The lifespan of a bloodhound is surprisingly difficult to get accurate numbers for as they are relatively rare dogs and surveys of purebred bloodhounds are fairly hard to find.
I found 2 surveys from reliable sources, one with data on 82 deaths and the other with 14.
What Is The Average Lifespan for a Bloodhound?
The Breeders only gave the mean age in their server, which was 8.25 years. The mean in the UKC survey was 6.563 years (the median was 6.75 years).
If we combine the two surveys this gives us a mean lifespan of bloodhounds is 6.81 years
How I calculated the Mean Lifespan
We had 82 deaths with a mean of 6.563, which gives us a total lifespan of those dogs as 82*6.563 = 538.166 years
We also had 14 deaths at a mean age of 8.25, which gives us a total lifespan of 14*8.25 = 115.5 years
So if we add these together and divide by the number of dogs, we will get the mean of the two surveys, which is (538.166 + 115.5)/(82+14) = 653.666/96 = 6.809
How Old Was The Oldest Bloodhound?
The oldest bloodhound on either survey died at the age of 12 years and 1 month. The youngest sadly passed at only 11 months.
What Were The Main Causes of Death in Bloodhounds?
|Cause||Breeders Survey||UKC Survey||Total||Percentage|
|Bloat/Gastric Torsion/Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GVD)||3||28||31||32.29|
|Heart failure/fluid around the heart||2||4||6||6.25|
|Old Age (inc natural causes)||6||6||6.25|
|Addisonian crisis & other autoimmunity issues||1||1||2||2.08|
As you can see, bloat (GVD) and cancer were the most common causes of death in Bloodhounds.
The National Library of Medicine found that Bloodhounds were the breeds at greatest risk of GDV mortality and the second highest risk of GDV morbidity (long-term ill effects). This was bourne out in the surveys as bloat was the most common cause of death, accounting for almost a third, so owners should be especially aware of the signs of bloat!
The next most common cause was cancer, with Bloodhounds being particularly prone to Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma, which accounted for almost 30% of the deaths.
Please note, bloodhounds are prone to other illnesses, but those are generally non-fatal but can run up your vet bill nonetheless.
Where Was The Data Found?
The UK Kennel Club did a survey of bloodhounds in 2004, which covered 82 dogs and the other by The Association of Bloodhound Breeders in 2013, which covered 14 deaths.
The bad news is that Bloodhounds are not very long-lived. Around 60% of the deaths were caused by either Bloat (GVD) or cancer, which they are more prone to than most other breeds.
However, if your dog manages to avoid these, you can expect them to have a similar lifespan to most other larger dog breeds.
Sam is an award-winning canine photographer and runs Farlap Bloodhound breeders and Kennels in Devon and is the secretary of the Bloodhound Club.
Sam Clark has a passion for bloodhounds and their amazing ability to track a scent, and was one of the first in the UK to train her dogs to either track humans or other dogs for canine rescue.