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When choosing a bloodhound puppy, pay attention to the following:

- Breeder. Are the puppies and other dogs in the kennel in good condition, well nourished and healthy?
- Temperament of the dam. Puppies learn their behaviour from their dam. The dam should not be excessively shy or very aggressive. Usually most dams are suspicious towards strange people when their puppies are around. Get to know the dam separately.
- Parents of the puppies. Do the parents’ qualities fulfil the requirements you have set for your puppy?
- Choosing the individual. Choose a puppy that is open, courageous, happy and curious. If you are choosing a show dog, in addition to the following, choose a puppy that is solid, balanced and has strong legs. Also, it is important to check the bite, angulations, testicles of a male puppy and the carriage of the tail. Nevertheless you should remember that the puppy grows up to an adult weighing 40-60 kilos in couple of years, so he will undergo several transformations during his growth and not necessarily always develops as expected.

© Seija Heinola

Puppy care

At first hand you should follow the feeding and exercising instructions provided by the breeder. During the first 6-7 months the growth is very rapid. Too much vitamins and calcium is as bad as too little. Bloodhounds seldom have problems in growth but the owner should see that the legs keep straight when the puppy grows. Puppies may exercise as much as they want to when running free.

Teaching manners to the puppy should be started immediately and clear house rules should be taught to him. The owner has to be consistent with the rules, no exceptions from them are allowed. If you do not want that the dog sleeps in your bed as an adult, you should not allow him on the bed even as a puppy, no matter how heartbreaking his cry was. An own bed for the puppy is the best solution. He will soon learn his own place, where he can sleep without distractions and for example chew a rawhide. Also, the meal times of the puppy should be quiet and peaceful. The children in the family must be taught that when the puppy is eating or sleeping, they must leave him alone.

It is very important to get the puppy used to cleaning of eyes and ears, nail clipping and other grooming. Bloodhound puppy should be socialized as much as possible in different places and situations, so that he gets used to noise, crowds, traffic, other dogs, other animals.. If the puppy is not socialized with all these, as an adult he will be fearful in strange situations and new places.

Usually bloodhounds get along fine with children and other animals, but the big size and boisterousness can sometimes cause accidents.

Members of the Finnish Bloodhound Association will happily provide you with additional information on taking care of a bloodhound.

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