Bloodhounds are gentle and affectionate dogs; known for their droopy eyes and floppy ears. But what are their coats like to take care of and manage? Does this breed shed a lot and is there anything an owner needs to be aware of and consider? I spent some time researching into the breed and would like to provide an overview of what I managed to find here today.
So, do bloodhounds shed? Bloodhounds do shed their short and dense coat. They do so seasonally, twice per year, during what is known as shedding season (during the spring and again in the fall). Shedding prepares the coats for the change in weather. Bloodhounds do best with weekly brushing to promote new hair growth and to distribute skin oils throughout their coat which help to keep it healthy.
It comes as no surprise to learn that most breeds of dogs shed. But of course, it varies between them. As does the type of coat and how much of a coat they even have to shed to begin with.
Despite the shedding, bloodhounds are considered to have a low-maintenance coat that is relatively easy to take care of, while their grooming needs are not too challenging either.
Then there are some proactive things that you can do to make the process all that easier.
Let us now explore shedding in the bloodhound breed further so you know exactly what to expect if you did decide to take on this dog.
The Bloodhound Coat
Bloodhounds possess a short dense fur coat across their bodies, which is relatively firm to touch.
It is wrinkled and does not grow out too long. The hair, however, that is found on the ears and around the head, is slightly softer.
The Bloodhound coat is often one of three different color combinations; black and tan, liver and tan, or red.
For black and tan coats, black tends to dominate whereas the tan appears as spots around the leg and the face.
It is considered to be an easy-care coat, that requires only weekly brushing for upkeep. Along similar lines this breed does not need to be bathed often.
However, the coat does carry a distinctive odor unique to the breed. Some people do not mind it to begin with, whereas others learn to get used to it or dislike it entirely.
Either way, this smell cannot be washed away. Its an inherent part of this dog breed and something you must learn to get along with if you decide to own a Bloodhound.
Bloodhounds are also notorious for their facial skin wrinkles; which are thin and loose and actually play a role in their superior scent-capturing abilities.
While the coat requires minimal maintenance, the skin folds do. They must cleaned regularly and kept dry at all times to prevent bacteria buildup and infection.
When Do Bloodhounds Shed?
Bloodhounds are considered to be low shedders. However, they do shed seasonally and during this time you can expect an increase in the amount of their coat that they release.
Bloodhounds will shed both in the spring, and in the fall. They will do so on this yearly cycle.
They will shed their coat across their entire bodies, during which time, you may need to brush them more to prevent the collection of hair around your home.
Seasonal shedding is not something to be concerned about; its entirely normal and is a dogs natural attempt to change their coat in response to the change in weather.
So, in the spring, you can expect your Bloodhound to shed their winter coat (in preparation for the warmer months).
Equally, in the fall, your Bloodhound will shed their summer coat. This will prepare them to grow out a coat that will keep them warmer in the colder months.
One thing to note is that all dogs do shed to some extent. While it does range, it should be expected somewhat.
Excessive shedding beyond the breed standard however, can be a cause for concern. It is usually a symptom of an underlying issue or health condition.
The main ones to be aware of are:
- Allergies – dogs of all breeds can experience an increase in shedding if they are being exposed to an allergen in their diet, environment, through a product or through medications.
- Stress – big changes can bring about stress in your Bloodhound. This could be a big change in their environment, being left alone for too long, or even familial conflict.
- Skin Conditions – there are several skin conditions which can result in an increased loss of hair. The main ones to look out for are mites, ringworm, dermatitis, and bacterial or fungal infections.
If you suddenly notice an increase in the amount your Bloodhound sheds, then chances are something is not quite right. Contacting your vet is advised here; whom can run a thorough investigation and help identify what the cause may be.
How To Manage Shedding In Bloodhounds
Managing shedding in Bloodhounds is not too difficult, but it can be made much more effective with preparation in advance and having the right tools on hand.
Regular brushing throughout the year is recommended. Some owners like to do so daily, whereas others can only find the time to do so once per week.
There are many benefits to regular brushing, outside of hair collection, which is why you should look to proactively do so.
However, when it comes to shedding season, you will likely need to brush more often, as more hair is being shed by your dog and would otherwise be deposited around your home.
One of, if not, the best brushes to get for Bloodhounds during the shedding season is a Shedding Blade. This is a highly reviewed one to get for a great price on Amazon.
Shedding Blades are designed specifically to overcome the challenges faced; its also easy to use and comfortable on a dogs skin.
For the remainder of the year, a rubber hand grooming glove (like these on Amazon) are ideal to more regularly brush your Bloodhounds coat.
This will help you remove dead hair comfortably, and by massaging you will distribute your dogs naturally occurring skin oils. This will help to promote the growth and maintenance of a healthier coat.
Ultimately, the more you brush a Bloodhound, the better condition the coat is likely to be in. Equally, the less likely you are to find hair around your home.
So daily brushing may be required depending on your preferences.
From there, you can always look to
Grooming Bloodhound Tips
While Bloodhounds do have a relatively easy to care for coat; they do actually have higher grooming needs than most other breeds.
It is around their face where you will need to provide extra attention.
So, you will need to regularly clean their long, floppy ears and you will need to spend some time on their wrinkles.
Wrinkles should be cleaned frequently, and always kept dry to prevent bacteria buildup and infection.
You should also be prepared to wash your Bloodhounds face routinely throughout the day; especially after each meal and after they have drunk some water. Be sure to remove any debris with a soft, damp cloth or a wipe suitable for dogs (like these on Amazon).
As previously discussed, Bloodhounds do carry their own unique doggy scent. They should not be bathed excessively despite this. In doing so, the scent is unlikely to go away regardless.
Bathing should be done as and when required, with appropriate shampoos designed for dogs.
Outside of this the rest is general care.
You will want to trim the nails every couple of weeks and be sure to brush their teeth regularly. This will prevent tar buildup, dental issues and also give them better breath.
Here are some effective strategies that help with the grooming process:
Groom while still a puppy: you should look to groom your Bloodhound from the earliest opportunity. This will help their coat to grow optimally and it will also get your dog used to the process. They will learn what it feels like to be brushed, their nails trimmed and their teeth brushed.
Distractions: while grooming, do what you can to take your dogs mind of what you are doing. This will stop them from getting bored, agitated and restless. Providing a toy during this time works well.
Routines: be consistent with your grooming and set out a ritual. This way your dog will know what to expect, when, and will become more accustomed to it.
Treats: provide regular treats before, during and after any grooming. This will help your dog be more happy and comfortable; enabling them to form positive associations with grooming. They will be more open to it if treats are likely!
Bloodhounds do shed, just like most other breeds of dog. Thankfully, they have short, easy to manage coats and only require minimal brushing. They are considered low shedders.
However, this breed does experience seasonal shedding during the spring and the fall. During this time you should expect more fur to be shed and proactively take measures to help your dog during this time.
Beyond this, there are other causes which can cause an increase shedding; such as allergies, skin conditions and stress. Although these are rare, and only evident by a sudden onset of shedding, these will require an intervention and contacting a vet is advised here.
Outside of shedding, grooming is a natural part of dog ownership. In the case of this breed, you do need to be willing to go the extra mile to keep their wrinkles clean and free from bacteria/infection.
Getting the appropriate tools upfront, setting your expectations and developing a routine can go a long way to ensuring your Bloodhounds grooming needs are adequately met. This will make sure that they are healthy, happy and comfortable.
The Bloodhound is generally an even-tempered, affectionate and gentle breed. They make a great family pet, so if you are considering getting one – do not let the shedding or grooming requirements put you off.
Bloodhounds are not known to shed a lot. They shed minimally throughout the year, but do experience an increase during the Shedding Season (both in spring and the fall). Appropriate brushing and grooming can go a long way in minimizing hair deposits over your home and ensuring the coat remain healthy and hygienic.
If you are interested in this particular breed, then be sure to read my following Bloodhound guides:
- How Much Does A Bloodhound Cost? [Complete Owners Price Guide]
- How Big Do Bloodhounds Get? [Average Height, Weight and Size]
- Are Bloodhounds Aggressive? [What Owners Will Want To Know]
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.