Bluetick Coonhound

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The Bluetick Coonhound's a friendly dog ready for outdoor adventures. See if this pup's a good match in our guide.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
11 to 12 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Temperament:
AthleticLoyalEnergetic
Coat Color:
Dark Blue

Best For

Bluetick Coonhound dogs do best in single-family homes in suburban or rural areas where their loud, drawn out, barking or braying won't bother the neighbors—they're known for their "big bawl mouth," after all. And, because they were bred to be working and hunting dogs, they have stamina to spare. So having some space to run and getting plenty of exercise is a must. But they are also loveable, playful and sweet-natured pets, making them a good match for active, fun-loving families and pet parents experienced with hunting dog breeds.

Bluetick Coonhound Traits

What makes the Bluetick Coonhound a Bluetick Coonhound? Let's find out how they stack up.

Bluetick Coonhound Temperament

Bluetick Coonhounds are full of personality and are smart, loving goofballs. They’ve even got some movie star doppelgängers in “Huckleberry Hound” or the dogs from the movie, “The Aristocats,” although, technically, these are other types of hounds… but you get the idea, roll with it. The Bluetick temperament is sweet-natured and personable, and they’ve got an energy level to beat the band. All the bands. So they’re going to thrive with pet families who lead active lifestyles. While they are good with kids, Blueticks can be rambunctious, so older children may be a better fit.

These hunting dogs are scent hounds, meaning they hunt by smell. They have a strong prey drive, and it tends to kick into high gear when they encounter smaller animals, such as squirrels or other backyard creatures. This is part of why training them is so important, although you’ll never completely train them out of the desire to chase. But, since Bluetick Coonhounds also have intelligence to spare and are determined pups often described as “craving a job” (they’ll love to grab your slippers or the morning paper), they enjoy the work. Because they’re so smart and a bit independent (those hunting instincts at play), they may be more difficult to train than, say, an Australian Shepherd. They need a confident and patient leader who understands the unique needs of this hunting dog and can bring out the best in this pup.

How to Care for a Bluetick Coonhound

While the Bluetick Coonhound breed may not require nearly as much grooming as other breeds, you’ll need to devote time to training this pup. Lots (and lots and lots) of exercise is a must—they need the opportunity to show off their speed. In return, your Bluetick Coonhound puppy will reward you with lots (and lots and lots) of affection. Hope you don’t mind a happy, tired pup sleeping at your feet, because they will assume the position.

Bluetick Coonhound Health

Bluetick Coonhounds tend to have a lifespan of 11 to 12 years. While they are a generally healthy breed, there can be a few health issues to keep an eye on. Be sure to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder as they will routinely screen their dogs for health and temperament problems. If you’re adopting your pup, be sure to get a copy of the vet’s wellness exam.

  • Thyroid Issues: Blueticks are prone to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Signs can include dry skin and coat, hair loss, weight gain or behavioral changes. Treatment is typically replacement hormones given in pill form.
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: If you notice your Bluetick struggling to get up from a nap or showing signs of lameness, dysplasia may be the issue. An inherited disease, dysplasia causes elbow and knee joints to develop improperly and often results in arthritis. Early detection enables treatment—weight management and physcial therapy—to minimize pain and in more serious cases surgery may be an option.
  • Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV): Your Bluetick’s deep, narrow chest places them at higher risk for GDV or bloat. When a dog bloats, the stomach twists on itself and fills with gas. Left untreated, the disease is quickly fatal. If your dog retches or dry-heaves, acts restless, has an enlarged abdomen or lies in a prayer position (front feet down, rear end up) take your pet to an emergency hospital immediately! Treatment for this condition is surgery to pin the stomach to the side of the body to prevent future instances. You can help prevent bloat by feeding your pup smaller meals more frequently throughout the day with a slow feeder and waiting an hour before and after meals before strenuous exercise.
  • Cataracts: Older Blueticks often develop cataracts, which give their eyes a cloudy, opaque appearance. While many dogs adjust to eyesight loss well later in life, surgery is also an option. Your vet will examine your companion’s eyes at routine appointments.

Bluetick Coonhound History

The Bluetick Coonhound’s history is as American as a breed gets, and the story behind them is as colorful as their coats!

Before becoming their own breed, the Bluetick Coonhound was considered a color variety of the English Coonhound. But the Bluetick’s distinct origins go back to Louisiana where they arose from years of crossbreeding by those looking for the perfect hunting companion. Legend has it that the Marquis de Lafayette gave French staghounds to George Washington during the early days of the American Revolution. The French staghounds were then crossbred with English foxhounds to create the elite hunting breed we know today: One with incredible endurance and an acute cold nose—that’s a dog capable of picking up scents that are hours, or even many days, old.

Early settlers in the South were drawn to Blueticks for their athletic build, stamina and determination, which led hunters to bring Blueticks to hunt raccoons, as well as in packs of them to track down larger quarries such as wild boar, lynx, bear and cougar. Blueticks remain highly sought-after companions for pet parents who enjoy the high energy of these wonderfully loyal working dogs.

Today, Blueticks show up as iconic companions in old westerns, some movies, televisions shows and cartoons. On the college circuit, the Bluetick Coonhound is the proud mascot of the University of Tennessee. The breed became eligible for American Kennel Club registration in 2009 and has been competing in the Hound group since 2010.

You can find a list of reputable Bluetick Coonhound breeders on the American Kennel Club’s website. The cost of Bluetick Coonhound puppies range from about $500-$1,200 per puppy and go up in price depending on their markings and pedigree. You can also reach out to Bluetick Coonhound rescue organizations to adopt a Bluetick or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter.

FAQs

Do Bluetick Coonhounds shed?

Bluetick Coonhounds shed moderately, thanks to their short, coarse coats. Brushing their coat at least twice a week can help minimize any shedding.

Are Bluetick Coonhounds good family dogs?

Bluetick Coonhounds are best suited for active families with older children who have the energy to meet their furry friend’s exercise needs or a home where they can have a job such as hunting or retrieving something.

Are Bluetick Coonhounds aggressive?

Less aggressive than prone to hunting, Bluetick Coonhounds will charge toward small animals such as squirrels or chipmunks. They can be wary of strangers, so early and proper socialization is important to help them feel comfortable around new people.

Do Bluetick Coonhounds like to swim?

Yes, Bluetick Coonhounds like to swim. While Blueticks are associated with more land-based activities, swimming is another outlet to channel their boundless energy—they adore it!

How long do Bluetick Coonhounds live?

Bluetick Coonhounds live to about 11 to 12 years of age. With proper nutrition, exercise, routine vet visits and a lot of love, you can help your Bluetick live a long and happy life.

What are some popular names for Bluetick Coonhounds?

Popular male Bluetick Coonhound names include Tank, Sergeant, Boomer, Boone, Zeus. For females, Dinah, Siouxsie, Willow, Roxy, Sasha are common. Get more dog names here.

What are the most common Bluetick Coonhound mixes?

Most common Bluetick Coonhound mixes include:

  • Bluetick Coonhound-Lab mix, (Bluetick Lab)
  • Bluetick Coonhound-Beagle mix, (Bluetick Beagle)
  • Bluetick Coonhound-Pitbull mix, (Bluetick Pitbull)
  • Bluetick Coonhound-German Shepherd mix, (Bluetick Shepherd)
  • Bluetick Coonhound-Blue Heeler mix (Bluetick Heeler)
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Top Takeaways

The droopy ears of the Bluetick Coonhound and their distinct mottled coloring make them an irresistible breed. Best matched with experienced pet parents or active families in rural or suburban areas, Blueticks require lots of exercise and activity, like backyard play and long hikes. Your reward? Their unconditional love as they nap near your feet at the end of a busy day.

Expert input provided by veterinarian Dr. Christina Haney of the Alicia Pacific Vet Center of Laguna Niguel, CA, and certified dog trainer, Sylvia Borghardt at sylviaborghardtdogtraining.com.

Photo credit for “How do I look?” American Kennel Club.

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