With this month's focus on Crufts and all the wonderful breeds, we will be seeing we wanted to talk about the original breed used for Mantrailing!
The breed everyone thinks of when the word Mantrailing is used is of course Bloodhounds.
History of Bloodhound!
Bloodhounds as a breed are one of the few breeds that we can date back to 1000-2000 BC - Where there is a plaque that some say shows a bloodhound type dog, this from back in the Ancient Babylon times.
We do know for a fact that when the Romans came to the UK it was documented about finding dogs that were great for hunting/tracking and apart from that there is not a huge amount of documented history of this breed or any breed.
Fast forward to 700 AD’s St. Hubert from the French Monastery were breeding hounds that were described as having great noses and endurance, this where most say the true bloodhound dog, we now know today was first being bred, although their colours were blacker with some fawn/red, unlike the fawn colour we are more used to today.
In 1066 the French gifted some of St. Hubert's hounds to England royalty and this is the first know time for these hounds being brought into the UK, saying that there were similar dogs already in England, but these were called Talbot hounds and were mainly white in colour. In Scotland there again were similar dogs to the Bloodhound called Sleuth hounds that were used for track and hunting people.
The first official dog show in England was held in 1859 and it recorded that in 1860 the breed Bloodhounds were entered into the show and have been involved in shows every year since then.
Why are Bloodhounds so good?
So, what makes Bloodhounds the first choice for Mantrailing or tracking but not only the professions but by sports enthusiasts all around the world?
The first thing we need to talk about is genetics, Bloodhounds have been used for hunting prey and humans for thousands of years, maybe even longer. That is a lot of history in the modern-day dogs we see today, just like other breeds you automatically think about when we say the following…
Dog good at herding = Collie
Dog good for going shooting with = Labrador Retriever
Good guard dog breed = Rottweiler/Doberman Pinscher
These breeds have hundred of years’ worth of genetics in them for doing these jobs, that is a massive reason they are so good at these jobs.
Bloodhounds have greater Scent receptors than any other domestic canine breed.
On average a human has around five million scent receptors, a German Shepard has around two hundred twenty-five million (around forty-five times humans). A Bloodhound has around three hundred million scent receptors which is another reason they are one of the best breeds for Mantrailing.
Even the bloodhound's face is designed to collect odours, all those wrinkles funnel odour towards the nose.
One thing often overlooked in the Bloodhound is their ears, but why are the ears important for a dog using their nose?
Bloodhound ears will drag on the ground as they are trailing which can sweep even more odour towards their nose, next time you see a Bloodhound trailing what the ears moving…
Along with the about Bloodhounds have strong neck muscles are able to handle the lower head position for longer periods, they have the endurance to keep going and once on a scent trail it is hard to stop them finding the source of that trail which is my many calls this breed stubborn, we prefer to call them focused…
On top of everything above their temperament for the job is another key reason they are so often used; they generally get on well with people and dogs. They are deemed safer being used when searching for children as they are more ‘friendly’ towards people than other breeds.
Simply put… everything about a Bloodhound is designed for trailing and that is why they are classed as the best trailing dogs in the world!