In the nineteenth century, the breed that everyone was scared of was the bloodhound. Think Hound of the Baskervilles.
|A Depiction of the Hound of the Baskervilles|
|Hunting Indians in Florida with Bloodhounds|
|Poster Advertising a Theater Production of Uncle Tom's Cabin|
|Richard Ansdell's Painting "The Hunted Slaves"|
During the Civil War, bloodhounds were used by both the Union and the Confederates to track down deserters and escapees. The commandant at Andersonville prison camp was sentenced to death because he (among other things) "feloniously, and of his malice aforethought, did cause, incite, and urge certain ferocious and bloodthirsty animals, called bloodhounds, to pursue, attack, wound, and tear in pieces a soldier..."
|Bloodhounds Catching an Andersonville P.O.W.|
The bloodhound's ferocious reputation caused it to become highly popular among people who wanted a vicious dog. Like today's pit bulls, the dogs were often abused by brutal and uncaring owners and made to be scapegoats for the owners' sins.