seen as a dog of English or Anglo-Scottish origin, either of unknown ancestry , [23] [34] [35] [36] or, more recently, as developed in part from the St. Some writers doubt whether anything certain can be said about specific breed ancestry beyond the last few centuries. However, it is apparent from 16th century pictures that the bloodhound itself has changed considerably.

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Generally, national and regional variants of hounds, terriers, spaniels etc. Whether the bloodhound is British or Belgian in origin is ultimately not something one can prove historically, depending as it does on whether one chooses to regard two related animals differing in tradition, and history, and somewhat in type, as separate breeds, or variants of the same one.

Descriptions of the desirable physical qualities of a hunting hound go back to Medieval books on hunting. Meanwhile, the Belgian or Dutch Comte Henri de Bylandt, or H A graaf van Bylandt, published Races des Chiens [41] in , a huge and very important illustrated compilation of breed descriptions, or standards. In this French edition the Bloodhound appears as the Chien de St Hubert, although the pictures illustrating the standard are all of British Bloodhounds, many of them those of Edwin Brough.

The book was revised and reprinted in four languages in , and in this edition the English text of the standard is that of the [42] Association of Bloodhound Breeders, while the French text is closely based on it.


However, the present FCI standard uses a quite different layout and wording. The AKC standard has hardly been altered from the original of , the principal change being that the colours, 'black and tan', 'red and tan', and 'tawny', have been renamed as 'black and tan', 'liver and tan', and 'red', but the British KC [43] has made considerable changes.

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Some of these were simply matters of presentation and did not affect content. However, responding to the view that the requirements of some breed standards were potentially detrimental to the health or well-being of the animal, changes have been made affecting the required eye shape and the loose skin, the most recent revision being The word 'bloodhound' is recorded from c.

This derives from an original suggestion of Le Couteulx de Canteleu [10] [13] in the nineteenth century, which has been enthusiastically and uncritically espoused by later writers, perhaps because it absolved this undoubtedly good-natured dog from suggestions of bloodthirstiness. Neither Le Couteulx nor anyone since has offered any historical evidence to support this view. The suggestion sometimes seen [31] that the word derives from 'blooded hound' is without basis, as the expression does not appear in early English, and 'blooded' in this meaning is not found before the late eighteenth century.

Before then 'bloodhound' had been taken to mean, 'hound for blood', or 'blood-seeking hound'. This was the explanation put forward by John Caius, [23] who was one of the most learned men of his time, and had an interest in etymology, in the sixteenth century. It is supported by considerable historical linguistic evidence, which can be gleaned from such sources as the Oxford English Dictionary OED : the fact that first uses of the word 'blood' to refer to good breeding in an animal post date the first use of 'bloodhound'; that other comparable uses, as in 'blood-horse' and 'blood-stock' appear many centuries later; and that derogatory uses of the word 'bloodhound', which any suggestion of noble breeding would sadly weaken, appear from as early as c In the on-line edition of the OED [44] the entry for 'bloodhound' has been brought up to date, for the first time pronouncing specifically on the etymological meaning.

Clearly the editors have found no historical plausibility in the idea that the name refers to good breeding, which they do not even mention. The Bloodhound's physical characteristics account for its ability to follow a scent trail left several days in the past. The large, long pendent ears serve to prevent wind from scattering nearby skin cells while the dog's nose is on the ground; the folds of wrinkled flesh under the lips and neck—called the shawl—serve to catch stray scent particles in the air or on a nearby branch as the bloodhound is scenting, reinforcing the scent in the dog's memory and nose.

There are many accounts of bloodhounds successfully following trails many hours, and even several days old, [31] [32] the record being of a family found dead in Oregon, in , over hours after they had gone missing. In America, sticking close to the footsteps is called 'tracking', while the freer method is known as 'trailing' in the UK, 'hunting' , and is held to reflect the bloodhound's concentration on the individual human scent, rather than that of, say, vegetation crushed by the feet of the quarry.

The leash is at least long enough to allow the hound to cross freely in front of the handler, some handlers preferring quite a short leash, giving better communication with the hound, others liking something longer, maybe twenty or thirty feet. It is generally agreed that the basis of initial training is to make the experience enjoyable for the puppy or young hound, to keep its enthusiasm high.

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Even though familiar with the scent of the 'runner', it can be given a scent-article to sniff, and given the command to follow. It can also be introduced to the tracking harness, which is put on just before the trail starts, and removed as soon as it is finished. On reaching the runner the puppy is given lavish praise and perhaps a reward. Generally in training the handler must know exactly where the runner went, so that he does not encourage the hound when it is wrong, or 'correct' it when it is on the scent, [14] [53] but he should not be too ready with his corrections if the hound goes astray, or it may come to rely on him.

He should give the hound time to realise its mistake and put itself right, if possible. As training progresses the handler learns to 'read' his hound's behaviour. The hound must trust its nose and the handler must trust the hound. From early hot trails on a familiar person, the young hound progresses to colder trails on the scents of strangers.

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