How to Train Bloodhound Puppies

By Louise Lawson

Bloodhounds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds. They have been widely used by police departments as tracking and detection dogs, and are often used as search-and-rescue dogs due to their amazing sense of smell. Their long ears and stout muzzle help them filter scents and distinguish a wide variety of smells. Bloodhounds can be stubborn, and puppies are no exception, although they are extremely trainable given a little time and patience.

Begin your training as soon as you get your puppy home. Young bloodhounds are very impressionable, and the training you do in the first few weeks after weaning can be vital to how your puppy learns future commands.

Place the collar on your puppy to familiarize him with it. A collar is essential for identifying and controlling your dog, so familiarize your pup with it early. Bloodhounds are noted for their loose, excess skin, so be sure to purchase a collar large enough to accommodate this unique feature.

Attach a lead to the puppy's collar and allow her to drag it around. Most puppies are frightened by the weight of the lead, so reward her when she stands quietly. Once she is comfortable with the lead, pick it up and follow her. This will get her used to having someone walk with her. Eventually, you can use a treat to encourage her to walk where you want her to, praising her when she walks calmly beside you.

Begin training your puppy specific skills with simple commands, such as "sit." Hold a treat in your hand and slowly move your hand back over the puppy's nose. Give him the command to sit, and move the treat farther back until he sits down. Immediately give the puppy the treat and praise him for sitting. Continue training the "sit" command with the treats, eventually decreasing how far over the puppy's head you move the treat. Eventually, he will understand that sitting incurs a good reward and will sit on command.

Repeat this process with your remaining commands. Always gently encourage your puppy with treats and lots of praise. Bloodhound puppies have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and will gladly work for you if they can smell their favorite treat in your hand.

Train your puppy in short, frequent sessions. Bloodhounds are very intelligent dogs, and while they seem stubborn, they learn well if they are worked with often.