The Blue Tick Coon Hound

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The Blue tick coon hound is an affectionate fun-loving dog with a keen and unshakeable tracking instinct. Originating in Southern USA in the early 1900s they were recognized as a breed of their own in 1945, like the other distinct coonhound breeds of today.

The Bluetick coonhound is the Tennessee state dog, a throw back to their Southern roots, although of course now they are bred and homed all over the world. Their Bluetick color is inherited from the Grand Bleu de Gascoigne, a French scenthound, from which the foxhounds and English coonhound are descendants.

The color is actually black and white, but the speckled, merle effect takes on a blue roan hue. The foxhounds and English coonhound were bred to be faster than the French hound, which is more suited to American hunting. These faster breeds were the progenitors of the Bluetick, which hunters selectively bred for their hunting skills. However, the trend toward breeding even faster hot-nosed coonhounds was not popular with hunters and trackers who desired the cold nosed ability, so they bred for endurance and tracking skill. The Bluetick coonhound might be slower than his hot-nosed cousins, but he is resolute and determined and will find and pursue his quarry from older ‘cold’ trails.

Strenghts of the Blue Tick Coon Hound

Bluetick coonhounds are passionate hunters and their instinct to chase is very strong which, of course, is desirable in a hunting coonhound. Coonhounds are known for their distinctive baying, or calling when they have pursued an animal up a tree and the Bluetick coonhound is no exception.

They are also known as ‘free tonguers’ which means they have a different ‘bugle’ or call throughout the hunt’s progress, and expert Bluetick coonhound handlers will recognize each call and know which stage of the hunt their hound is at. Bluetick coonhounds will chase anything smaller than them, but they are fearless and will also pursue larger, fiercer game such as bears. They are excellent night hunters, and have extremely good eyesight. Unfortunately, they are prone to cataracts in their older years.

Bluetick coonhounds are headstrong dogs can tend toward boisterous, pushy behavior if they are not convinced you are the unflappable and consistent leader they need. Otherwise they are intelligent, like all coonhound breeds, and because they are very devoted, often make very good companion dogs. Similar to all the coonhounds, the Bluetick is mellow and quiet indoors, and will settle into family life very well so long as he is able to exercise, especially if that involves hunting and tracking.

They’re smart and curious dogs and enjoy the challenge of a chase. The Bluetick coonhound is tolerant with children, but cannot be trusted with smaller non-canine animals. Their innate drive to track and hunt is so strong that they’re very likely to chase any other pet, regardless of the handler’s protests.

Potential Problems of the Blue Tick Coon Hound

All droopy-eared dogs, like the Bluetick coonhound, are especially prone to ear infections so it is very important their ears are kept clean. The Bluetick coonhound may get cataracts as it gets older as mentioned above; however, there are two more serious conditions these dogs are vulnerable to. Like the Black and Tan coonhound, the Bluetick coonhound is predisposed to hip dysplasia.

Unfortunately Bluetick coonhounds can get or carry Krabbe disease, a rare and often fatal degenerative illness that attacks the nerves. It may seem like these are daunting obstacles when selecting a Bluetick coonhound, but the average life span of these beautiful dogs is 10-12 years old.

These charismatic coonhounds are very loyal and hard-working, they enjoy affection and if they are physically and mentally given exercise and work to do regularly, they will happily relax with the family at home.

If the Blue Tick isn’t for you, consider one of the other Coon Hound Breeds.