Sunday, 8 July 2007

Bloodhound/Saint Hubert hound





The Bloodhound or Saint Hubert hound finds its origins in Belgium. Saint Hubert is a historic town of 6 000 habitants in the Belgian Ardennes. It is famous for its hound but also for its patron saint.The legend of St. Hubert and the crucifix-bearing deer emerged probably in the 12th -13th century. There is no historical record on Hubert's youth but the tradition says he was born around 656 as the son of the Duke of Guyenne with Merovingian royal blood. He is said to have been a relative of Charles Martel. He married Floribanne, King Dagobert's daughter, and became famous as a pagan jet-setter.Hubert enjoyed hunting in the forest of Ardenne. On a Holy Friday, in a very isolated part of the forest, he spotted a white deer bigger and nicer than usual with a crucifix between its antlers and heard a voice asking him to repent, which caused his conversion to the Christian religion. The place where Hubert met the deer was a matter of controversy but it was likely to be in a chapel close to the former St Hubert abbey ( now the Sts Peter and Paul’s basilica ). St. Hubert, celebrated on 3rd November, is the patron saint of hunters, furriers and trappers. He is also invoked against rabies. The medieval tradition says that Hubert was given a stole by the Blessed Virgin and that placing a thread of the stole on a small incision made in the forehead skin would cure rabies. The Saint-Hubert hound was bred by the monks of the St. Hubert's abbey. The dog was introduced under the name of Bloodhound in England by William the Conqueror in the XIth century. The Saint-Hubert was initially used for hunting big game, such as boars but because of its ability to follow a scent hours or even days old over long distances combined with a tenaciously strong tracking instinct, it is now used by authorities to track escaped prisoners or missing persons.

9 comments:

Mopsa said...

I have only seen bloodhounds in the flesh once - spectating a drag hunt. They were working so I couldn't disturb or touch them, and I SO wanted to touch them. They look so velvety and silky, and in need of a cuddle. I'm a sucker for a big dog.

VioletsVintage said...

Very interesting article! I enjoy reading all the lore and religious myths associated with dogs. The bloodhound is a dog we don't see much in the city. As an American, I tend to associate them with the southern states here. I also think of them chasing after escaped convicts in the movies!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Fascinating, eurodog. I knew none of this at all! Thank you.

Winchester whisperer said...

What a lovely face he has! Hurrah for St Hubert

jmb said...

You learn something new every day. I always thought it was an English dog and didn't know it had such a long and distinguished history.

Rebecca Taunton said...

What an interesting article. I never knew that a bloodhound is actually a St. Huberts, nor did I know they originated from Belgium.

Ellee said...

I love the way they train these dogs to track missing people, what a fascinating story.

Flowerpot said...

I saw a programme a few weeks ago about training a rescue bloodhound - it was fascinating. thanks for that ED

Steve G said...

An entertaining read.