5 Things to Know About Bluetick Coonhounds

These hunting dogs need rigorous daily exercise to expel their energy.

Bluetick Coonhounds
Bluetick Coonhounds may have George Washington to thank for their existence. Photo: Lindsay Helms

1. Key Characteristics of Bluetick Coonhounds

  • AKC Group: Hound
  • Height: 21–27 inches
  • Weight: 45–80 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10–12 years

Bluetick Coonhounds are fast, compact dogs who excel at nighttime hunting.

They were named after the ticking pattern and color of their coat, and their large, round eyes are typically dark brown. The low-set ears are thin and tapered, and their tail is high and also tapered.

The short, coarse coat appears glossy and comes in colors of blue ticked and blue ticked with tan. Some Bluetick Coonhounds also have black spot markings.

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2. Where Bluetick Coonhounds Came From

According to the American Bluetick Coonhound Association, Bluetick Coonhounds came about when Gen. George Washington received 5 French hounds from the Marquis de Lafayette.

The dogs were believed to be a mix of white and blue hounds (Grand Gascon Saintongeois and Grand Bleu de Gascogne). They were probably used for hunting and later crossed with English Foxhounds for speed.

Over time, speed became less important to hunters who wanted dogs who could follow scents that were days or even weeks old to find nearby game hideouts.

The hunters started breeding for this trait and wanted the new dogs classified as Bluetick Coonhounds (they were previously classed as English Coonhounds).

Red and blue puppies appeared together in litters and were classified as English (red) or Bluetick (blue) Coonhounds.

The first breed standard was written in 1946, the same year the United Kennel Club (UKC) of England registered the breed.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 2009.

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Bluetick Coonhound
Each Bluetick Coonhound has a unique howl (or bay). Photo: barkbud

3. How Friendly Are Bluetick Coonhounds?

Bluetick Coonhounds are smart and devoted.

Wary of strangers, these dogs require training and socialization. If properly trained, they can get along well with children and are not aggressive with other dogs.

Because of their high prey drive, Bluetick Coonhounds need supervision when other animals are near. Keep your Bluetick in a secure area or on a leash.

Bluetick Coonhounds are tough as nails. These dogs can hunt at night in any weather or terrain, and their bark (or bay) is unique to each dog.

4. Is This the Right Dog for You?

Exercise Needs

High

HIGH: These active and energetic working dogs need rigorous daily exercise to expel energy and prevent negative behaviors.

Exercise your Bluetick Coonhound in a safe, enclosed area or on a lead. These dogs have little awareness of roads or other general dangers, so be vigilant and keep them safe.

Bluetick Coonhounds are typically inactive indoors, so living in apartments isn’t in their best interests. If you have a yard, make sure it’s fenced — to protect both your coonhound and other animals. Room to run would be even better.

Grooming Needs

Low

LOW: Upkeep is easy with Bluetick Coonhounds. Brush yours once a week, and bathe occasionally or as needed.

If your coonhound goes into the woods or exercises in unfamiliar areas, check the ears and paws for debris and insects.

Because Bluetick Coonhounds are prone to ear infections, clean the ears at least once a week.

Health Problems

Low

LOW: Bluetick Coonhounds are generally healthy.

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Here are a few potential health problems:

Listen to this Bluetick Coonhound when she discovers an uninvited intruder in her backyard:

5. Where to Adopt a Bluetick Coonhound

Many Bluetick Coonhounds are up for adoption throughout the United States right now, although the majority of them are mixed breeds.

Check our online pet adoption search to find a Bluetick Coonhound near you, or check with your local resources.

If you have your heart set on a purebred Bluetick Coonhound, contact the breed club to find a breeder. Ask the breeder for copies of health clearances performed on the puppy’s parents, and take care to ensure the breeder doesn’t show signs of operating a puppy mill.

Additional Resources

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Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, has been researching dog and cat breeds for nearly a decade and has observed the animals up close at dog shows in both the United States and the United Kingdom. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has researched and written about pet behaviors and care for many years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, another bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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