BLOODHOUND, THE SHOW DOG
Many breeds of dogs are seen at dog
shows each year. Accordingly, the Bloodhound is one of those breeds.
A Bloodhound is sure to create a jam of spectators; each with a varied opinion
about the breed. Some like us and some do not, but the only one that
matters is the judge. Dogs are strictly judged based on characteristics
that we should possess. Some Bloodhounds are born with traits that a judge would
perceive as a defect, such as size, color and gait. When purchasing a Bloodhound
of "showing" quality, one must be picky in choosing a perfect Bloodhound pup.
One could expect to pay up to $2000.00 for a pup that possesses showing
qualities. When I talk about characteristics we are expected to have, what I
mean is this:
We have to be a certain color.
Accepted colors are red, red and black/tan, tan, tan and black, liver and tan.
A little white is permissible on our chest, tip of our feet and stern.
We have to be the right size. Our
height has to be 25-27", weight (generally) between 80 and 100 pounds.
Our gait (step/walk) has to be elastic,
kind of swinging and free.
We have to possess a head in proportion
to our length.
We have to have wrinkles!
Our legs have to be straight, our thighs
muscular. We cannot have our toes pointing in or out.
Our back must be strong as well as our
loin. Our loin must be slightly arched.
We can not be spayed or neutered.
We must have full (most expensive) AKC
...and many more physical qualities.
**Because I am not a
show dog, I
would recommend further research of this if looking into purchasing a Bloodhound
for the purpose of showing.
Once you have purchased
a Bloodhound pup, preparation for the "ring" must start immediately.
There's lots of things a Bloodhound will have to get used to...walking, bathing,
traveling and the list goes on!
GROOMING: I think, by nature,
Bloodhounds enjoy getting dirty more than they enjoys getting cleaned (well,
that's my personal preference). So, bathing a Bloodhound could be a chore,
especially if you have an unwilling participant, like me. But,
nevertheless, a Bloodhound should be bathed about every 12 weeks and
brushed daily and combed weekly if you want to use her for show. There are
some "dry-wash" bathing products that can be purchased to avoid a wet bath.
Whichever you decide to use, take extra care not to get any cleansing product in
our eyes. If you give a Bloodhound a bath the traditional way (in a tub),
perhaps it's a good idea to wear a water proof apron or a raincoat! One
shake of a wet Bloodhound could make one wonder just exactly who is getting the
bath! When finished, dry us completely and keep us out of cold weather
conditions until we are completely dry. Our teeth have to be brushed regularly.
Should tartar build up, use a tartar scraper. Feeding your Bloodhound dog bones
or bones made of animal hide should prevent most tartar build up. SO FEED
THEM LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF BONES. A Bloodhound's ears will also need
weekly cleaning. Dirty ears can cause infection and odor, so it's
important to take care and clean them.
TRAVELING: A show Bloodhound will
be doing a lot of traveling, so start getting them ready right away. Take
them in a car in a safe travel crate as often as possible. Often, show
Bloodhounds travel via airplane to shows and I'm not quite sure that they ever
get used to that. I flew to my home on an airplane and I'd rather die than
get back on one of them again. So, I can't offer much advice, except for
when your pet is returned to you by the airline crew, give her lots of love. Let
her know that you are there now...tell her how very sorry you are and GIVE HER
LOTS OF BONES.
RING TRAINING: When showing any
dog, it must have a nice stride, leading well. A dog must stay by your
side and not criss-cross in front of you or try to dive between your legs.
A dog must be taught to ignore all other dogs at the show. For some
breeds, this is a piece of cake...but a Bloodhound requires a little extra work.
Obedience is not our favorite subject. Start us at an early age by walking us on a lead
with little or no pressure. Follow the Bloodhound pup at first, so this "lead
training" is fun for her. Eventually, command her to "come" and follow
you. But, this is a task that will have to be done everyday.
Consistency is the key. Once a Bloodhound is obedient on the leash, introduce
the pup to other dogs, around the neighborhood or perhaps at the park. The
next step will be training your pup to ignore these other fascinating creatures
and listen only to your boring commands. Using special treats may
encourage a Bloodhound to be more responsive to her owner, so GIVE HER LOTS OF
BONES. Be firm with her if you dare, I mean if you want her to listen to you.
Let the Bloodhound know who's boss...tell her you know she's the boss, but as a
meager slave, you are begging her to come to you. Eventually, with
consistency, your Bloodhound will obey your begging, I mean commands.
STANCE: Not only does a
Bloodhound have to have the proper walk/stride, but she must also have the
proper stance. Bloodhounds must stand straight, still and proud. It's hard
getting a Bloodhound to do anything, so, this is another thing one will have to
start at an early age and continue consistently. Give her a command; keep
it simple, such as "stand". Position her the way she should be and tell her
"stand". Praise her when she does as you wish and reward her...GIVE HER
LOTS OF BONES!
CHOOSING A HANDLER: There are many
owner/handlers, but if the owner of a Bloodhound has no prior handling
experience, it may be best to obtain a handler or at least receive handling
training. How the Bloodhound behaves in the ring depends solely on her
training and handling.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE JUDGE: (To
handlers:) As other dogs are being shown, watch the judge carefully.
Often, you can "read" the judge. Pay attention to him, so when it's the
Bloodhound's turn, you can be prepared for what the judge will expect from her
and her handler. And for goodness sakes, do not make the judge repeat his
or herself. PAY ATTENTION...oh, and don't forget to BRING THE BONES!
Doggie treats always help us behave.
~This merely sums up "Showing" a
Bloodhound. Please research this topic further if you are interested in
purchasing a Bloodhound for the purpose of showing. I am not a "show" dog,
but I am familiar because my Bloodhound parents and relatives are show dogs, and
I watch Westminster every year!