The Bloodhound is a powerful, very massive hound with a long muzzle, very long, drooping ears, and deep-set eyes. His jowls and loose, hanging, wrinkled skin give the Bloodhound a rather mournful, dignified expression. The nostrils are large and open, and the folds of the skin are said to aid in holding scent particles. The color of the eyes varies from hazel to yellow, and corresponds to the color of the dog. A scissors bite is preferred. The short coat is easy to care for with a hound's glove and comes in black and tan, liver and tan, and red. A little white is permitted on the chest, feet, and tip of the tail.
The gentle Bloodhound's name originates not from any quest for blood, but from the fact that only "bluebloods" owned this "pure-blooded" breed. The Bloodhound type is very old, with its direct predecessor, the St. Huberts Hound, present by the eighth century in Belgium. The breed came to England in the eleventh century, and to America in the nineteenth century. The scent-tracking prowess of the Bloodhound is legendary. This breed can successfully follow trails more than 100 hours old, and stay with a trail for more than 100 miles. The Bloodhound is used worldwide for rescue and criminal searches, and evidence based on its scenting prowess is admissible in courts of law. One Bloodhound brought about more than 600 criminal arrests and convictions.