Bluetick Coonhounds are fast, compact, nocturnal hunters with an immense prey drive. They have traditionally been used in the past for hunting raccoons. Their name comes from this "job" and their mottled (or "ticked) black-and-blue coat pattern.
If left understimulated, or not given permission to do what they've been bred for years to do, Blueticks might develop some behavioral issues, like baying and bawling through the night. Blueticks are sleek and efficient hunters. They also crave attention and affection, often becoming quite devoted to their caretakers.
Blueticks are scenthounds, who can use their remarkable sense of smell to follow a trail to locate their prey. Blueticks are a purely American breed, like all coonhounds. Their bloodlines are believed to extend back to before the United States was officially founded. Blueticks are known for their "cold nose," a term raccoon hunters use to describe a dog that is capable of working scent trails that can be hours and days old. Blueticks remain important in Southern culture. For example, the Bluetick is the University of Tennessee's sports mascot and has been since 1953.
Bluetick Coonhound Characteristics
Bluetick Coonhounds typically have a height of 22-27 inches for males, 21-25 inches for females. Weight is typically 55-80 pounds for males, and 45-65 pounds for females. They are typically compact and sleek, with a glossy coat that sheds moderately and keen, clear eyes. Their bark is often described as a bawl. In fact, barking can become an issue, as Blueticks are quite loud and have a distinct baying.
Bluetick Coonhound Temperament & Training
Breed is never a reliable indicator of personality. So many other factors come into play, including early socialization and training or lack thereof. Socialization and training are crucial for puppies of all breeds. Best practices for training include always using positive reinforcement. It's also important to find a qualified dog trainer who can educate you and help you get used to your new dog. Socialization is important because it essentially sets the tone for the dog's personality as an adult. The first three months of a dog's life are of utmost importance in getting them to be happy and well-adjusted as adult dogs.
The Bluetick Coonhound is active, vigorous, and alert. It will look at cats and other small animals (like squirrels) as prey unless trained. This is why early socialization and training are so key with this breed. Exercise can help keep its energy levels steady. Sports like agility and tracking can also help to channel the Bluetick's energy in a productive manner.
Bluetick Coonhound Grooming
Bluetick Coonhounds are only moderate shedders. They have a short, glossy coat that requires weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush. You can also use a rubber grooming mitt or hound glove to help remove loose hairs and add extra gloss to the coat. Nails should be trimmed regularly (same as with all breeds). Long nails can cause discomfort and pain.
Bluetick Coonhound Exercise & Health
Due to their hunting nature, Blueticks have quite a lot of energy. Yes, they do tend to spend lots of time simply chilling by their owners, but that doesn't mean they can do that in perpetuity. Long walks while leashed and play sessions with their humans or other dogs can help to keep them happy instead of getting anxious or bored. Moreover, remember that Blueticks are scenthounds who will enjoy walks where they can smell their surroundings to their heart's content. Scent walks would be a great option for this breed, as well as nose work (also called scent work) to keep them mentally stimulated.
Although generally healthy, Blueticks can potentially suffer from bloat like other deep-chested dogs. Learn to recognize signs of bloat, because this is often a fatal disease. A Bluetick's ears should also be checked regularly for infection. Life expectancy is typically 11 to 12 years.
Bluetick Coonhound Puppies
Upon birth, Bluetick puppies are deaf and blind, and fully reliant on their mother. After two weeks of age, the puppies will begin opening their eyes. By the end of four weeks, they will begin playing with their litter mates. By the time they are 6-8 weeks old, it's time to make sure they are interacting with other dogs and people. An 8-week-old Bluetick puppy will weigh approximately 10 pounds. Blueticks will be fully grown at 15-18 months of age.