The Bloodhound is a French breed bred for tracking human beings. It is a scent hound, known for its ability to follow a scent over long distances, even if it is days old. It is frequently used to trace missing persons or prison escapees.
The Bloodhound is a large dog, weighing 80 to 110 pounds and standing 23 to 27 inches high. Its coat is hard and generally one of three color combinations: black and tan, liver and tan, or red. The Bloodhound has a dense bone structure. It also has very long ears as well as wrinkled flesh under its lips and neck, and large nasal chambers, all helpful in trapping and holding a scent. The scent receptors in the large nasal chambers allow a Bloodhound to pick up a scent from even a limited number of human skin cells. They are fairly quiet dogs and do not typically give voice while trailing a scent.
The breed is mellow, affectionate, and even-tempered, but like any dog, requires training. Because of its strong tracking instinct special care needs to be taken in obedience training.
The average lifespan of the Bloodhound is a very short 6.75 years. One of the main health problems in the Bloodhound is gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat) which is common in other breeds but not typically as fatal as it is in the Bloodhound. The Bloodhound also has a fairly high incidence of skin, ear, and eye problems.