The Bluetick Coonhound: A Loyal Companion with a Melodic Howl

Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound, an American breed celebrated for its tenacious hunting skills and distinctive appearance, is also a devoted and friendly family pet. Known for its "cold nose" and the ability to follow very old trails, this breed is a favorite among hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. This comprehensive guide provides a deep dive into the world of the Bluetick Coonhound, from its rich history to its specific care requirements.

Breed Summary

Country of Origin: United States
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 130 of 196
AKC Classification: Hound Group
UKC Classification: Hound dog
Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Physical traits: Speedy, Muscular, Strong, Compact
Coat: Length: Average
Characteristics: Moderately coarse, short, smooth and glossy
Colors: Molted or dark blue
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
Personality traits/Temperament: Smart, Devoted, Tenacious
Height: Female: 21-25 inches, Male: 22-27 inches
Weight: Female: 45-65 lbs.; Male: 55-80 lbs.
Energy Level: Average
Tendency to Drool: High
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: High
Life Expectancy: 11-12 years

Origin of the Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound originated in the United States in the early 18th century, descending from the French staghounds that were gifts to George Washington from the Marquis de Lafayette. The breed was further developed in Louisiana and Tennessee, where it was bred for its ability to track raccoons and other small game. The breed's name comes from its striking coat pattern, which is dark blue in color and ticked with black spots on a white background.

Appearance

Bluetick Coonhounds are robust and muscular, standing 21 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 45 to 80 pounds. Their most notable feature is their beautiful, mottled blue coat, with ticking that appears over their body. They have droopy ears, sad brown eyes, and a large, scenthound nose that stands out against their darkly colored faces.

Temperament

Bluetick Coonhounds are known for their friendly, sociable nature. They are intensely loyal to their families and enjoy being part of household activities. While they are gentle and affectionate with children, their hunting instincts can drive them to be persistent and vocal, especially when on a scent trail. This makes them excellent watchdogs, though they are generally non-aggressive towards humans or other animals.

Health Outlook

Bluetick Coonhounds have a lifespan of 11 to 12 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, bloat, and ear infections due to their long, floppy ears. They can also suffer from skin conditions such as dry, itchy skin. Regular grooming and the use of a premium dog shampoo can help alleviate these skin issues, nourishing the skin and promoting a healthy, shiny coat.

Nutritional Requirements

Bluetick Coonhounds require a balanced diet rich in proteins to support their active lifestyle. High-quality dog food, coupled with a complete healthy multivitamin, ensures they receive all necessary nutrients to maintain their energy levels, joint health, and overall well-being.

Exercise Requirement

Given their origins as hunting dogs, Bluetick Coonhounds require considerable daily exercise. Long walks, ample playtime, and the opportunity to run in a secure area are essential to keep them physically and mentally fit. Their endurance and love of exploration make them ideal companions for hiking and other outdoor activities.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Bluetick Coonhound

Pros:

  • Strong hunting capabilities and excellent nose.
  • Friendly and loyal family pet.
  • Generally healthy with manageable grooming needs.

Cons:

  • Can be stubborn and require consistent training.
  • High exercise needs may not suit less active owners.
  • Prone to barking and howling, especially at night.

Space Requirements

Due to their size and energy level, Bluetick Coonhounds are best suited to homes with large, enclosed yards. They are not ideal for apartment living unless they are provided with daily, vigorous exercise.

Suitability for Elderly

Bluetick Coonhounds are not typically recommended for elderly owners unless they can meet the breed's high exercise and companionship needs.

Suitability for Kids

Their gentle nature makes them suitable for families with children. However, their size and energy should be considered, as they can inadvertently knock over smaller children.

Cost

The cost of a Bluetick Coonhound puppy typically ranges from $500 to $1,200, depending on the breeder’s reputation and geographic location.

What Should the Owner Be Like?

An ideal Bluetick Coonhound owner should be active, patient, and committed to meeting their dog's exercise and companionship needs. They should also enjoy engaging in outdoor activities and be prepared for a vocal pet.

Fun Facts

  1. Bluetick Coonhounds are known for their melodic howl, which can carry for miles.
  2. The breed's keen sense of smell is among the best of any dog breed, making them unparalleled trackers.

Conclusion

The Bluetick Coonhound is a breed that combines a hardworking spirit with a loving heart. Ideal for active families and individuals who appreciate the great outdoors, this dog offers loyalty, companionship, and plenty of adventures. With the right care and environment, a Bluetick Coonhound can be a joyful and enriching addition to any home.

Are you familiar with the Bluetick Coonhound or have this wonderful breed in your family? Share your stories in the comments!

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