The Bluetick should have the appearance of a speedy and well-muscled hound. Although more strongly built than some other coonhounds, this breed should never be clumsy nor overly chunky in build. The legs are moderately angulated and well muscled, allowing for good speed, agility and endurance. The wide nostrils allow air and scent in, and the deep muzzle allows for more scenting receptor area. The coat is short and medium coarse, providing protection from brambles. In motion he carries his head and tail well up. The distinctive loud bawl allows the hunter to follow the dog from a distance and at night.
The Bluetick Coonhound’s early history is shared with the American English Coonhound. This breed’s forbearers were English hunting hounds that came to America during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Among the early breeders was George Washington, who combined English foxhounds with French hounds. Continued crosses to the slow-trailing but resolute French Grand Bleu de Gascogne produced larger dogs with black ticking and, more importantly, a slower hunting style with better ability to follow old (“cold”) scent trails.
Much of the breed’s development took place in the Louisiana bayous and Tennessee Ozarks. The dogs were initially considered a subtype of English Coonhounds, which were recognized by the UKC in 1905. As the preference for English Coonhounds began to favor faster, hot-nosed dogs, breeders of the blue-ticked ones broke away from them, with UKC granting separate breed status in 1945. The Bluetick became a regular member of the AKC Hound Group in 2009. The breed has remained a favorite, with a reputation of staying on the toughest and most confusing trails and for persistence when treeing. When on the trail the Bluetick has a strong bawl.
Friendly, adventurous, independent, and strong-willed, the Bluetick is a generally laid-back but not overly obedient companion. Notorious counter surfers and escape artists, they like to follow their nose to food or quarry—and will pretend to be deaf to pleas to stop. Their easy going nature makes them a friend to all, enjoying the company of strangers, other dogs, and even other animals (if raised with them). They enjoy baying—loudly— when excited.
The Bluetick is happiest in the woods following a challenging trail. Even suburban Blueticks should have the chance to follow scent trails and to take in new scents regularly. More of an endurance runner than sprinter, the Bluetick needs a long walk or jog daily. The Bluetick is calm indoors as long as he gets a daily outing. Food must be kept well out of reach. Coat care consists of occasional brushing.