How to choose the right dog breed: The Bloodhound

The Bloodhound is a dog almost guaranteed to be calm and unobtrusive on virtually all occasions, yet be amenable to training. It won't disrupt dinner parties with incessant barking, nor will it jump up on your guests or snap at them. In fact, the Bloodhound ranks in the lowest decile of all traits except obedience training and ease of housebreaking. This unmatched record suggests that the Bloodhound's reputation for docility - for not attacking the criminal it trails for example - is well-founded.

On a number of characteristics, there was a remarkable pattern in assigning the lowest ranks to the Bloodhound. In reactivity it was the lowest-ranked breed on both excitability and excessive barking, and it was rated the second lowest in general activity. In aggression, it was the lowest-ranked breed in watchdog barking and the second lowest in territorial defense. And in both destructiveness and playfulness, it was the lowest-ranked breed.

The Bloodhound's profile stands alone, even when compared with other breeds ranking low on several behavioral traits. Although the Basset Hound, for instance, approaches the Bloodhound in having a similar number of extremely low rankings, it doesn't have the moderate trainability that the Bloodhound has. Likewise, if you're willing to sacrifice ready acceptance of training, the English Bulldog is another breed to consider.

Because of its low rankings on aggression and snapping at children, the Bloodhound might seem a good candidate for a children's pet. However, other breeds that are rated about equally safe around children, such as the Golden Retriever and the Australian Shepherd, might be more ideal pets, since they rank higher on demand for affection and playfullness. The Bloodhound might also turn out to be too large for some families for whom a lethargic dog would otherwise be ideal. A further disadvantage of the Bloodhound might be its lowest-decile ranking on household protection.

The Bloodhound:

Weight: 90 lbs
Height: 26 in.
Build: Strong
Coat: Short.
Color: Black and tan, red and tan or tawny.

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