This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
The points of the bloodhound are numerically as follows :
Back and ribs .........
Ears and eyes............
Legs and feet .........
Colour and coat ......
Chest and shoulders ...
Grand Total, 100.
Some little time ago Dr. Sidney Turner and Mr. E. Brough compiled and carefully drew up the following "Points and Characteristics of the Bloodhound or Sleuthhound."
The bloodhound possesses in a most marked degree every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces). He is very powerful, and stands over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds. The skin is thin to the touch and extremely loose, this being more especially noticeable about the head and neck, where it hangs in deep folds.
The mean average height of adult dogs is 26in., and of adult bitches 24m. Dogs usually vary from 25m. to 27m., and bitches from 23m. to 25m.; but in either case, the greater height is to be preferred, provided that character and quality are also combined.
The mean average weight of adult dogs, in fair condition, is 90 lb., and of adult bitches, 8olb. Dogs attain the weight of 110 lb., bitches 100 lb. The greater weights are to be preferred, provided (as in the case of height) that quality and proportion are also combined.
The expression is noble and dignified, and characterised by solemnity, wisdom, and power.
In temperament he is extremely affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs. His nature is somewhat shy, and equally sensitive to kindness or correction by his master.
The head is narrow in proportion to its length, and long in proportion to the body, tapering but slightly from the temples to the end of the muzzle, thus (when viewed from above and in front) having the appearance of being flattened at the sides and of being nearly equal in width throughout its entire length. In profile, the upper outline of the skull is nearly in the same plane as that of the fore-face. The length from end of nose to stop (midway between the eyes) should be not less than that from stop to back of occipital protuberance (peak). The entire length of head from the posterior part of the occipital protuberance to the end of the muzzle should be twelve inches or more, in dogs, and eleven inches or more in bitches.
THE DOTTED LINES SHOW A FAULTY PEAK.
The skull is long and narrow, with the occipital peak very pronounced. The brows are not prominent, although, owing to the deep-set eyes, they may have that appearance.
The fore-face is long, deep, and of even width throughout, with square outline when seen in profile.
The eyes are deeply sunk in the orbits, the lids assuming a lozenge or diamond shape, in consequence of the lower lids being dragged down and everted by the heavy flews. The eyes correspond with the general tone of colour of the animal, varying from deep hazel to yellow. The hazel colour is, however, to be preferred, although very seldom seen in red-and-tan hounds.
The ears are thin and soft to the touch, extremely long, set very low, and fall in graceful folds, the lower parts curling inwards and backwards.
The head is furnished with an amount of loose skin, which in nearly every position appears superabundant, but more particularly so when the head is carried low; the skin then falls into loose pendulous ridges and folds, especially over the forehead and sides of the face.
The nostrils are large and open.
In front the lips fall squarely, making a right angle with the upper line of the fore-face; whilst behind they form deep hanging flews, and, being continued into the pendant folds of loose skin about the neck, constitute the dewlap, which is very pronounced. These characters are found, though in a less degree, in the bitch.
The neck is long; the shoulders muscular and well sloped backwards; the ribs are well sprung; and the chest well let down between the forelegs, forming a deep keel.
The forelegs are straight and large in bone, with elbows squarely set; the feet strong and well knuckled up; the thighs and second thighs (gaskins) are very muscular; the hocks well bent and let down and squarely set.
The back and loins are strong, the latter deep and slightly arched.
The stern is long and tapering and set on rather high, with a moderate amount of hair underneath.
The gait is elastic, swinging, and free, the stern being carried high, but not too much curled over the back.
The colours are black and tan, red and tan and tawny, the darker colour being sometimes interspersed with lighter or badger-coloured hair, and sometimes flecked with white. A small amount of white is permissible on chest, feet, and tip of stern."
There is little or nothing more to be said of the modern bloodhound. That many writers have given him an evil character, for which there was no justification, none who are acquainted with him will deny. Whether in his kennel or in the house, on the show bench or in the country, he is always the same noble, sensible creature; rather indolent perhaps, but a faithful companion, and interesting as an object of admiration. He is a difficult dog to rear, being delicate in his infancy, but once over distemper and other dangers of puppyhood, he is as hardy as most, and certainly about the least troublesome of all big dogs. Still, the pure bred hounds cannot be recommended as watch dogs, for they are not fond of barking at and making known the presence of strangers; and one of their admirers says that his favourite hound would rather "bay the moon" than by his voice proclaim the approach of bad characters - burglars, or such like. A story came to us the other day that a convict escaped from one of the Florida penitentiaries and got well away before the hounds were put upon his line. He. however, discomfited the creatures in a cunning manner, for, providing himself with a quantity of pepper, he strewed it on his track. This not only quite prevented the hounds following him, but, it is said, pretty nearly killed one of the best of them, who persevered for a considerable time longer than his comrades in endeavouring to make out the scent of the fugitive.