The Bluetick Coonhound is a deft and brawny hunting dog with strikingly beautiful coat. Hailing from America it is renowned for its reverberant bark and friendly disposition. Recently the breed has also acquired noticeable popularity as a companion animal.
Photo: © bluetick1kennels.com
It is a common knowledge that the Bluetick Coonhound was initially bred in the U.S. in the XVIII century. Distinctive coat colouration of this dog prompts to suggest that its direct forefathers were the French Blue Gascon Hound and various types of English Hounds. Lots of these canines were imported to America long before the Colonial Period. The credit of the breed’s development largely goes to dog traders who often travelled to the Louisiana bayou and the Ozark Mountains and tried to supply the ever-growing demand for hounds with gorgeous blue-ticked coats and super sensitive noses.
Endless vitality and exceptional hunting drive of the Bluetick Coonhound were appreciated by lots of American hunters. It has sufficiently sensitive nose to follow both fresh and cold trails. And sharp eyesight allows it to fulfil its hunting duties even at night. But the most prominent feature of this breed is probably its deep-toned voice, which it can skilfully modulate in order to inform the hunter about its progress during the hunting expedition.
Originally the population of this dog was concentrated in the southern parts of the United States where it was considered to be the variety of the English Coonhound. Its fanciers anticipated that more light-footed and hot-nosed sporting dogs would soon grow into fashion and in 1945 they insisted on declaring the Bluetick Coonhound a unique breed. Shortly afterwards this status was officially reaffirmed by the United Kennel Club (UKC). The breed gained recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) under its current name only in 2009.
Today this Hound with gentle temperament and distinctive conformation endears itself to canine lovers in various countries so it’s frequently kept strictly as a pet.
The Bluetick Coonhound stands out for extreme loyalty to its favourite people and makes a lovely addition to any family. It’s prone to feel serious anxiety when left alone for too long so it should never be kept as an outdoor dog. This dog shows very amiable attitude towards kids and likes frisking with them in a well-fenced yard. Nevertheless exposure to various situations, people and animals is a must for the puppy of this large and strong breed.
The Bluetick Coonhound likes any person who comes on its way and it’s absolutely deprived of aggressiveness to humans. Thanks to its tendency to continuous barking it will most likely warn its owners about the presence of an unwanted visitor near the house. However this dog doesn’t seek to defend its territory and therefore won’t become an effective guardian. Make sure to train your pet to stop barking on a signal otherwise your neighbours may start to complain about constant noise.
As a rule the Bluetick Coonhound is very good with its congeners and will be happy to have one or several permanent canine friends. The dog is frequently utilized for pack hunting so any sign of canine aggression was bred out from its character. Remember that it treats all other animals as would-be preys so it should be let run and play freely only in a properly fenced area. In most cases the breed member will be polite with familiar domestic cats although there is no absolute guarantee to that.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· lysosomal storage disease;
The maintenance of the Bluetick Coonhound is an easy job. Its shiny short coat should be brushed on a weekly basis to get rid of loose hair and distribute protective skin oils. This dog exudes a specific «houndy» smell, which can’t be entirely eliminated even with frequent bathing. In general it’s recommended to bathe your pet as rarely as possible.
The rest care consists of such standard procedures as weekly teeth brushing, monthly nail trimming and systematic ear cleaning. This breed sheds little to nothing.
The Bluetick Coonhound is endowed with fairly wayward character so its training presents significant challenge. The dog is generally incapable of unquestionable obedience and often prefers to do its own things rather than to perform the trainer’s commands. Try to take the antics of your pet in good fun and be indulgent when it gets distracted by some enticing smell.
It’s advisable to foster the dog’s interest to training with delicious treats and gentle words. Remember that any type of negative reinforcement will only make it more resistant to following your orders without second thought.
The Bluetick Coonhound is above all a tenacious hunting dog with tremendous exercise requirements. It should spend at least an hour per day playing unrestrainedly in a properly enclosed territory. Because of its incredible vigour and large size it won’t become a nice apartment dog.
Ideally the breed should regularly participate in hunting expeditions, which are the most suitable type of physical activity for its member. Be prepared to put up with continuous barking and destructive behaviour of your pet if you fail to provide it with necessary amount of physical and mental stimulation.