Temperament: Smart, Devoted, Tenacious
- Height: 22-27 inches (male), 21-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-80 pounds (male), 45-65 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 11-12 years
- Group: Hound Group
The sleekly beautiful Bluetick Coonhound is a sweet and affectionate charmer who might enjoy snoozing in the shade, but in pursuit of quarry he is relentless, bold, and single-minded. His off-the-charts prey drive must be channeled.
The Bluetick should have the appearance of a speedy and well-muscled hound. He never appears clumsy or overly chunky in build. He has a neat, compact body, a glossy coat and clear, keen eyes. In motion he carries his head and tail well up.
About the Bluetick Coonhound
Blueticks are speedy and compact nocturnal hunters named for the mottled (or “ticked”) black-and-blue pattern of the glossy coat. A large male can top out at 27 inches and 80 pounds; females are smaller. Blueticks are well-muscled but sleek and racy, never chunky or clumsy. The baying, bawling, and chopping bark of Blueticks might be cacophonous to some, but to coon hunters it’s the music of the night.
The droopy-eared charm of Blueticks is irresistible. They crave affection and are deeply devoted to those who provide it. Blueticks have tremendous prey drive. Neglected, underemployed coonhounds with no outlet for their hardwired impulses can develop problem behaviours, like serenading the neighbours with loud, mournful “music.
NUTRITION The Bluetick Coonhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Bluetick Coonhound has a short, glossy coat that sheds only moderately. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt, or a hound glove will help to remove loose hairs and keep him looking his best. In general, Blueticks require only an occasional bath, unless they’ve gotten into something especially messy. As with all breeds, the Bluetick’s nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.
EXERCISE Blueticks are bred as hunting dogs and benefit from getting plenty of exercise, although they also enjoy time spent snoozing at their owner’s feet. They will enjoy play sessions with their owner in a securely fenced yard, or long walks on a leash—remember that he is a scent hound with a strong prey drive. In addition to hunting and field trials, canine sports like agility and tracking are good outlets into which to channel the Bluetick’s energy.
TRAINING As with all breeds, early socialisation and treats can be very useful aids in training a Blue-tick.
HEALTH The Bluetick Coonhound is generally a healthy breed. Any deep-chested dog may be susceptible to bloat, a sudden and life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and can also twist, cutting off blood supply to organs. Owners should educate themselves as to the symptoms that indicate bloat is occurring and what to do if so. The Blue-tick’s low-hanging ears should be checked daily for any signs of infection. As with all breeds, the teeth should be brushed regularly.