Bluetick Coonhounds are scenthounds used predominately to hunt raccoons, though they are also used to hunt coyote, bobcat, cougar and bear. Bluetick Coonhounds were originally registered by the United Kennel Club (UKC) as English Coonhounds. In 1946, at the urging of the Bluetick Coonhound fanciers, they were recognized as a separate breed.
Bluetick Coonhounds are a larger breed of dog. Males can reach a shoulder height of 22 to 27 inches. Male weights averages between 55 and 80 lbs. Females are normally a bit smaller at heights of 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and 45 to 65 lbs.
Bluetick Coonhounds are recognizable by their bluish mottling covering most of their body. The head and ears are usually black. Some have tan markings above the eye, on the cheeks, under the tail and perhaps a strip going across the chest. They often have black patches in various areas of their body. According to the UKC breed standard, it is desirable that the coloring be more blue than black. Occasionally, there are blueticks who have red ticking on the feet and lower legs.
Bluetick Coonhounds have a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom. Having large floppy ears, they are prone to ear infections, so care must be taken to keep the ears clean and dry.
Bluetick Coonhounds have an easygoing, biddable personality in general. They are great with well-behaved children. Bluetick Coonhounds should have a bold and welcoming disposition, never shy.
As a dog bred for hunting, Bluetick Coonhounds are a high-energy breed. They require daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally healthy. A coonhound reaches her activity-level peak at around 6 to 9 months of age as she goes through her puppy adolescence. At this time, exercise should be increased to keep both dog and owner happy.
Bluetick Coonhounds, coming from hunting lines, can be highly driven to use their scenting abilities. When doing so, they may not "hear" their owner. "When the nose is open, the ears are shut" is a common phrase among coonhound fanciers. The owner should not take this personally. A gentle visual or physical redirect to look to the owner normally brings forth the biddable side of the coonhound.
By Janet Ford
About the Author
Janet Ford began writing professionally in 1999. She has written numerous articles as well as both traditional and electronic books. Her books have covered topics such as dog breeding ("Guide to Ethical Dog Breeding") and domestic violence ("Love You to Pieces") among others.