The Bluetick Coonhound is a distinctively American breed — capable hunters created for rural Americana lore. These dogs are scent hounds, able to track their prey from the slightest sniff. Plus, with impressively loud howls, there is no mistaking a coonhound. These particular dogs are known for their beautifully-patterned coats. Read on to learn more about the Bluetick Coonhound.
Description of the Bluetick Coonhound
Muscular, but not bulky, these dogs look like true athletes. Their smooth coat effectively repels dirt, which is absolutely necessary for such outdoorsy dogs.
Coonhounds were bred to do just as their name would suggest: hunt raccoons. These are scent hounds, able to track their prey by its smell from hours or even days earlier. Eventually, the raccoons race up trees to avoid pursuit, and the Coonhounds dutifully wait until their hunting partners arrive.
These dogs were created by mixing lumbering French staghounds with English foxhounds. They’re known for their ability to work in packs.
The Bluetick is named for his beautiful flecked coat. He can be fully blue ticked, or blue ticked and tan.
Life Expectancy and Size
This breed has a life expectancy between 11 and 12 years.
They usually stand between 21 and 27 inches, and weigh between 45 and 80 pounds. This puts them on the larger side of coonhounds. However, the Bluetick does not retain the bulk of some large breeds. They are lithe athletes.
These dogs are not necessarily guard dogs, but they do have certain protective qualities. They tend to create strong bonds with their families, and are very loyal. To hunt wily game, they were also bred to be brave.
Notably, their bark is notoriously bellowing and may chase intruders off by itself!
The Bluetick Coonhound is a smart dog that takes jobs seriously. As such, it is important to make him understand why it is in his best interest to listen. Make training sessions fun and rewards clear. These dogs will be very motivated by praise and the occasional treat.
Like with all dogs, it is important to base training in positive, reward-based methods. Maintain an upbeat, eager composure and training the Bluetick Coonhound will be a breeze.
Individual energy levels vary in coonhounds. Some don’t mind lazing around, stepping outside only for their daily walk. However, most have a strong desire to run. They were created as capable hunters, after all.
Bred for the outdoors, this breed still has the endurance that helped them succeed in the woods. They need plenty of exercise in order to remain sane and manageable.
What Living with a Bluetick Coonhound is Like
This breed is a good choice for vivacious owners that want a loyal companion to keep up with their active lives. The Bluetick is in athletic dog that enjoys being occupied for at least part of each day, especially in the outdoors.
Coonhounds tend to do best where they were bred: out in the countryside. They are not the best choice for city dwellers, unless access to the outdoors is guaranteed. Plus, they have loud, distinctive barks that will probably disturb the neighbors!
Care of the Bluetick Coonhound
These are rural American favorites, in need of little special care, just lots of love and exercise.
This breed is not picky when it comes to weather. They were developed for the outdoors. Although they can tolerate hot weather, ensure that they have adequate shade and water to stay comfortable.
If the Bluetick does not receive adequate exercise, he will likely begin to act out. To avoid this, initiate plenty of time outdoors. This can involve long daily walks. However, these dogs should also be given the opportunity to swim or join in on bike rides and runs.
Ideally, Bluetick Coonhounds should have a safe area to run and explore. They are of course very adept at hunting and tracking. Allowing them to participate in a job is perhaps the easiest way to guarantee their happiness.
Shedding and Grooming
Despite a short coat, this breed sheds moderately. Their short hair can end up everywhere.
Brushing once a week should remove excess hair and dirt. This can be done with a hound mitt. Bathe as necessary and wipe off with a damp towel in between sessions.
Be sure to check these hounds’ ears; infections are not uncommon.
Ideal Home Environment
These dogs strike a nice balance between work and home life. They will do best with a family where they have a job. When they are properly occupied, it’s much easier for them to be steady and calm at home.
The Bluetick is usually fine with kids, but may not be the most energetic playmate. That being said, they can make steady guardians.
The Bluetick should be fine with other family pets, as their breeding ensures they work well with other dogs. They still may retain a prey instinct toward small animals.
This breed does not have many notable health problems. Bloat is always an issue for deep-chested dogs. It is a life threatening stomach problem. Feed small meals and avoid heavy exercise after eating.
The Bluetick Coonhound may be susceptible to ear infections, so maintain regular care and check the ears often.
Most behavior problems are completely preventable. Ensuring that these dogs receive proper exercise can decrease the likelihood that they become destructive or howl excessively.
Many Bluetick find it difficult to listen off leash, as they are easily distractible, especially by smells. Early obedience training can help, but remember that these dogs’ breeding sends them running after scents. On leash activities and enclosed areas may be the safest option.