Saint-Hubert or Bloodhound - Origin, Characteristics and Character

Saint-Hubert dog or Bloodhound: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Bloodhound also known as the dog...

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The Bloodhound, also known as the Saint-Hubert dog, is a dog originating from Belgium. It is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and it has very imposing physical characteristics! However, the character of the Bloodhound surprises everyone who meets him, because he is also a very balanced breed of dog that ends up forming very close relationships with his guardians, whom he follows and protects.

If you are considering adopting a dog of this breed or if you simply want to know more about the Saint-Hubert dog, continue reading this PlanèteAnimal file in which we will tell you everything about the Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog, probably the dog with the best sense of smell in the world!

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  • Europe
  • Belgium

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group VI

Physical Characteristics

  • Muscular
  • Lying
  • Short ears


  • Large


  • 70-80

Adult Weight

  • 45-100

Life expectancy

  • 10-12

Recommended physical activity

  • Average


  • Balanced
  • Very loyal
  • Quiet

Ideal for

  • House
  • Walking
  • The hunt


  • Harness

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Short
  • Hard
  • End

Origin of the Saint-Hubert dog or Bloodhound

" The origins of these dogs are little known, but it is believed that their ancestors were robust dogs, black or black and tan, which accompanied the monk Hubert himself during his hunting trips. Later, this monk was canonized and went down in history as Saint Hubert, patron of the hunt and founder of the order of monks of Saint-Hubert."

" This explains not only the name of the breed, but also why its creation is traditionally attributed to the monks of Saint-Hubert, who lived in the monastery of Andain, located in the Belgian part of the Ardennes. These dogs would have remained isolated in this region for several years, until King William the Conqueror decided to import them into England in the 11th century."

The Bloodhound, as we know it today, is most likely the result of selective crosses between the direct descendants of Saint-Hubert dogs imported from Belgium and a few individuals of the bullmastiff breed.

Because of its extraordinary sense of smell, the Saint-Hubert dog has always been trained as a detection or tracking dog. Shortly after its creation, the breed was already used for the search and rescue of lost pilgrims in the mountains and forests of the Ardennes region.The Bloodhound has also been used for many years for hunting big game, especially wild boar or wild pig.

In the official standard of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the Saint-Hubert hound is classified in section 1.1 of group 6, which includes large hounds of the hound type.

Characteristics of the Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog

The Saint-Hubert is a large dog distinguished by its massive body, slightly longer than tall (rectangular profile), with a broad, long and oval chest, strong legs and well-developed musculature . In fact, according to the official FCI standard, it is considered the most powerful of all hounds.

Females can measure between 58 and 63 cm in height at the withers, while males measure between 63 and 69 cm. The ideal weight of the breed is between 41 and 50 kg.Despite its size and robustness, the Saint-Hubert dog should not be coarse or fat. It has harmonious lines and is able to execute precise and agile movements.

One of the Bloodhound's most distinctive characteristics is their thin, hanging skin in the neck and head area, which forms profuse wrinkles and folds. The head, which has a square profile with a slightly pronounced stop, may be somewhat similar to that of the Basset hound, but is noticeably larger and more imposing. The muzzle is wide and should be as long as the dog's skull.

" The St. Hubert Hound&39;s thin, flexible ears are also gorgeous, and they&39;re as big as they are soft to the touch. They are low insertions and they reach almost to the base of the neck. The Bloodhound&39;s eyes may possibly give a somewhat sad look due to the distended lower eyelids, leaving some of the conjunctiva visible.However, sunken eyes and excessively distended eyelids are undesirable, as they can harm the animal&39;s he alth."

The Bloodhound's coat is made up of short, coarse, harsh, smooth hair, which is softer to the touch on the ears and head, and coarser and longer on the tail. Regarding the color of the coat, three variants are accepted: solid red (or unicolor), two-tone black and tan and two-tone tan and liver. Although not a desirable characteristic, the presence of white hair on the fingers, at the end of the tail and on the front of the chest is tolerated.

Character of the Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog

" Behind its massive giant appearance, the Saint-Hubert dog reveals a friendly, docile and rather calm personality. These dogs often form a very special bond with their guardians, with whom they show extreme loy alty."

When properly socialized, he can also be very sociable with unfamiliar people and animals, and is particularly gentle and patient with children. These dogs do not like solitude and if left alone for long hours they can develop behavioral problems such as destructiveness or separation anxiety. They are therefore not recommended for those looking for a more independent dog breed.

Of course, the behavior of each dog is not determined solely by its breed or lineage, but largely depends on the education, environment and care provided by its guardians. This is why, if you want to have an obedient and balanced dog, you will have to offer him optimal conditions for physical and mental development, and invest in his early education and socialization.

Caring for a Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog

Big and robust, the Bloodhound needs space to develop and express itself freely. Although his docile nature and his loy alty to his guardian allow him to adapt to different environments, the ideal is that he lives in an open space of reasonable size, such as a yard or a garden, in which your dog can run around. , jump, play and explore. This does not mean that the dog must live outside, quite the contrary, but that he must have a space adapted to his size.

The maintenance of his coat is quite simple and requires little time on the part of the guardian: one brushing per week will be more than enough to remove dead hair and prevent the accumulation of dirt on his coat. Baths can only be done when the dog is really dirty, but try not to bathe him more than once a week or fortnightly. Ideally, it should be washed every two or three months. Excessive bathing removes the layer of fat that naturally covers and protects dogs' bodies, making them more susceptible to many diseases and skin conditions.

However, it will be essential to regularly check your ears and wrinkled or wrinkled skin to avoid the concentration of moisture, impurities and microorganisms that can lead to infection. These areas can be cleaned using a gauze, for example, ensuring that they are always completely dry.

Although the Saint-Hubert dog is not a hyperactive dog, he has a lot of energy and a predisposition to education. Physical activity will be essential to manage a he althy weight (essential given their tendency towards obesity), to maintain a stable and calm behavior, and to prevent symptoms of stress and behavioral problems. At a minimum, you should walk your dog 2-3 times a day, for 30-45 minutes, while trying to vary your walks and incorporate new activities and games into the traditional walk. Also, you can consider introducing him to agility or another canine sport.

Engaging your Bloodhound's mind and enriching his environment is just as important as giving him physical exercise. Given their strong sense of smell, searching for dogs can be a great activity to encourage your dog's cognitive development. But remember that dressage is the most complete and best exercise you can give your best friend. We therefore recommend that you read the 5 training tips that every owner should know. In addition, you can offer homemade intelligence games to share a good time with your four-legged friend and stimulate his intelligence.

Finally, Saint-Hubert dogs, like all animals, need a complete and balanced diet to fully develop physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially. There are several different types of dog food you can consider feeding your best friend, whether it's a balanced foods only diet or a BARF diet.But you'll need to consult a veterinarian before deciding what type of diet is right for your four-legged friend, taking into account their age, height, weight, and he alth.

Education of the Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog

Bloodhound education should begin in the early stages when it is still a puppy, although it is important to note that it is still possible to educate and train an adult dog. Puppy education begins with socialization, a stage that begins between three weeks and three months. During this time, care should be taken to ensure that the St Hubert puppy is socialized with all types of people, animals, objects and environments, and that all interactions are positive. This will have a direct impact on the character he will have as an adult, so if we want to have a balanced dog, it will be essential to pay special attention to the socialization of the blood dog.

From childhood, we will teach the dog to relieve himself in the newspaper and to manage his bite correctly so as not to cause harm. Likewise, we will introduce him to the rules of the house, always in a positive way and without resorting to punishment. Remember that these rules must be established with all members of the family unit, as it is important that everyone follows the same in order to avoid confusing the dog.

Later, when we start the vaccination schedule, we can take our young blood dog out onto the streets and continue socializing. At this time, he will also have to learn how to relieve himself in the street and we will introduce him to the basic dog training commands, which are essential for correct communication with people and to encourage positive and polite behavior.

As adults, we will continue to work on obedience commands to prevent him from forgetting them.We will incorporate more complex exercises to stimulate his mind and, in short, we will continue to work to maintain a stable and positive character. To do this, we will always use positive reinforcement, rewarding the dog's behavior with food, petting and kind words. Let's not forget that positive education promotes learning and the bond with the master. Likewise, physical punishment should not be used under any circumstances, as it can lead to the appearance of behavioral problems, such as aggression

He alth of the Bloodhound or Saint-Hubert dog

Like all dog breeds, Saint-Hubert dogs may have a genetic predisposition to develop certain hereditary and degenerative diseases. The most common conditions in these dogs are hip dysplasia and stomach torsion. But other he alth problems can also be diagnosed in this breed of dog:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Dry eye (Keratoconjunctivitis sicca in dogs)
  • Third eyelid prolapse
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Pyoderma

In addition, the St Hubert's dog can also be affected by other common canine diseases and is prone to obesity. It is therefore essential to provide your best friend with appropriate preventive medicine throughout his life. Don't forget to visit the vet every six months to check his he alth, follow his vaccination schedule and deworm him regularly with good quality products adapted to his size, weight and age. .

With proper care and lots of love, the Bloodhound's lifespan is between 10 and 12 years.

Photos of Saint-Hubert or Bloodhound

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