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Bloodhound Origin and History

The origin and history of the Bloodhound breed is a varied and complex one that spans many thousands of years. Early hounds are known to have been prominent in the Mediterranean countries prior to the Christian era, dating back to 1000 BC.

They are typically thought to have a good deal of Mastiff blood. Hunting hounds were transported to the European continent by the Phoenicians and were used during the Roman era to hunt deer and other animals.

The Bloodhound that we know today is thought to have most directly originated in France during the 7th century by a French monk named St. Hubert. It is thought that he crossed a strain of black hound, or the St. Hubert hound, with other varieties of white hounds, one in particular called the Southern Hound. Monks in the 8th century continued to breed these hounds, initially black but evolving into a black and tan breed. The distinction of Bloodhound derives not from following a blood trail, as is commonly depicted, but from the fact that they were carefully bred in Medieval times in monasteries with pure blood stock.

Bloodhound Dog Breed History The history of the breed known as the Bloodhound is quite storied and spans many centuries. Bloodhounds were said to be used by William the Conqueror in England in 1066 and by member of the royalty for many years thereafter. Initially, since these keen-nosed dogs were wonderful scent trackers, they were used for hunting but eventually swifter breeds that were more effective for hunting game replaced the Bloodhound as hunting companion.

By the 16th century, the Bloodhound dog breed was used more often for man trailing and helped track poachers and eventually other criminals. By the 1800s, many British law enforcement officers used the Bloodhound to help track down fugitives. The bloodhound has the best ability to track of any other dog breed and a Bloodhound’s tracking testimony is actually admissible evidence in a court of law.

One Bloodhound alone was purported with tracking over 600 criminals in his career. The Bloodhound dog breed has been in the United States since the 1800s and was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1885. In 1952 the American Bloodhound Club was created and the dog has been instrumental in law enforcement even today.

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