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The Full Story - Von Silvia Gabler

In this accounting of Hanoverian history, the term Bloodhound is not referring to the Bloodhound breed of today. When referencing Bloodhound, the author is referring to the Hanoverian Scenthound.

As with many other hunting dog breeds, whose roots probably lie in the Celtic bracken, the history can be traced back to about 500 BC. At that time, the Celts are said to have used dogs, the Segusians, whose origin can be found in the Celtic hound, for hunting. These dogs already had similar tasks as the later lead dogs and already at that time showed great similarity to them in their appearance. However, whether the lead dogs really all descended from the Segusier, in Italy there is still the Segugio, and had a relatively uniform appearance, the opinions of cynologists still differ widely today. Since Charlemagne, the so-called lead dog has occupied a special position and was of great importance for hunting. These dogs were mainly used to work out the tracks of deer and boars. Lead dogs almost certainly had a very different appearance and nature at that time. Only the dog that proved to be ideally suited for this area of responsibility could become a lead dog. Of course, with the advent of firearms, hunting methods changed dramatically. A reliable, somewhat more deliberate dog was needed to search for the game that had been shot. As breeding material for the intended "sniffer dogs", the existing lead dogs were used, which had the best prerequisites for this field of activity. Due to the fact that the respective lead dogs were understandably used with preference as stud dogs, it can be assumed that lead dogs were usually male, a kind of lead dog breed developed over the centuries, which was not only different in genotype but also in phenotype (external appearance) from the other dogs that were used for hunting. difference. Towards the middle of the 16th century, this "breed" is said to have already resembled the sniffer dogs as we know them today. In 1719, F. von Fleming described the lead dog as the noblest of all hunting dogs in his book "The Perfect German Hunter" with the following words:

“This is the dog that the hunters consider to be the noblest of all the others. They must be of medium size and their usual color is yellowish. There are quite a few of them, but not so many, which are black over the back and yellow only on the legs and bellies. The first ones alone hold the most. They must have a formal, thick head, wide nostrils, large lobes around the mouth, long hanging ears, long neck, strong chest and neck, strong legs and that the ones in front are shorter than those in the back. They also don't have their tails up for a long time and have to be particularly brave, cheerful and happy."

Something similar can be read in Heppe 1781.

The Hannoversche Jägerhof in particular further developed this dog breed in the 18th and 19th centuries. The dog was used both to confirm and to search for large game that had been shot. A management method was created that has proven useful for tracking dogs in some areas to this day, the so-called “Jägerhof method”. In 1866, Hanover fell to Prussia and the Jägerhof was dissolved as a result. The promotion of bloodhounds was continued in the Prussian forestry administration.

Opinions about what the right type of bloodhound should look like varied widely. Little by little, three types emerged.

There was a heavy breed, which probably came closest to the original lead dog type, a medium-heavy breed, more of a mixed type of lead dog and running dog, and a light breed, which was based on crosses between the light, red heather hounds and the old lead dogs .

In 1879, breed characteristics for the Hanoverian Scenthound were developed in Hanover for the first time, which are still valid today, almost unchanged.

Baron Josef von. In 1883, Karg-Bebenburg crossed a Hanoverian Hound with a red mountain hound (today: Tyrolean Hound) - this pairing resulted in the Bavarian Mountain Hound.

In 1885, the bloodhound from Hanover was given its name “Hannover Bloodhound” at a meeting of delegates of the Association for the Refinement of Dog Breeds in Germany.

The founding meeting of the “Hirschmann” association took place on June 17, 1894 in the Silbers Hotel in Erfurt.

In 1901, the Austrian-Hungarian Scenthound Association was founded (today: Austrian Scenthound Association Ö.SHV), which, in the course of its eventful history, still looks after both HS and BGS in controlled performance breeding.

After the First World War, only a few dogs suitable for breeding remained of the bloodhound population. So they could only fall back on five female dogs that had survived the chaos of war. Despite all the adversities, the population of Hanoverian bloodhounds recovered quickly.

On July 19, 1930, the International Scenthound Association (ISHV) was founded by four founding clubs, the Hirschmann Association, the Austrian Scenthound Association, the Hungarian Scenthound Association and the Club for Bavarian Mountain Scenthounds. Today almost all European countries are represented in this association with their recognized bloodhound clubs. In addition to jointly developed breeding and testing regulations, it has become necessary, especially in recent times, to prevent performance breeding from slipping into hobby breeding of these valuable working dogs. The breeding wardens of the affiliated clubs meet regularly to uphold the principles described above in their countries.

In 1938 there were again 350 dogs in the Hirschmann club. In 1939, under the National Socialist system, the two bloodhound clubs were combined to form a “Spirithound Association”. Since they continued to breed separately, this had no influence on either breed.

The Second World War meant another severe setback for breeding. After the end of the war, the Hirschmann club - in contrast to many other hunting dog clubs - gained a foothold again in a very short time, so that they were able to re-establish themselves in Uslar on March 17, 1948. Ten years later there were again 170 dogs registered with this club.

Although there is increased demand for bloodhounds, there were only 24 registrations at the VDH in 1996, a certain high was reached in 2003 with 76 registrations, but in 2005 this fell again to 37. In comparison, Bavarian mountain bloodhounds had 82 registrations in the same year, remains to be seen. what the registration numbers will be for 2006. In 2006, 61 puppies were registered with the VDH again.

Bloodhounds were also bred in other clubs outside of the VDH, such as: B at the Scenthound Association Germany eV Unfortunately the registration numbers are not publicly known. The dissolution of the bloodhound club was announced in 2005, the Hirschmann club agreed to take on members, but the club for Bavarian mountain bloodhounds refused.

Ultimately, the three clubs could not come to an agreement, so the bloodhound club continues to exist. An application for membership in the VDH has now been submitted, but the VDH responded negatively.

Due to the fact that the author had and still has insight into the work of so-called “dissidence associations” as well as associations recognized by the VDH, even if not with the Bloodhounds, she prefers to refrain from any comment at this point.

Use and nature

The Hanoverian Bloodhound has a calm and safe nature, but is sensitive towards its handler and picky to critical towards strangers.

This hunting dog breed is characterized by a high ability to concentrate during hunting and tracking work with a strong pack relationship with the dog handler. The Hanoverian Bloodhound is used in big game areas.

While red deer and fallow deer were previously particularly sought after, the picture has changed in the last few decades. As a result of the sharp increase in the number of wild boar, the bloodhound is being used more and more to search for sows. In Austria, too, the Hanoverian Scenthound is mainly used in red and wild boar areas in the lowlands and low mountain ranges. In higher regions, just like in Germany, the lighter Bavarian Mountain Hound is usually preferred. Bloodhounds generally belong in the hands of the experienced hunter.

Because of its great passion for hunting, the bloodhound feels most comfortable in a bloodhound or tracking station. These specialists are by no means dogs for occasional hunters and non-hunters.

If, for whatever reason, the dog is not or no longer suitable for hunting and is left in the hands of non-hunters, it is essential to work with it; due to its characteristics, it is suitable for training as a rescue dog or in mantrailing.

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