There's something irresistible about a droopy-eared hound like the Bluetick Coonhound. This energetic, lovable canine is a friendly pick that enjoys the company of an active family. The breed is generally obedient when given consistent training, but does have a bit of a stubborn streak. Their history as an independent-thinking hunting dog has given this breed the ability to solve problems and figure out solutions to tricky situations, but it also means he's likely to think his ideas are better than yours. With training, you'll surely come to a compromise. Don't let his rugged looks fool you, he prefers to curl up on the bed rather than sleep on the floor. Because of the Bluetick Coonhound's bugle-like bay, the talkative breed is best-suited to life in the country where neighbors won't be disturbed.
The Bluetick Coonhound may also be known as a Bluetick Hound, Bluetick, or Coonhound.
Physical Description/Breed Standard
Coat - A Bluetick Coonhound's coat is short, glossy, and coarse to the touch. The coat displays a black-ticked pattern over white, with black and tan markings.
Males: 55–80 Pounds
Breed Standard and History
Bluetick Coonhounds should present a muscular, well-built appearance. The neat body offers a square, or slightly longer than tall, proportion. The head displays a prominent stop, with a long, square muzzle and long flews. Large, wide-set eyes should be round and dark brown, with a pleading expression. The ears are low, thin, and tapered and should reach the large, black nose when extended. Strong legs and hips offer a powerful appearance. The tail should be carried high, with a half-moon curve. A coarse, short coat is dark blue with black spots and black ears. Tan markings and red ticking may be present, but are not required. More blue than white is white is required, no other colors are allowed. - AKC Breed Standards
Bluetick Coonhounds are an American-developed bred that is said to be descended from the French hunting dogs gifted to George Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette in the 18th century. The dogs, called Grand Bleu de Gascogne, were the foundation of many types of dog, including the Bluetick. This hardy, intelligent scenthound was developed with the addition of various types and breeds—including foxhound for speed and bloodhound for a keen nose. Though raccoons were their original quarry, they've become the hunting and tracking dog of choice for many hunters in the South—and throughout the country.
Blueticks have been prominently featured in movies, books, and country songs since their development. The breed was accepted to the United Kennel Club in 1946, and was previously able to be registered as a Coonhound or American Foxhound. The Bluetick Coonhound earned recognition by the AKC in 2009.
AKC Breed Category
Intelligent, goofy, and affable—Bluetick Hounds are a high-energy breed that grows attached to its family and is accepting of new people. They're friendly and lovable, but without enough exercise they can become difficult to manage. Give them a job to do, and they'll be calm and laid back companions. They're hounds, so they may be stubborn or selective when it comes to obedience, but with consistent training and a sense of humor the Bluetick is a good-natured breed.
Are Bluetick Coonhounds Good with Kids Blueticks are gentle and friendly with kids, but they can be rowdy so they may be a better match for bigger kids who aren't as likely to be knocked over.
Are Bluetick Coonhounds Good with Other Pets Though they're generally good with other dogs, they may compete for dominance. Most small animals aren't ideal in a Coonhound's space, but they may be able to learn to get along with a dog-experienced cat. They're likely to chase smaller animals, both indoors and out.
A Bluetick Coonhound may be a good watchdog—that Coonhound bay won't be missed and will scare off any intruder—but they're too friendly to act as a designated guard dog.
There is no lack of energy when it comes to the Bluetick Coonhound. They can be rambunctious without enough exercise, but after they've had a chance to burn their energy they may be couch potatoes.Specific Concerns
Indoor Though the Bluetick Coonhound is relatively laid-back indoors, they're not an ideal choice for apartment living. They're loud, and their bawl may not sound as lovely to your neighbor's ears as it is to your own. Blueticks need enough exercise to keep them on their best behavior, and they can't get the exercise they need indoors. They are likely to follow you from room to room, and will claim the softest seat in the house as their own.
Outdoor Fenced areas and leashed excursions are necessary for this high-prey-drive canine. If they catch an interesting scent, they'll follow it—regardless of your call. Though they're a hardy breed that could adapt to an outdoor kennel, their preference is to live indoors with family rather than outside.
Exercise As a working breed, the Bluetick Coonhound requires lots of exercise. Without at least half an hour of physical and mental stimulation per day, the Bluetick can become destructive and difficult to manage. Closer to an hour is even better.
Endurance This sporting dog was bred for endurance—though hunting was the intended use, they can put their great stamina to use on the trail or in competition.
Activity distance rating
Food The general recommendation for how much high-quality dry dog food to feed a Bluetick Coonhound is 2 ½ - 3 cups of food total per day, split between two to three meals. This amount is based on average weight and activity level. Because they are prone to bloat, the food bowl should be raised and activity should be limited to an hour following meals.
While Blueticks aren't more likely to guard their food than any other breed, children should never be allowed to touch or remove food from any dog while it is eating.
Alone Time Though the Coonhound will follow family throughout the house, with enough exercise and attention, they're able to stay home for 5-8 hours during the day. Without enough exercise, they may become destructive. Counter surfing and trash picking are common behaviors from Blueticks, so keeping garbage out of reach and counters clear are necessary. Crate training may be necessary to prevent chewing or other destructive behaviors. They are likely to bawl, or howl, regardless of how much exercise they get. There may be less noise from a dog who is tired out, but the baying is part of the breed's nature so it's not likely to cease.
Health and Grooming
11 - 12 years
Weekly brushing and baths as necessary are all that is required for the Bluetick Coonhound. Though little upkeep is necessary, they may have a bit of the doggy odor that is common with hounds. Regular ear cleaning is necessary to prevent ear infections. Trimming nails regularly will help prevent painful splitting, cracking, or breaks.
Common Health Issues
Bluetick Coonhounds are generally healthy, though they may present breed-specific health concerns, such as:
You can minimize serious health concerns in a Bluetick Coonhound by purchasing him from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices, and through screening for common diseases and conditions.
Intelligent—but stubborn—Bluetick Coonhounds learn basic obedience with ease, the trouble is in getting them to comply with your requests if they think there's something better to do. Some training priorities include basic manners, no jumping up, and a solid recall. Though they may be trained to only bark at certain times, the breed is a vocal one and it's in their nature to bay. Positive reinforcement is the best approach to training a Bluetick as they have a sensitive side and may choose to ignore harsh correction.
Agility, tracking, and dog sports are favorite activities of both Blueticks and their owners. This working breed needs to burn lots of energy, and dog sports are an exciting way to do that. The harder they have to work, the better behaved they can be.
Sporting Dog Training
The Bluetick Coonhound is a sporting breed, developed with the hunt in mind. They've got a keen nose and can follow days-old scents without hesitation, and are more than willing to track all day. Though their original use was raccoon hunting, the Bluetick can be trained to track, tree, or hunt a variety of game. They're often found out-sniffing the competition in nosework and tracking trials.
Is the Bluetick Coonhound's nose really cold?
What's the difference between a Bluetick and Redtick Coonhound?
When does a Bluetick Coonhound change color?
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