Lifestyle

These Bloodhounds Will Track You Down

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Alert a trained bloodhound to a person’s scent – on a doorknob, a child seat, a piece of clothing, a cigarette – and with an olfactory system at least 40 times more sensitive than a human’s, they will find your trail. Bloodhound trainers, breeders, students, and certified trackers met at Lady Bird Johnson City Park in Fredericksburg on a cold and wet Sunday to work with these amazing dogs.

Look at that nose!

Bama, a Poitevan  bloodhound

Photo: Robert C Deming

This is Bama, a French Poitevin hound, owned by Nancy Boerner of Sisterdale.  In addition to this handsome hound and the traditional bloodhound, handlers worked with a Weimaraner and a French Porcelain hound. Bloodhounds are believed to be descended from hounds once kept at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert in Belgium around the year 1000 CE.  Over the centuries, the bloodhound has gained the reputation of the premier trailing dog.

Woodrow is ready to track. 

Woodrow Ready to Track

Photo: Robert C Deming

Fredericksburg resident Karen Carr working with her dog Woodrow. He has followed the trail of scent of a subject from a cigarette butt to this point by Live Oak Creek. How can he separate the pungent smell of the cigarette from subject and fellow bloodhound owner Lisa Tomlinson from San Angelo?

Did the subject go into the creek?

Woodrow in Live Oak Creek

Photo: Robert C Deming

Cold water doesn’t deter Woodrow from finding his subject. Why are bloodhounds so diligent? According to Lyle Selzer from Arlington, the dogs do it for the party at the end – a treat, a favorite toy.  The treat? For most of these dogs, a piece of boiled hog liver and praise from their human. Why do people spend so much time and effort being prepared to find a subject?  He says they are unpaid professional first responders wanting to be helpful, and they clearly love their bloodhounds. Their motto is “That Others May Live.

Chris Drury and K-9 Charlie (Search One) are on the scent.

Bloodhound Tracking
Photo: Robert C Deming

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