Breed Breakdown: What to Know About Bluetick Coonhounds


As the state dog of Tennessee, the Bluetick Coonhound has the reputation of a hunting dog. The Bluetick Coonhound was registered with the United Kennel Club in 1946 as its own breed rather than that of an English Foxhound. And in 2009 they were finally able to compete in coonhound events with the American Kennel Club. Bluetick Coonhounds have been seen on the show Airwolf in the 1980’s and more recently in a country music video by singer Blake Shelton. They are also mentioned in many other country songs, and a Bluetick is the main character in the sequel to Old Yeller.


A Bluetick Coonhound weighs about 45 to 80 pounds and is 20 to 27 inches tall. They have a short, glossy coat of dark blue that has black spots on all areas of their body. Sometimes they have tan markings as well. The ticking should be blue, as their name implies. The Bluetick is a muscular dog with a high tail and thin, low-set ears.

Health Concerns

Like most medium to large breed dogs, the Bluetick Coonhound is prone to hip dysplasia. They are also known to develop cataracts. Krabbes disease, a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system, also affects Bluetick Coonhounds.


Bluetick Coonhounds are bred to be hunting dogs. They are highly intelligent and need to be well trained and socialized well at a young age. Without proper socialization, the Bluetick may turn into an aggressive dog with strangers. Because of their strong hunting instinct, it is recommended that Blueticks not be kept in homes with smaller pets. Often, a Bluetick Coonhound prefers to be in a one-pet home. Blueticks make good family dogs, although they may do better with older children than younger ones. The howl of a Bluetick is unique; it is possible to tell the difference between the voices of Blueticks.

Care and Grooming

With their short coats, Blueticks only need occasional brushing to keep them neat and clean. As with all dogs, their nails and ears should be kept trimmed and clean. The Bluetick is a breed of dog that requires a lot of exercise. They are unlikely to do well living in an apartment setting. They need serious physical exercise every day, otherwise they may become destructive. The Bluetick Coonhound is a high-strung dog that needs mental and physical stimulation. They are born hunters and should be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in yard because of their tendency to follow a scent and ignore the rest of the world, including their owners, property boundaries, and moving vehicles.

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