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  • Temperament: Smart, Devoted, Tenacious
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 121 of 192
  • Height: 22-27 inches (male), 21-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 55-80 pounds (male), 45-65 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11-12 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Bluetick Coonhound standing in three-quarter view
Bluetick Coonhound lying in three-quarter view
Bluetick Coonhound head facing left
Bluetick Coonhound coat detail
Bluetick Coonhound

Find a Puppy: Bluetick Coonhound

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Bluetick should have the appearance of a speedy and well-muscled hound. He never appears clumsy or overly chunky in build. He has a neat, compact body, a glossy coat and clear, keen eyes. In motion he carries his head and tail well up.

HEAD

The head is broad between the ears with a slightly domed skull. Total length of head from occiput to end of nose is 9 to 10 inches in males and 8 to 9 inches in females. Stop is prominent. Eyes-rather large, set wide apart in skull. Round in shape and dark brown in color (never lighter than light brown). Eye rims tight and close fitting. No excess third eyelid should be apparent. Expression is a typical pleading hound expression, never wild or cowering.

BODY

Neck-muscular and of moderate length, tapering slightly from shoulders to head. Carried well up but not vertical (goose necked). Throat clean with only a slight trace of dewlap. Body-the body should show considerable depth (extending well down toward the elbow), rather than excessive width, to allow for plenty of lung space. Forechest is moderate, fairly even with the point of the shoulder. Girth of chest for males is 26 to 34 inches, for females 23 to 30 inches. Ribs are long and well-sprung, tapering gradually towards a moderate tuck-up. Back is muscular and topline slopes downward slightly from withers to hips. Loin is broad, well-muscled and slightly arched.

FOREQUARTERS

Legs are straight from elbows to feet, well boned and muscular, with strong, straight, slightly sloping pasterns. Legs should appear straight from either side or front view. Length of leg from elbow to ground is approximately one half the height at the withers. Shoulders are clean and sloping, muscular but not too broad or rough, giving the appearance of freedom of movement and strength.

HINDQUARTERS

Hips are strong and well muscled, not quite as wide as ribcage. Thighs have great muscular development for an abundance of propelling power. Breeching full and clean down to hock. Hocks are strong and moderately bent. Dewclaws are removed. Rear legs are parallel from hip to foot when viewed from behind (no cowhocks).

COAT

Medium coarse and lying close to the body, appearing smooth and glossy. Not rough or too short.

EARS

Set low and devoid of erectile power. Should be thin with a slight roll, taper well towards a point, and reach well towards the end of the nose when pulled forward. Well attached to head to prevent hanging or backward tilt. Nose-large with well-opened nostrils. Fully pigmented, black in color. Teeth-scissors bite preferred, even bite acceptable. Undershot or overshot are disqualifying faults. Disqualifications: undershot or overshot.

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bluetick coonhound illustration

About the Bluetick Coonhound

Blueticks are speedy and compact nocturnal hunters named for the mottled (or “ticked”) black-and-blue pattern of the glossy coat. A large male can top out at 27 inches and 80 pounds; females are smaller. Blueticks are well-muscled but sleek and racy, never chunky or clumsy. The baying, bawling, and chopping bark of Blueticks might be cacophonous to some, but to coon hunters it’s the music of the night.

The droopy-eared charm of Blueticks is irresistible. They crave affection and are deeply devoted to those who provide it. Blueticks have tremendous prey drive. Neglected, underemployed coonhounds with no outlet for their hardwired impulses can develop problem behaviors, like serenading the neighbors with loud, mournful “music.”

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Bluetick Coonhound

Find a Puppy: Bluetick Coonhound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Bluetick Coonhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Bluetick Coonhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Bluetick Coonhound has a short, glossy coat that sheds only moderately. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt, or a hound glove will help to remove loose hairs and keep him looking his best. In general, Blueticks require only an occasional bath, unless they’ve gotten into something especially messy. As with all breeds, the Bluetick’s nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

Blueticks are bred as hunting dogs and benefit from getting plenty of exercise, although they also enjoy time spent snoozing at their owner’s feet. They will enjoy play sessions with their owner in a securely fenced yard, or long walks on a leash—remember that he is a scent hound with a strong prey drive. In addition to hunting and field trials, canine sports like agility and tracking are good outlets into which to channel the Bluetick’s energy.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

As with all breeds, early socialization and treats can be very useful aids in training a Bluetick.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

The Bluetick Coonhound is generally a healthy breed. Any deep-chested dog may be susceptible to bloat, a sudden and life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and can also twist, cutting off blood supply to organs. Owners should educate themselves as to the symptoms that indicate bloat is occurring and what to do if so. The Bluetick’s low-hanging ears should be checked daily for any signs of infection. As with all breeds, the teeth should be brushed regularly.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

No recommended health tests

Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound

History

Dogs classified as hounds were bred to pursue warm-blooded quarry. Hounds can be either “sighthounds” or “scenthounds.” Sighthounds (Whippets and Greyhounds, for example) use keen vision and speed to spot and pursue prey. Scenthounds—whether a Beagle pursuing a rabbit, or a Bloodhound on human scent—use an uncanny sense of smell to follow a trail over a distance to locate their quarry. Blueticks and their coon-dog cousins are scenthounds.

Like all coonhound breeds, the Bluetick is an American creation. Bluetick bloodlines are said to extend back to before the founding of the country, specifically to French staghounds given to George Washington as a gift from his great friend, the Marquis de Lafayette. These were huge, ponderous dogs, easy to follow on foot. Breeders mixed in some English Foxhound along with a few other hound breeds to develop a high-endurance and meticulous hunter with a “cold nose.” (This is coon-hunter lingo describing a dog capable of working scent trails that are hours, even days, old.)

These early Blueticks were used by frontiersmen in pursuit of the wily raccoon, but were often expected to work in packs as a big-game hunter on such dangerous quarry as bear, wild boar, lynx, and cougar. In the early 20th century, Fred Gipson, author of “Old Yeller,” wrote about a line of famous Blueticks: “In this breeding they’ve got a big, bell-voiced hound with a nose that can pick up a week-old trail, the endurance to run that trail 30 hours at a stretch, and the lusty courage that’ll make him tackle anything that won’t take a tree before he catches him.”

The breed has changed little since Gipson’s time. Blueticks are still a coon hunter’s delight, and they are still fixtures in Southern culture. Since 1953, the Bluetick Coonhound has been the University of Tennessee’s sports mascot.

Did You Know?

The Bluetick Coonhound is AKC's 162nd breed.
At the April 2009 Boarding the Bluetick Coonhound became eligible for AKC registration, December 30, 2009 and was eligible for competition in the Hound Group, effective January 1, 2010.
In December 2003 the AKC Board approved the eligibility of some Foundation Stock breeds, which meet certain criteria, for competition in AKC Companion Events (Obedience, Tracking, and Agility), effective January 1, 2004.
At the November 2007 board meeting the Bluetick Coonhound was approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class. This became effective July 1, 2008.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Bluetick should have the appearance of a speedy and well-muscled hound. He never appears clumsy or overly chunky in build. He has a neat, compact body, a glossy coat and clear, keen eyes. In motion he carries his head and tail well up.

HEAD

The head is broad between the ears with a slightly domed skull. Total length of head from occiput to end of nose is 9 to 10 inches in males and 8 to 9 inches in females. Stop is prominent. Eyes-rather large, set wide apart in skull. Round in shape and dark brown in color (never lighter than light brown). Eye rims tight and close fitting. No excess third eyelid should be apparent. Expression is a typical pleading hound expression, never wild or cowering.

BODY

Neck-muscular and of moderate length, tapering slightly from shoulders to head. Carried well up but not vertical (goose necked). Throat clean with only a slight trace of dewlap. Body-the body should show considerable depth (extending well down toward the elbow), rather than excessive width, to allow for plenty of lung space. Forechest is moderate, fairly even with the point of the shoulder. Girth of chest for males is 26 to 34 inches, for females 23 to 30 inches. Ribs are long and well-sprung, tapering gradually towards a moderate tuck-up. Back is muscular and topline slopes downward slightly from withers to hips. Loin is broad, well-muscled and slightly arched.

FOREQUARTERS

Legs are straight from elbows to feet, well boned and muscular, with strong, straight, slightly sloping pasterns. Legs should appear straight from either side or front view. Length of leg from elbow to ground is approximately one half the height at the withers. Shoulders are clean and sloping, muscular but not too broad or rough, giving the appearance of freedom of movement and strength.

HINDQUARTERS

Hips are strong and well muscled, not quite as wide as ribcage. Thighs have great muscular development for an abundance of propelling power. Breeching full and clean down to hock. Hocks are strong and moderately bent. Dewclaws are removed. Rear legs are parallel from hip to foot when viewed from behind (no cowhocks).

COAT

Medium coarse and lying close to the body, appearing smooth and glossy. Not rough or too short.

EARS

Set low and devoid of erectile power. Should be thin with a slight roll, taper well towards a point, and reach well towards the end of the nose when pulled forward. Well attached to head to prevent hanging or backward tilt. Nose-large with well-opened nostrils. Fully pigmented, black in color. Teeth-scissors bite preferred, even bite acceptable. Undershot or overshot are disqualifying faults. Disqualifications: undershot or overshot.

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bluetick coonhound illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Blue Ticked Check Mark For Standard Color 379
Blue Ticked & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 527

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Black Spots Check Mark For Standard Mark 080
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