Bluetick Coonhound

Bluetick Coonhound dog
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The Bluetick Coonhound is a dog breed of medium size that originated in the United States. They are known for having a beautiful short coat, cold nose, pleasant expression and floppy ears. His original and primary role is to hunt raccoons; however he can also be an amazing family dog and companion.

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
Health and GroomingAbove Average
All Around FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsHighest

Dog Breed Group:Hound Dogs
Height:1 foot, 11 inches to 2 feet, 6 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:Generally 45 to 100 pounds
Life Span:10 to 12 years

When it comes to adaptability, the Bluetick Coonhound is more or less easily adaptable to a variety of environments. However, he does not adapt well to apartment living because he is a very energetic dog with hunting instincts who loves spending time in nature. So unless you have a spacious yard with a nice dog house, this dog breed might not be the one for you. If you live in a huge apartment then it might be possible for him to adapt; however, you should be taking him for regular walks and spend at least a couple of hours outdoors in order to satisfy his exercise needs.

Having said that, this dog is not suitable for novice owners who do not know how to handle sensitive dogs that do not like spending too much time alone and far away from their owners. When it comes to tolerating cold and hot weather, the Bluetick Coonhound tolerates them moderately well even though he has a short coat. Of course, he would be properly clothed during the harsh winter.

Speaking of his friendliness, the Bluetick Coonhound is a very playful and friendly dog with a very pleasing temperament. He is very affectionate with his owner and other family members and he is also known for being incredible with children. When it comes to other dogs and strangers, he is suspicious and not as friendly as to the people he knows; however this can be managed with proper training and socialization.

When it comes to health and grooming, the Bluetick Coonhound is more or less a healthy dog; however this breed is affected by some conditions more than the others which will be stated below in the article. He does not shed much and he also does not drool much. He is very easy to groom and brush which is a very good thing (especially if it is very important to you). He is of medium size and he can be prone to weight gaining if you overfeed him, which you should never do.

Speaking of trainability, the Bluetick Coonhound is not easy to train unless his owner is at least a bit experienced and knows how to deal with stubborn dogs. Since he is a hunting dog by nature, he loves exercising outside and he is a very intelligent breed. However, what makes him difficult to train is the fact that he has an unbelievably strong prey drive and wanderlust potential. That means that you should never leave him off leash in urban areas or even worse, in nature… because he may just wander off and get lost.

The Bluetick Coonhound is also known for being a loud barker and his bark is very specific and strong. This is not surprising because this breed used barking as a way to summon the hunters after sensing the prey. This breed also has a potential for mouthiness which can be avoided if a puppy is trained from an early age.

When it comes to exercise needs, the Bluetick Coonhound needs constant and everyday walks and exercises. He is not a lap dog and he is definitely not a dog that should be only kept in a dog house in a backyard. This breed loves nature but also has a tendency to wander off, which means that if you want to keep your pet safe and well-mannered, you must train and socialize him before it is too late. This is a very playful breed but also stubborn so it is not recommended for novice owners who never owned a hunting dog before.

Main Highlights
  • The Bluetick Coonhounds are very loud barkers and vocal dogs.
  • This breed is very playful and affectionate, but has a tendency to wander off due to a strong prey drive. You should never keep him off leash.
  • The Bluetick Coonhounds adapt moderately well to most weathers; however you should keep your pet warm and clothed during the winters.
  • This breed is very energetic and needs daily walks and exercise in order to maintain his health. It is not recommended for tiny apartments without big yards.
  • Unless your Bluetick Coonhounds is trained for hunting; he will most likely never listen to you when off leash, aka ‘selective deafness’ and unless you have trained and socialized him properly, he might go after smaller animals.
  • The Bluetick Coonhounds are known as cold-nosed dogs; which means that they are good at finding ‘cold’ (meaning ‘old’) trails.
  • This breed is known for having a musky scent, so you should bath him regularly; however, it is not something that can go away completely.
  • There are many famous Bluetick Coonhounds, such as Smokey (the mascot of the University of Tennessee), Huckleberry Hound, Tet from ‘Airwolf’ and more.
  • Never purchase a dog from unfamiliar and unknowledgeable puppy mills or suspicious pet stores! Sometimes it is simply better to adopt.
Breed History

The Bluetick Coonhound originally comes from Louisiana in the USA.  This breed was developed from the Bleu de Gascogne, a French hound, including the English Foxhound, the cur dog, the American Foxhound, and the Black And Tan Virginia Foxhound in the 18th century. The Bluetick Coonhound was officially recognized as a breed in 1946. The American Kennel Club accepted this breed officially in 2009 and allowed it to compete in coonhound events. This breed is currently among 150 most popular breeds in the USA as ranked by the AKC.


The Bluetick Coonhound is a medium to large sized breed. The males are a bit bigger and heavier than the females. The males weigh 55–80 lb. (25–36 kg) while the females are 45–65 lb. (20–29 kg). When it comes to height, the males are 22–27 in (56–69 cm) while the females are 21–25 in (53–64 cm).

Personality and Character

The Bluetick Coonhound is known as a goofy, affectionate, playful, a bit stubborn, and a real hunting dog. He is not recommended for novice owners who have never trained a hunting dog before because he can pretend to be dead and run off in search of prey. In order to subdue at least a bit his hunting instincts, you would have to train him and socialize him properly from an early age.

This dog breed is very devoted to his owner and other family members and he loves spending time with them. The owner should be a strong leader so he can be able to train the dog properly. The Bluetick Coonhound is also a big explorer and an alert dog.

Health and Potential Problems

The Bluetick Coonhounds are more or less healthy dogs; however there are some conditions that affect them most than the other breeds. You should be aware of them so you can react on time if needed. Some of them are:

  • Hip Dysplasia is an inherited condition and which affects the thighbone and the hip joint. The diseases can be diagnosed but not treated and the result may be Arthritis.
  • Entropion is a condition caused by the lower eyelid folding inward toward the eye. This means that the eye will be irritated, but it can be treated with surgery. Ectropion can also occur in this breed.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease that affects the eyes and leads to the gradual deterioration of the retina. The result of this disease may be blindness but affected dogs lead normal lives as long as their surroundings remain the same as before.
  • Cataracts are very common in this breed.
  • Bloat, also known as the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome is a dangerous condition that can kill your pet. This breed is at risk because of its deep chest.
  • Skin diseases are also very common because of this breed’s heavy skin folds. The most usual condition is pyoderma.
  • Other: cancer, eye infections, ear infections, elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, hypothyroidism, allergies.
Care Features

When it comes to care features, the basics are almost the same as for all dogs. The Bluetick Coonhounds is a dog breed that is and should spend most of the time outdoors, which means that he might get hurt or injured. That is why you should always check him carefully after each walk to make sure there are no cuts, fleas, ticks, bruises or some other kind of injury. The Bluetick Coonhounds is also prone to ear and eye infections due to his heavy skin folds and that is why you should check and clean them regularly.

Another thing to remember is that this breed is known for having a specific musky scent; therefore a regular bath (at least once or twice a month) is a must and nail clipping; however, you should know that this scent will never go away and you should never bathe your dog more than twice a month. You should either learn to live with it or not purchase this breed in the beginning. Regular walks, games and exercises are required every day for a couple of hours – this breed has a strong hunting instinct and he should never be stuck at home.

Feeding Schedule

Having in mind that Bluetick Coonhounds are very active dogs, that means that their diet should be of high quality and filled with vitamins and proteins. When it comes to recommended daily dosage of food, it should be 2 1/5 to 3 cups of top-notch quality dog food per one day, which should be divided into two meals. Make sure to always buy food of high quality and include vitamins, vegetables and proteins, otherwise your dog might develop gastrointestinal problems later on. Additionally, even if your dog is very active that does not mean that you are allowed to overfeed him – this breed is prone to weight gaining and bloat, so make sure to carefully plan your pet’s diet beforehand.

Coat, Color and Grooming

The Bluetick Coonhound has a short, coarse and thick coat. It is predominantly white with black ticking and spots all over it; including black spots of various size that cover his ears, sides and the back. This breed should have tan markings over the eyes and on the sides of the muzzle with a ticked blaze that runs up the whole face. Blue is more preferred color than black.

When it comes to the care, it is not difficult. In order to keep it clean you should brush it as needed; and when it comes to grooming, it is not required. This breed does not shed much and the coat is easy to maintain.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

As we already stated, the Bluetick Coonhound is a great family dog despite his hunting instincts that still run through his blood. If trained and socialized from an early age, he might even go along with other smaller pets and other dogs; however he will always be more suspicious to them than his own family members. Even when he is trained properly he might still have the need to chase after cats, birds and smaller animals outside, so make sure to keep him on a leash. Children should be taught to behave properly and never hurt, pull or jump over any dog. Only then would they go along perfectly.

In the end, if you like spending time outdoors and own a big house with a big yard then this breed might be for you. The Bluetick Coonhounds also needs an owner who is strong-willed and patient because he can be a bit stubborn from time to time if he is not trained on time. Giving him proper love and meeting his needs will make the both of you extremely happy. The Bluetick Coonhound is a goofy dog who can be a great companion to his owner who understands him.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.