Posts Tagged ‘police bloodhound’

Mr. E.C. Musgrave and his working bloodhounds. 1916.

From an article on “English bloodhounds” in Country Life in America (November 1916):

The English bloodhound is comparatively easy to breed, but has a reputation for a delicate constitution in spite of his apparent sturdiness. He is said to be especially susceptible to distemper. In the matter of health, I have the testimony of Mr. E. C. Musgrave, a breeder of Fairmont, W. Va., who writes as follows:

“I have had ten years of actual criminal work with bloodhounds, and consider the English bloodhound the best breed on earth. They are the best trailers and the most sensible dogs. They are healthy and usually large, but no man can expect to have healthy dogs if he does not give them plenty of exercise at least twice a week. Don’t let them get too fat. Don’t feed too much raw meat in the hot weather, or they may get indigestion and skin trouble. Once a week is enough for meat in summer, and it should be cooked. Their houses should be high and dry; a damp place may give them lung trouble, for which there is no cure. In hot weather keep sulphur in their water, and give plenty of water at all times. When the female is in whelp, work her right along every week; it is better for her and for the puppies as well.”

But the “English bloodhound” never made it as a coonhound in this part of the world.  Although they have better noses and can be crossed into coonhound breeds, the pure bloodhound is just not what is needed for a hunting hound.

That is probably because the bloodhound was used as a limer, which means they were leashed hounds that always scented cold trails or followed blood spoor (hence the term “bloodhound.”)

Most coonhounds are run off-leash and at great distance from the hunter. A bloodhound is meant to be used on a leash or “lyam” (where we get the term “limer” for a hound.)

A bloodhound is a slower and more deliberate dog than a coonhound. It will pick up scents that a fast running coonhound might miss, but it won’t do it fast enough for a good ‘coon chase.

That’s why bloodhounds are mostly used for police work, tracking tests, and man-trailing events.

Jed Clampett had the wrong dog. Old Duke wasn’t what you’d use to shoot up some food.

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