The Bluetick Coonhound is a loyal and very intelligent dog who is devoted to its family. They do well living indoors, although they need their exercise. A fully fenced yard is best for these dogs, who can wander away following an interesting scent trail. The Bluetick Coonhound is great with children, although possibly better with older children as they can get quite boisterous and rough when excited. They are friendly and outgoing if they are socialised well when young. The breed is attractive both in appearance and nature. They are well muscled but sleek and racy, never clumsy. As a night hunter, they excel with their keen eyesight and dedication to the hunt. They can be challenging to train for the lazy pet owner, and if not exercised enough can become anxious and even destructive. This breed tends to do best with a bit of land or a decent backyard to move around. You need to keep in mind that although they are not aggressive to people, they should not be trusted around cats or other small animals as they are trained to hunt. Once they are fully trained, they are very obedient and listen to the owners.
The Bluetick Coonhound originated in Louisiana from the Bleu de Gascogne Hound of southwest France, as well as the English Foxhound, The Cur dog, the American Foxhound and the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound. Bred to hunt, they excelled at tracking, especially at night. As their name implies, they were originally bred to hunt raccoons, and a good hound dog would follow their quarry until the animal was treed and then sit under the tree, howling until the owners caught up. Unlike fox hunting, the owners did not keep up with the dog, they held back and listened for the distinctive baying and howling and then located the prey. The Bluetick Coonhound had a keen sense of smell and was also used to hunt opossums, bobcats and even larger prey such as cougars and bears. The Coonhound was proficient at hunting alone or as part of a pack. In the early days of colonization, this breed was kept busy in the Southern states, mainly as a hunting dog but then as a companion in the fields and rural areas. They were registered originally in the United Kennel Club under the English Foxhound and Coonhound but were recognised by the club as a separate breed in 1946. Ranking 119th on the current list of breeds in the American Kennel Club, the Bluetick Coonhound became a member of the Hound Group in 2009.
The Bluetick Hound is a handsome animal, with their unique tri-colored coat and sleek, muscular body shape. The coat is a dark blue in color, with black spots on the back, ears, and sides. The ticking is composed of black hairs on a white background which produces the blue effect. They have a broad head with a domed skull. The ears are thin, floppy, silky and set low on the head. The ears of the Coonhound are predominantly black, as is the head. Some dogs can have tan markings around the eyes, cheeks, chest and below the tail, and red ticking on the feet and lower legs. With beautiful pleading eyes that are round and colored a dark brown, the eyes are large and wide set. The tail is carried high and tapers to a fine point. With long, muscular hind legs and feet that are compact with well arched toes, they are a distinctive dog in appearance and gentle and loyal by nature in personality.
The Bluetick Coonhound is easy to maintain with occasional brushing of the coat to keep it shiny and clean, and a monthly bath or when needed will suffice. They are low droolers but may need the occasional face wipe to save the furniture or clothes. While friendly and devoted dogs, they do need to exercise daily to burn off their energy and do best on a leash so that they are not sidetracked by interesting smells. As they walk, they do love to stick their long thin snouts into everything. They are not good apartment dogs, as they need room to roam, but are well behaved indoors and just love hanging out with their owners. They respond well to training, although they can lose focus if an interesting scent takes their attention. Great with children, being a solid dog, they can be a bit rough with younger children (not intentionally, it is just their size and energy).