Breed health

The Association of Bloodhound Breeders
Established 1897

The Kennel Club have produced their latest draft of the Breed Health and Conservation Plan for Bloodhounds.

It can be down loaded here.

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Information about the Breed and Health

Bloodhound have three principle colours, red, liver and tan or black and tan. The latter two are either a saddle back or blanket back. They are classed as a dual purpose breed. Please refer to the breed standard for greater details or an experienced breeder/owners for a fuller explanation.

  • Show
  • Hunting
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  • Show
  • Hunting
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  • Content A
  • Content B
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The Kennel Club Standard

General Appearance

Noble and dignified expression, characterised by solemnity, wisdom and power.


Possesses in a most marked degree every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces). Very powerful, standing over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds. Skin relatively loose.


Affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs. Somewhat reserved and sensitive.

Head and Skull

Head narrow in proportion to length and long in proportion to body, tapering slightly from temples to muzzle, thus when viewed from above and in front having appearance of being flattened at sides and of being nearly equal in width throughout entire length. In profile upper outline of skull is nearly in same plane as that of foreface. Length from end of nose to stop not less than that from stop to back of occipital protuberance. Entire length of head from posterior part of occipital protuberance to end of muzzle 30 cm (12 ins) or more in dogs and 28 cms (11 ins) or more in bitches. Skull is long and narrow, with occipital peak pronounced. Brows not prominent. Sufficient stop. Foreface long, deep and of even width throughout, with square outlines when seen in profile. Head furnished with only a small amount of loose skin.  Nostrils large and open. In front, lips fall squarely making a right angle with upper line of foreface.


Medium size, dark brown or hazel, neither sunken nor prominent, the lids being oval in shape and meeting the cornea – front window of the eye – perfectly without any irregularity in their contour. Eyes should be free from any interference from the eyelashes.  Any obvious signs of eye irritation must be heavily penalised. The eyesight of the hound should be unimpeded.


Thin and soft to the touch, long, set on low and falling in graceful folds, lower parts curling inwards and backwards.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.




Shoulders muscular and well sloped. Forelegs straight, large, round in bone with elbows well set in. Pasterns strong.


Ribs well sprung, chest well let down between forelegs forming a deep keel. Back and loins strong, the latter deep and slightly arched.


Thighs and second thighs very muscular. Hocks well let down, bent and squarely set.


Strong and well knuckled up.


(Stern) Long, thick, tapering to a point, set high with moderate amount of hair underneath. Carried scimitar-fashion, but not curled over back or corkscrew any time. When moving carried high.


Elastic, swinging free.


Smooth, short and weatherproof.


Black and tan, liver and tan and red. Darker colours sometimes interspersed with lighter or badger-coloured hair and sometimes flecked with white. Small amount of white permissible on chest, feet and tip of tail.


Height of adult dogs: 66 cms (26 ins); bitches: 61 cms (24 ins). Dogs usually vary from 63-69 cms (25-27 ins); bitches from 58-63 cms (23-25 ins). Mean average weight of adult dogs in fair condition 41 kgs (90 lbs); bitches: 36 kgs (80 lbs). Dogs attain the weight of 50 kgs (110 lbs); bitches: 45.5 kgs (100 lbs). Hounds of the maximum height and weight preferred, providing that quality, proportion and balance combine.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Bloodhound Health Group

A Joint Bloodhound Health Group has been formed by the A.B.B. and the B.C
By collecting relevant data the group hopes to improve our breeding strategies in order to eventually diminish the number of hounds suffering from chronic health conditions. We are aware that this will take several generations of selective breeding to lessen any genetic predispositions.
The information provided to us via the Bloodhound Health Assessment Form will help us greatly in providing data which show areas of incline or decline.
If you are willing to take part in our assessment scheme contact Susan Harrison for an assessment form

The Health Group consists of:

Keith Long (Breed Health Co-ordinator)
Susan Harrison (Breed Health Administrator)
Sue Shaw-Browne VN
Joan Corner
Lorraine Priestley

Below are links to PDF documents related to the Bloodhound Health Group reports and some guides for caring for hounds skin and ears

The death of a hound is a very sad occasion, whether it is a gradual decline or a sudden death. The health group records the cause of death of Bloodhounds as part of the monitoring process. They would be grateful, when you are ready, if you could let Sue Harrison know or use the contact form. They would like the age, sex and cause of death. Thank you


The Scheme is open to everyone, you do not need to be a member of any Bloodhound  Club
All BLOODHOUNDS must be K C Registered, Micro Chipped or have permanent tattoo identification and be over 12 months of age.

Participating Clubs.


Request a copy of the Health assessment form from Mrs. Susan Harrison- Tel: 0113 2533001
or Email:

You will need to have your dog's KC Registration number, microchip number, KC Registered name & D.O.B. to hand. Once you have received the form, book an appointment with your Vet.  When the vet has examined your dog he should complete and sign the form. He retains one copy for his records and gives you the other two copies.  This Breed Specific examination covers ears, eyes, heart, skin, basic conformation, temperament etc.