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THE BLOODHOUND, THE ST HUBERT & THE FCI
THE BLOODHOUND IS AN INTERNATIONAL BREED, and no one country can claim sole proprietorship.   The USA, with by far the largest population is likely to have the major influence on the breed’s future. Nevertheless, breeds do have ‘nationalities’ which survive their transplantation to other countries. The Yorkshire Terrier, currently the third highest registered breed in France, is recognised as an English breed, and no-one would consider the Black-and-Tan Coonhound, however it might spread in the future, as anything other than an American one. Suppose, however, that by some strange neglect we had allowed the Bloodhound to die out worldwide, there might come a time when we in Britain would look across the Atlantic at the Coonhound and say, ‘That looks rather like what the Bloodhound used to be.’  We might then claim that it really was  the Bloodhound, and appropriate it as a British breed.  Americans, one imagines, would not be at all pleased.  And yet this is a precise mirror of what happened in relation to the Bloodhound itself, which is identified by the FCI as the Chien de St Hubert, and given as a breed of Belgian origin.   The FCI is an international organisation, and the British KC has not taken a stand on the issue, although it does not accept the FCI view.  So there it stands at the beginning of the FCI standard: ‘Chien de St Hubert - Bloodhound - Race Belge’ as though it was a matter of established and incontrovertible fact.  And as time goes by this mistaken attribution is slowly gaining recognition, in dog literature, even in the English-speaking world, though it is accepted that the entire world population of Bloodhounds descends from animals exported from Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries (except for outcrosses, and a few which may have gone to America earlier).  Those who have written books on the Bloodhound, like Brough, Appleton, Harmer and Lowe in Britain, Whitney, and Brey and Reed in the US have said no more, in covering the history of the breed, than that the St Hubert Hound probably played some part in the ancestry of the Bloodhound.  None of them goes so far as to say that the Bloodhound is  the St Hubert.