Naked City Bloodhounds

We recently (five minutes ago) ran an informal and highly unscientific poll in our house. We learned that when asked, one spouse, a couple of Pulik, and the stranger calling us to sell solar panels over the phone said that the first three things they thought of when hearing the word, “Bloodhound,” were tracking/trailing dogs, search dogs, and the Beverly Hillbillies.

All are accurate answers, if a bit limited in scope as there is a thousand years of history behind the breed. But in current culture, yes, the dogs are hard workers for law enforcement, and yes, there was a Bloodhound in The Beverly Hillbillies.  “Duke,” the good ol’ hunting dawg belonging to Jed Clampett was played by a Bloodhound named “Stretch,” owned and trained by Frank Inn. “Stretch” may have seemed lazy on camera, but as TV dog actors go, he got around. He was in the Andy Griffith movie, “No Time for Sergeants,” then appeared on The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show for five years. It was after the Ford show that he appeared The Beverly Hillbillies.  When “Stretch” died at the age of sixteen (!), his real life son, “Duke,” took over the part.

A pair of Bloodhounds also had parts on “Naked City” where they worked with detectives, Horace McMahon and Harry Bellaver. You can see the full episode below, but the synopsis is that while the detectives babysit a couple of Bloodhounds owned by a man hurt in a car wreck, they recruit the dogs to search for a missing girl.  The show first aired in 1959:

The hounds belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Crookston of Raymond Hill, Mount Carmel, New York. The same dogs appeared on “Who Do You Trust,” and yes, The Beverly Hillbillies.

Image: Still shot from The Bloodhounds episode

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