Bluetick Coonhound: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Bluetick coonhound

 

John Cancalosi / Getty Images

The bluetick coonhound is a medium-large hound dog breed native to the United States that sports a trademark ticked pattern on its short, smooth coat. These dogs generally have a friendly, sweet, and loyal disposition. They are used both for hunting and companionship. Above all, this breed belongs in an active home where there is plenty of access to explore the outdoors. 

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Height: 21 to 25 inches (female), 22 to 27 inches (male)
Weight: 45 to 65 pounds (female), 55 to 80 pounds (male)

Coat: Short, smooth

Coat Color: Blue ticked or blue ticked and tan, black spots

Life Span: 11 to 12 years

Temperament: Sweet-tempered, active, affectionate

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: United States

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Click Play to Learn More About the Mild-Mannered Bluetick Coonhound

Characteristics of the Bluetick Coonhound

Bluetick coonhounds tend to have a very affectionate temperament with their owners. They also can get along well with other dogs. But the high prey drive part of their personality might cause them to see other household pets as their quarry rather than a friend. As high-energy dogs, they need lots of exercise every day.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Bluetick Coonhound

Bluetick coonhounds were developed in the United States, and their bloodline dates back even prior to the founding of the country. They are said to descend from French hounds that were gifted to George Washington. The English foxhound, as well as some other hound breeds, are also thought to have played a role in the bluetick coonhound’s development.

The result was a big scenthound with good endurance and an excellent nose for the hunting trail. Frontiersmen used the breed for raccoon hunting, hence its name, as well as big-game hunting. The dogs work well in packs.

The breed has been recognized by other kennel clubs for decades, such as the United Kennel Club in 1946. But the American Kennel Club didn’t recognize it until 2009. Even so, it is a moderately popular dog breed throughout the U.S. and is even the mascot of the University of Tennessee.

Bluetick Coonhound Care

Bluetick coonhounds require lots of activity, along with proper training and socialization, to be happy and healthy dogs. Their desire to follow a scent also must be managed. Luckily, their grooming needs are fairly easy and straightforward. 

Exercise

As hunting dogs, bluetick coonhounds are bred to have high energy and endurance. So adequate daily physical activity is a must to burn that energy. Aim to spend at least one to two hours per day on brisk walks, jogs, hikes, and play. You also can get your dog involved in dog sports, such as tracking and agility, to challenge it mentally and physically. 

Always keep your dog on leash or in a secure fenced area when exercising. Once these dogs catch a scent, it’s extremely difficult to stop their desire to follow it, and they can quickly get far away. They also can be good escape artists, so it’s best to monitor them even if they’re in a fenced area.

Grooming

The short, shiny coat of a bluetick coonhound has a moderate shedding rate. Routine basic grooming is typically all that’s necessary to keep your coonhound looking its best. Brush weekly to remove loose fur and distribute oils. 

Plan on a bath roughly every month, depending on how dirty your dog has gotten. Likewise, check whether it needs a nail trim monthly; active dogs often wear down their nails naturally and can go longer between trims. 

Moreover, like all breeds with floppy ears, it’s important to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry. Check them at least weekly for any dirt, debris, redness, swelling, or other abnormalities. 

Training

These dogs respond to training fairly well, though they can have a stubborn side. Aim to start training when your dog is still a puppy. A large, strong, energetic adult coonhound with poor manners can be difficult to manage.

Always use positive training methods, and be consistent in your training cues. Enroll in an obedience class as soon as you’re able. Also, taking part in other dog activities, such as tracking, can help strengthen your bond with your dog. 

Socialization is equally important to training. Ideally from a young age, expose your dog to different people, other dogs, and various locations to boost its comfort and confidence. Blueticks that don’t get enough attention might develop problematic behaviors, including excessively using their booming hound bay. They’re best for households where someone is home most of the day, and they will generally also enjoy the company of another dog.

Bluetick coonhound relaxing in the grass
Avondell / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

Bluetick coonhounds are a healthy dog breed in general. But they are prone to some hereditary health conditions, including:

bluetick coonhounds as pets illustration

The Spruce / Emilie Dunphy

Diet and Nutrition

Always have fresh water accessible to your dog. And feed a quality, nutritionally balanced canine diet. Most owners feed two measured meals per day. Discuss the type of diet and quantity with your vet, as this can vary based on age, activity level, and other factors. Also, be mindful about feeding treats and other foods to prevent your dog from overeating.

Moreover, if your coonhound tends to eat quickly, this can trigger bloat. You might do better feeding smaller meals more frequently or using a food puzzle to slowly dispense the meal.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Bluetick Coonhound

Check local animal shelters and breed-specific rescue groups for a bluetick coonhound in need of a home. If you’re looking for a breeder puppy, expect to pay around $1,000 on average, though this can vary widely depending on bloodline and other factors. For more information to connect you with a bluetick coonhound, check out:

Bluetick Coonhound Overview

Pros
  • Sweet and loyal

  • Low grooming maintenance

  • Typically gets along well with other dogs

Cons
  • Can be very vocal

  • Can be stubborn and challenging to train

  • Needs lots of exercise

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Be sure to do adequate research before bringing home a bluetick coonhound. Speak to veterinarians, bluetick coonhound owners, reputable breeders, and hound rescue groups to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • Are bluetick coonhounds good family dogs?

    Bluetick coonhounds are typically very sweet and can be good for families with older children. However, their size combined with their high energy might be too exuberant for young children.

  • Are bluetick coonhounds aggressive?

    Bluetick coonhounds typically don’t display aggression with proper training and socialization. But they might view some small household pets, including cats, as prey.

  • Are bluetick coonhounds good apartment dogs?

    Bluetick coonhounds generally aren’t well-suited to apartment living. They need ample space to move and play, and their loud voices might bother some neighbors.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bluetick Coonhound. American Kennel Club.

  2. Bluetick Coonhound Puppies For Sale. American Kennel Club.