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10 Most Interesting Bloodhound Facts That You Didn’t Know

Known for their incredible sense of smell and their long droopy ears, the Bloodhound is no stranger to dog lovers. But there’s a lot more to these dogs than you probably know.

Like, did you know that Bloodhounds were first introduced into the police force to catch one of the most infamous serial killers? Or that Bloodhounds are able to pick up an old scent-trail days after? Interested in knowing how a Bloodhound’s nose and legs actually help them with tracking scents?

Well stick around! In today’s article, we’re counting down 10 of the most incredible Bloodhound facts that you really should know. And that all starts right now on The Smart Canine, the only show that explores the most interesting stories and facts behind dogs. 

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10. Walt Disney has a special affinity towards Bloodhounds.

Countless times, Disney has featured plenty of dogs in their motion pictures. But out of all dog breeds, they seem to favor one breed the most – the Bloodhound.

In fact, Bloodhounds have been featured in Disney classics far more times than any other dog breed. For example, Trusty from “Lady and the Tramp” was a Bloodhound. So was Napoleon and Lafayette in “The Aristocats.”

Not to mention Copper in “Fox and the Hound,” or Towser from “101 Dalmatians.” And who can forget Bruno from “Cinderella?” All these cartoon dog characters were some of the most memorable from the Disney universe.

The entertainment giant’s interest in Bloodhounds started in the early 1930s, when they first introduced Pluto into the Mickey Mouse universe. Pluto was so popular that the dog eventually became a regular member in Mickey’s cast of stars.

From there on, Disney continued to introduce this breed into their classics – and we don’t really blame them! And while Pluto is officially listed as a mixed dog breed today, the dog debuted in the Mickey Mouse cartoons as a Bloodhound.

9. The Bloodhound has the most scent receptors out of any dog breed.

Ever hear about Bloodhounds having the best sense of smell in the canine kingdom? Yes, it’s even better than the Basset Hound or Beagle’s sense of smell. But a big part of this is because of the remarkable amount of scent receptors that they have in their noses.

In fact, researchers believe there’s roughly 300 million scent receptors in the Bloodhound’s nose! That’s more than any other breed, including the popular tracking-dog, Basset Hound, and the elite sniffer-dog, Beagle.

And for reference, Bloodhounds have 40 times more receptors than us humans, yet we’re still able to detect more than 1 trillion scents.

However with the Bloodhound’s much larger nose, a more efficient olfactory lobe, and a huge increase in receptors, researchers estimate that the Bloodhound’s nose is at least 1,000 times better than a human’s nose. It’s no wonder they’re the best tracking dogs in the game!

8. Bloodhounds can follow a scent trail that’s 300 hours old.

So just how impressive is the Bloodhound’s nose in a real-world situation? If a person with a very specific or unique cologne walked across your path, you would probably notice the odor for a few minutes before it goes away.

However, Bloodhounds would still be able to pick up on the cologne’s smell if the dog came 300 hours later! And for reference, that’s twelve and a half days later! But what’s really impressive is that they’re able to distinguish this old scent from a massive amount of different odors.

Just imagine all the other people and scents that have traveled through that same path. It’s a huge reason why they have become the premier dogs for locating people! If a Bloodhound can get their noses on a personal item of yours, there’s really no escaping these dogs.

7. The evidence found by a Bloodhound is admissible in a court of law.

There’s really no surprise here. The court of law has so much faith in the accuracy of the Bloodhound’s nose that they’ve made this dog breed’s “testimony” admissible in court. Well, at least in some courts in the United States.

However, not all Bloodhounds can do this. Just because your Bloodhound locates that thief who took your bike does not mean they will be taken seriously in court. Rather, only those that are officially certified to be tracking dogs can have consideration in court. 

Today, more dogs have provided valuable evidence to courts all across the country. But according to the Guinness World Records, Bloodhounds are the first animals ever to have their evidence successfully submitted in court. That’s how impressive these dogs are.

6. The Bloodhounds’ long hanging ears actually helps them with tracking.

The long droopy ears of the Bloodhound is a signature trait of the breed. In fact, it’s a common physical trait among all tracking hounds. However there’s a very specific reason why they were bred like this. 

Despite popular belief, it’s not all just for their adorable yet goofy appearance. When a Bloodhound’s nose is pointed to the floor, the dog’s long ears actually act as sweepers that collect odors from the surrounding environment and brings it towards their noses. 

This way, Bloodhounds are actually absorbing as many odor molecules as possible. So next time don’t make fun of their long ears! They’re actually the Bloodhound’s secret weapon for remarkable tracking.

5. Bloodhounds were bred to have short legs so that they could keep their noses closer to the ground.

The ridiculously long ears of the Bloodhound wasn’t the only physical trait purposely bred into the breed. Have you ever wondered why Bloodhounds have such short legs? These hounds aren’t meant to run, like with retrieving or herding dogs. So there really is no benefit to having such long legs.

Rather, by having short legs, it keeps the Bloodhound’s nose close to the ground, where they spend most of their time operating on the job. This allows the Bloodhound to continuously walk a path with their noses stuck to the floor.

And if they had legs as long as the Great Dane, they would have to continuously stop and put their noses on the floor to catch a scent. Not as efficient with longer legs, right?

4. A Bloodhound holds the world record for the longest ears on a dog.

There’s no doubt the long hanging ears are a signature trait of the Bloodhound. Like we’ve discussed, they’re used to help sweep odor molecules into the dog’s nose when they’re tracking a scent.

But because they were purposely bred to have long ears, you may not be all too surprised to hear that a Bloodhound named Tigger, holds the world record for longest ears on a dog. While his lengthy left lobe measured 13.75 inches, his right lobe came in at 13.5 inches long.

Unfortunately, Tigger passed away in October of 2009 and since then, no other dog has come close to breaking his world record. Even so, his legendary ears have continued to live as a world record.

3. The first registered dog of any kennel club was the Bloodhound.

The first dog breed registered in the American Kennel Club was the English Setter. However, the AKC was not the first kennel club to exist. The American Kennel Club was the second.

The first national kennel club ever was the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club, which started in 1873 – just 11 years before the AKC. And the breed that The Kennel Club first registered was none other than the Bloodhound, making them the first dog ever registered in a club.

2. Duke the Bloodhound was the most popular hound in Hollywood.

Have you ever heard of the cult classic, The Beverly Hillbillies? Of course you have! The 1960’s American sitcom was an instant hit that lasted over a decade. There was even a tribute movie made about it several years later.

But among the cast of talented and beloved stars, a certain fan favorite was the hillbillies’ pet dog named Duke, who was played by a Bloodhound named “Stretch.” Fans loved the care-free and “laziness” that the dog portrayed on the show.

However, according to Stretch’s handler, the Bloodhound moved around a lot and was often fairly active on set when the cameras weren’t rolling. After all, most Bloodhounds are more active than you think.

Stretch was so successful and loved that he went on to have one of the best careers in Hollywood for a dog. In fact, he appeared in the Andy Griffith movie, as well as The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show for another five years. 

When Stretch finally passed away at the age of 16, his real-life son, who was actually named Duke, took over his part in his remaining roles. There aren’t many Bloodhounds in Hollywood, but there’s no denying that Duke was one of the brightest stars. 

1. Bloodhounds were introduced as the first police dogs in order to catch a notorious serial killer.

When one thinks of the police K9 force, one breed comes to mind: The German Shepherd. However, the German Shepherd wasn’t the first breed to work alongside the men in blue. It was actually the Bloodhound.

In the 1880’s, one of the world’s most infamous serial killers was in the midst of his killing spree.  This serial killer was none other than Jack the Ripper, who terrorized the Whitechapel area of London in the fall of 1888. 

People were rightfully scared, and police were scrambling to find the elusive murderer with little to no success. Back then, the idea of using our canine companions to track humans was not a thing yet. In fact, it was ridiculed by the vast majority of policemen and detectives.

However the idea of using hounds to bring down the Ripper was suggested by a famous breeder, named Percy Lindley, who wrote to the editor in The Times. 

The London Metropolitan Police were out of options, so the idea of this “Hail Mary” intrigued them enough to start experimenting with scent dogs. Edwin Brough volunteered his trained scent hounds, named Burgho and Barnaby, for the job.

However, the lack of experience of using dogs for tracking severely hindered this operation. Edwin instructed policemen to leave the crime scene alone until the dogs got an accurate scent to track. But few had listened and the Bloodhounds never really got their opportunity to shine.

Despite the dogs never finding the Ripper, it led police forces to start experimenting long-term with using dogs for police work. And today, there are hundreds of thousands of dogs helping out policemen all over the world. I suppose we have Burgho and Barnaby to thank for this.


So what was your favorite Bloodhound fact? Did we miss any amazing facts that deserve to be in this video? Let us know in the comments section below.

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