Bloodhounds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds with their large size, long ears, and stout muzzle. The breed tends to be extremely independent and stubborn, so training a bloodhound puppy requires time, patience, and plenty of positive reinforcement. If you put in the time, you can have not only an obedient and well-socialized dog but also one who is highly trained to use his strong tracking abilities.
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Bloodhound temperament considerations
While breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, there are some common traits that you will want to take into consideration when you start training a bloodhound. They are independent dogs and can be single-mindedly focused when trailing a scent, which their sensitive noses can pick up from up to 130 miles away. This means it can be challenging to keep their attention during training, so be prepared to take the time necessary to train the pups.
Fortunately, the dogs are also intelligent. They enjoy your company and want to please you. While bloodhounds are often used as working dogs for search and rescue or police work, they can make excellent family pets with plenty of exercise and training. They need regular exercise, long walks, and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Bloodhound puppy training
Early socialization and basic obedience are key to bloodhound puppy training and raising a well-behaved adult dog. When training a bloodhound, make sure to work on a leash. An untrained dog may dig her way out of an enclosure, and it can be difficult to get her attention and have her return if she is following a scent. Bloodhounds grow to be 80 to 110 pounds as adults, so training while the pup is still small is beneficial.
Consider enrolling your bloodhound in a puppy training class and be sure to carry plenty of treats to reward good behavior. Teach basic commands, such as sit, stay, down, and come and make sure she knows how to walk on a leash. Socialization is also very important for this breed. Make sure to introduce your puppy to a variety of dogs, people, and environments while she is young.
Training a bloodhound to trail
Bloodhounds have been used by police departments around the country as tracking and detection dogs, and they are also used as search and rescue dogs to help find missing and lost people. These dogs have extremely sensitive noses and are also referred to as a "sleuth hound," so picking up a scent and following a trail comes naturally to the breed. There are some steps to teach your dog what you want from him so he can fulfill his role, but if it is your first time training a bloodhound for search and rescue or other trailing work, it is best to work with a professional trainer.
You can start training a bloodhound to track when he is still a puppy as long as he is familiar with the leash and harness. You will need a helper for the training process to give your pup something to track.The first time, have the helper hold an item and speak to your dog excitedly. When your pup is attentive and engaged, your helper can drop the item and run a short distance away.
Have your dog sniff the item and give him the command you want to use, such as "find." Praise him when he runs to the helper. As he begins to associate the scent of the item with the reward of finding the person to whom the scent belongs at the other end, you can gradually make the task more difficult by adding more distance and different helpers and by practicing in different locations.