The ancestors of the Saint Hubert, also known as Bloodhound in English or Chien de Saint-Hubert in French, were bred in medieval France to chase deer and wild boar through the woods on long hunting trips.
Today, this very active and intelligent breed of dog still retains its keen sense of smell and is one of the most commonly used dogs for tracking and rescue work. St. Hubert enthusiasts love it for its gentle character and unique appearance.
The curious character of the St. Hubert
The St. Hubert is a dog full of contradictions: docile but stubborn, determined but peaceful, affectionate but somewhat shy with people he doesn’t know?
As a good hound, it is a very active dog that does not know how to sit still: it spends the day sniffing, gnawing at anything within reach, snooping and drooling.
However, he is not a good watchdog, as he loses his sweet and friendly temperament with people. This affection for humans can cause the St. Hubert to have explosive displays of joy in the form of prancing and loud barking, although most of the time he is a calm and balanced companion.
Physical characteristics of the Bloodhound breed
The St. Hubert, also known as Bloodhound, is a large dog with a height at the withers of 65 to 70 cm and a weight of approximately 40-50 kg, values that are lower in females.
Strong and bulky, although very agile, the body of this dog is longer than tall, with strong limbs and rounded legs. The most characteristic features of this breed are found in the head, specifically in the dewlap, the long, pendulous ears and in the folds and wrinkles of the face.
All this physiognomy helps to channel the smells from the ground to the nose of the expert tracker that is the St. Hubert. Its star quality is its sense of smell: this dog is capable of sniffing out the slightest hint of a scent.
What is their coat like?
The coat of dogs of this breed is short and very soft. The most common colors are black, fawn and dark red. It often has white patches on the chest, legs and tail.
The coat should be brushed once a week, more frequently during the moulting season. It is also important to clean the inside of its facial folds very carefully in order to prevent bacterial infections.
Education and training
To train a St. Hubert you must be well armed with patience, because it is a very stubborn dog that will always try to do things its own way. Fortunately, his stubbornness is compensated by his almost always friendly temperament and his desire to please.
Knowing these peculiarities of his character, the most appropriate in his training is to use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and food rewards. These sessions should not exceed fifteen minutes and should avoid severe punishments, both physical and verbal.
The temperament of this breed is conditioned by a number of factors including heredity, training and socialization. St. Hubert puppies are curious and playful, always ready to be with children and to be pampered.
It is advisable to prevent children from playing with the St. Hubert until the dog has completed its maturation and socialization process. Otherwise, due to its strength and large size, it can cause harm to small children, even if unintentionally.
Recommended care for the breed
The St. Hubert can live without problems in apartments and small apartments as well as in country houses. It does not adapt badly to small spaces, but because of its size, it feels better if it has a yard or garden where it can run and enjoy outdoor life.
In these cases it is convenient that this space is well fenced because it is a dog especially skilled to escape behind any olfactory trail that arouses his interest.
It is also important to maintain good dental hygiene, as well as to regularly check and clean the inside of its ears, as this breed is prone to recurrent ear infections.
Generally speaking, it is a healthy and problem-free dog. A well cared for and fed St. Hubert can live up to 15 years.
Does it need a lot of exercise?
He needs to be taken for a long walk at least a couple of times a day, which can be a more strenuous task for us than for the dog.
The St. Hubert pulls hard on the leash, which is why it is often jokingly said that the owners of these dogs have one arm length longer than the other.
It is certainly a dog that requires free air and freedom in order to expend its daily excess energy, it is not a carpet dog or a dog that requires little walking/exercise.