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THE DERIVATION OF THE WORD ‘BLOODHOUND’   continued
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BLOOD
WRITERS FROM CAIUS in the 16th century onwards have said that the bloodhound gets its name from its ability to follow the blood-trail of a wounded animal (or of a dead animal being carried off).  Those who do not accept this explanation will have in their favour the fact that the bloodhound can and does follow the trail of an unwounded animal, or person.  In the function of a ‘limer’ or leash-hound, used to ‘harbour’ game (that is, track it on its cold scent to its resting place, so the exciting bit of the hunt could begin) the bloodhound trailed an animal which was unwounded, because the hunt proper had not started.  Nevertheless, following a wounded animal which had escaped the hunt was ONE of the things a leash-hound did, and early writers like Caius and Boece were perfectly well aware that the bloodhound could also follow ‘dry-foot’ scent  Following a blood-trail does seem to have been part of the initial training of a bloodhound.

Early writers show that the idea of an interest in or eagerness for blood was an important concept in the way they thought of a good scent hound  This appears in writings to do with hounds not specifically called bloodhounds, but ones of a similar type, or bloodhounds under a different name.

In the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) Patent Rolls 20 Feb 1240 there is a text:
Of Training dogs to Blood (De canibus ad sanguinem adaptandis)
‘Wheras Edward the King’s son, has intrusted to Robert de Chenney, his valet, his dogs to be accustomed to blood, it is commanded to all foresters, woodmen, and other bailiffs and servants of the king’s forests, and keepers of the king’s warrens, that they allow the said Robert to enter with them the King’s forests and warrens, and to hunt in them, and to take the king’s game, in order to train the said dogs  This to hold good to the feast of St Michael next ensuing.
‘Witness the King at Woodstock’
[The source for this is Jesse.  The English quoted is not the English of that date.  It must be a later translation of Latin.]