The Bluetick Coonhound
As the name implies, the Bluetick Coonhound is one of the most recognizable breeds of the coonhound type, a group of hunting dogs bred specifically for the terrain and conditions of the United States. Coonhounds originated in the late colonial period: The foxhounds imported from Europe (Ireland, Britain, and France) during the period were found to be ineffective when it came to hunting animals that climb trees (such as raccoons, bobcats, and even bears). In response to this, the coonhounds were born ? the name comes from their primary use in hunting raccoons.
Chosen for their tracking, smelling, and chasing abilities, a few breeds were selected for the breeding process that would lead to the creation of the Bluetick Coonhound. These were: Curs, Foxhounds, English Coonhounds, and French Hounds. The result was a highly intelligent, loyal, and tireless dog breed that was perfect for tracking down and hunting small animals that could escape into the treetops. Trained to sniff them out and bark at the base of the tree in order to keep the animals there until the hunters arrived, the Bluetick Coonhound was a complete success.
Standing at anywhere between 20 and 27 inches in height (51 to 69 cm), females and males of the breed share very similar builds and sizes. In terms of weight, these dogs can range from 45 to 80 pounds (20 to 36 kg). Displaying a broad head with a square muzzle protruding from it, the Bluetick has large, wide set eyes but low set ears. Their coat is glossy and very smooth, but also surprisingly short and dense at the same time. Color-wise, this breed sports a distinctive dark blue ? or so it appears to be due to the heavy mottling of black and white spots.
A very smart breed, the Bluetick is incredibly loyal to its family and pack making it a great companion dog. While doing a good job of adapting to indoor life, this breed is not an apartment dog by any means. It requires at the very least a large enough house for it to run around in ? if not a yard. It makes a fantastic guard dog because it is always alert and ready to spring into action, never missing even the slightest hint of trouble.
The Bluetick Coonhound is an excellent pack dog, socializing very well with other breeds if you have multiple dogs in your home. As long as the owner displays consistent and thorough discipline, the Bluetick will not cause any trouble. It is, however, a born and bred hunting dog and will track and chase any small animal (and plenty of large ones, too). This makes owning a Bluetick and a cat, for example, very difficult, as the dog will consider any other non-dog pet in the house as prey. One last tip: Don?t let your Bluetick off the leash in public places! They tend to follow their noses and can often chase down a lead for hours at an end before returning home.