Complete Guide To The Bluetick Coonhound: Health, Exercise, Feeding and More

The Bluetick Coonhound is royalty among nocturnal hunters. Devoted and determined, he’s as much a part of southern culture as cold iced tea and barbecue.

Having grown up and gone to veterinary school in the South, I’ve seen my fair share of Bluetick Coonhounds. They’re synonymous with country living but you do occasionally find one in the suburbs. Read further to find out more about this fascinating breed!

How Big Do Bluetick Coonhounds Get?

Male22″ – 27″ at the shoulder55-80 lbs
Female21″ – 25″ at the shoulder45-65 lbs

What Can Bluetick Coonhounds Look Like?

Muscular but balanced, Bluetick Coonhounds are bred for both speed and endurance with a broad chest and well-sprung ribs that allow optimal lung expansion — you’ll struggle to keep up on the trail.

Named for their characteristic mottled coat, they’re predominantly blue with black, white and tan markings. Short hair lays flat for a smooth, glossy finish from head to the tip of their long tapered tail. Droopy-eared and wide-eyed, they’re the epitome of the mournful hound dog.

What Is The Personality Of A Bluetick Coonhound?

Bluetick Coonhounds do nothing in half measures. They work hard and play harder, but they also enjoy their downtime. The stereotypical front-porch sentry, there’s nothing they appreciate more than a long nap.

At home, few breeds are as family-oriented — docile with children, they’ll put up with almost anything. Bred for outdoor adventures, Blueticks are poor apartment dogs. Vocal, they need early socialization and training to be good neighbors in any environment.

How Much Exercise Do Bluetick Coonhounds Need?

Bluetick Coonhounds need at least a half-hour of daily exercise. Backyard games are among their favorite activities. Hunters, they’re at their best when they’re working with you as a team.

Dogs that don’t hunt will enjoy scent tracking activities, such as trail hiking and Hide-and-Go-Seek. Champion athletes, they excel at canine sports, including agility, tracking and field trials.

Blueticks get along famously with other dogs, so trips to the dog park allow you to relax while they wear themselves out. They retain a strong instinct to chase, however, and should always be kept on a leash or in a secure, fenced-in area.

How Much Grooming Do Bluetick Coonhounds Need?

Blueticks are relatively light shedders with coarse, water-resistant hair. Weekly brushing with a hound glove or rubber grooming mitt helps reduce shedding and distributes skin oils for a vibrant shine.

Like many of the Coonhounds, the Bluetick can have a musty odor that’s very particular to this type of dog. You’ll likely get used to it in time but you should probably bathe them every 3-4 weeks if you want to cut down on the mild odor. I honestly never notice it in my Coonhounds.

Check the ears weekly for odor and redness, cleaning them as needed with an alcohol-free cleansing solution. Head shaking is a common sign of infection and should be evaluated by a veterinarian. The force of the pinnae slapping back and forth can have serious consequences, including a hematoma in the ear.

Blueticks have small, cat-like feet that are susceptible to discomfort if their nails get too long. Activity wears them down naturally, but they should be kept trim enough that you can’t hear them clicking on the floor. Blueticks are averse to loud noises, so if the snap of a toenail clipper makes them wary, file their nails with an emery board or a grinding tool.

What Is The Best Dog Food For Bluetick Coonhounds?

Personally I believe that most foods are fine for most dogs. Some dogs may not do well on some foods. However, as a rule I don’t blanket-prohibit any dietary ingredient from any breed at this time.

Best Puppy Food For Bluetick Coonhounds:

Best Adult Food For Bluetick Coonhounds:

Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.

It’s very important they remain at their optimal weight throughout their life. Have your vet go over with you exactly where to feel to know when your dog is too big.

How Long Do Bluetick Coonhounds Live?

11-12 years

What Health Concerns Do Bluetick Coonhounds Have?

All Coonhounds are fairly healthy but there are a few health concerns that you’ll need to watch out for including:

  • Orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they get older secondary to issues such as hip dysplasia or ACL tears
  • Obesity (they get lazy when they get older)

They can still have all the other possible issues any dog can get – allergies, urinary tract infections, cancer, etc. However, as a breed I consider the Bluetick Coonhound to be of excellent quality!

Where Can I Find Out More About Bluetick Coonhounds?

National Bluetick Coonhound Association – national breed club who also has a great Facebook page!

AKC Breed Profile

How Can I Find A Bluetick Coonhound?

If you want a quality dog (whether for hunting or a pet), the only place to go is the Bluetick Breeders of America site!

If you’d like an adult Rescue, check out Bluetick Coonhound Rescue!

Interesting Facts About Bluetick Coonhounds

Raccoon hunting is an American tradition, and Bluetick Coonhounds lead the way. More than just hunting dogs, they’re an intelligent, multi-talented breed.

Did you know?

• They’re American Through and Through

The Bluetick Coonhound was developed in Louisiana, explaining its Southern roots — one serves as the mascot for the University of Tennessee. Genetic contributors included the English Foxhound, the Cur Dog, the Black and Tan Foxhound, and the American Foxhound.

• They’re Powerful Scenthounds

Some dogs, like the Greyhound, hunt by sight. Others pursue their quarry by scent. Bluetick Coonhounds are bred to track warm-blooded animals with their powerful noses.

Not only can they tree raccoons with enviable single-mindedness, but they can also hunt in packs to take down larger prey, from cougars to wild boars. They have “cold noses,” meaning they can pick up weeks-old trails. Hot-nosed breeds are faster trackers, but they’re less likely to detect old scents.

• They’re Not Really Blue

Bluetick Coonhounds are predominantly black and white with tan markings — so why are they called blue? It’s a trick of the light, giving the black-stippled white fur over their torso a navy blue hue.

They’re Surprisingly Famous

Dozens of Bluetick Coonhounds have appeared in television and film. Perhaps the most famous is the 1960s cartoon character, Huckleberry Hound. A Bluetick named “Old Blue” appears in the 1960 romantic film, ‘Wild River.’ Another starred the 1980s television series, Airwolf.