The so-called bloodhounds, just like the “bloodhounds”, are dogs that are able to follow wounded game over many kilometers using their “sweat track” or “blood track”. The code of honor of the German hunters demands that the hunter must search for all game that has been shot, not a single wounded animal may be wasted in the forest.
Characteristics of the Hanoverian Bloodhound
- FCI Standard No. 213
- Weight: Males 30-40 kg; Bitches 25-35 kg
- Origin: Germany
- Height at the withers: Males 50-55 cm | Bitches 48-53 cm
- Weight: Males 30-40 kg | Bitches 25-35 kg
- very rare hunting dog with game sharpness
- calm, sensitive dogs
- aloof with strangers
- Use for tracking big game
- The dogs are usually only given to hunters
Information about the Hanoverian Bloodhound
In the English-speaking world, it is referred to as the Hanoverian Hound. As the name suggests, its homeland can be found in the German city of Hanover. The FCI number is 213/6.2 and he belongs to the FCI group 6 of scent hounds. The Hanoverian Bloodhound – a very rare hunting dog whose specialty is a big game, i.e. hunting boar and deer.
The breed standard for the Hanoverian sweathound provides for a shoulder height of 50 to 55 cm, the desired weight should be between 30 and 40 kg.
The coat of this dog breed is shiny and dense but has short hair. The colors vary from a light to a dark red with more or less brindle, there are specimens with and without a dark mask. The Hanoverian sweathound is characterized by a low set and very heavy body for its shoulder height. Other typical features of the breed are the heavy fur and the large, high-hanging ears.
Hanoverian Scent Hound Use
Unfortunately, this type of hunting is rarely practiced in the USA, but on the European continent, scenthounds are used everywhere for tracking. Such searches often last several days and can go tens of kilometers before the wounded animal is found dead or alive.
Since a wounded animal loses drops of blood only occasionally and often only at large intervals, a dog with excellent nose and track training, especially on a cold track, is required for the search.
History of the Breed
The Hanoverian scent hound was bred around 1800 at the Hanoverian Jägerhof. Breeding began with heavy, mute lead dogs such as the Sollinger Leitbracke, a breed known since the 5th century that is closely related to the St. Hubert Hound and other Segusian-type scents hounds.
These lead dogs were crossed with a lighter type of Celtic Hound such as the now-extinct Red Haidhound and Harz Hound. This is how the modern form of the Hanoverian scent hound came about, a specialist in tracking big game with an excellent nose disposition, but somewhat cautious in tracking. It is also very well suited for hunting live games.
Many European all-purpose hunting dogs are descended from the Hanoverian scent hound, from whom they get their excellent nose disposition, endurance, and track security.
These dogs used to hunt in large packs, but when the Hannoversche Jägerhof was dissolved around 1866 and par force hunting on horseback stopped, the lead dogs of the pack lost their task and from then on the Hanoverian scent hound was increasingly used alone for hunting. Today his main task is the welding work while working out the cold track before the shot was shot became a minor matter and only serves to train the dog.
Nevertheless, the Hanoverian Bloodhound is still highly valued by foresters and hunters. It is true that pointing dogs such as the German Shorthaired Pointer are also trained for tracking, but since these dogs are less specialized, they sometimes fail there, so the Hanoverian scent hound is then requested and sometimes set days later on the track. A German ranger reported that he once set his Hanoverian scenthound on a scent that was over a week old. They had to follow it for more than 45 km until the wounded game was finally found.
For this purpose, so-called “sweat dog stations” were set up to look after larger areas. Breeding of this breed is subject to extremely strict selection. The breeding dog must be absolutely free of hereditary defects, have the minimum form value of “good” and have passed a preliminary test. At the same time, the dog must prove that it hunts by sight or by tracking and persistently rushes and stops.
Although the Hanoverian Bloodhound is calm and deliberate, acts in a considered manner, and is loyal to its master and family, it quickly becomes stubborn, hard, and persistent when hunting. For this reason, it is not a dog for the occasional hunter and belongs in the hands of professional rangers and hunters, who also own most of the breed’s specimens.