The Breed History
The Bluetick Coonhound's color suggests that it descended from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne (French Staghound) as well as the English Foxhound. In America, Blueticks were referred to as English Coonhounds for many years. In 1945, however, Bluetick breeders broke away from the English breeders because they didn't want to follow the trend toward producing a hot-nosed, faster hunter. Proud of their larger, cold-nosed and resolute, if slower hounds, they re-named their breed and maintained their own hunting style. AKC recognition occurred in 2009.
Breeding for Function
An intelligent, cold-nosed hunter that trees hard and long, the Bluetick has the ability and endurance to stay on the most intricate track. He is a free tonguer on the trail with a medium bawl or bugle voice when striking and trailing. This changes to a steady chop when running and a steady course chop at tree.
Height at withers: males, 22 to 27 inches (56-69 cm), females, 21 to 25 inches (53-64 cm).
Weight: males 55 to 80 pounds (25-36 kg), females 45 to 65 pounds (20.5-29.5 kg).
Coat: Medium coarse and lying close to the body, appearing smooth and glossy. Not rough or too short. Preferred color is a dark blue, thickly mottled body, spotted by various shaped black spots on back, ears and sides. Preference is to more blue than black on body. Head and ears predominately black. With or without tan markings (over eyes, on cheeks, chest and below tail) and red ticking on feet and lower legs.
Longevity: 11 to 12 years.
Points of Conformation: Proportion is square, or slightly longer than tall. The head is 8 to 10 inches long with a prominent stop. The eyes are round and dark brown in color. The ears are set low. The nose is black and large. The neck is muscular, and carried up, with only a slight dewlap. The body should be deep, forechest is moderate, the topline slopes downward slightly from withers to hips. Forelegs are straight from elbows to feet. Rear legs are muscular, and parallel from hip to foot when viewed from behind. Feet are round and well arched. The tail is set slightly below the line of the back, carried high with a forward half-moon curve.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed traits include: Friendly, though some individuals are reserved, watchful, and obedient. Noted to be very intelligent, with an independent streak, and when off leash, need to be restricted to a fenced enclosure. They have high exercise needs, though exhibit low activity levels around the home. They need to be socialized to children and other pets early, and may see small pets as prey. Can have a tendency to being dog aggressive. Blueticks have the typical coonhound "bawling" bark. Low grooming needs, and a high drooling tendency also characterizes the breed.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. OFA reports 15.8% affected, but too few Bluetick Coonhounds have been evaluated for statistical confidence.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. Too few Bluetick Coonhounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Reported as a breed issue, however too few Bluetick Coonhounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. Not enough samples have been submitted for thyroid auto-antibodies to Michigan State University to determine an accurate frequency. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Coonhound Paralysis (polyradiculoneuritis): Disorder of acute paralysis due to transient demyelination, similar to Guillain-BarrР№ syndrome. Caused by exposure to raccoon saliva in genetically susceptible dogs. Affected dogs can recover, but must be supported during remyelinization.
Inherited Ocular Disorders: Too few Bluetick Coonhounds have been CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists to determine an accurate frequency of inherited ocular disorders.
Cataracts, Gastric Dilitation-Volvulus, and Hock Luxation are reported.
Isolated Case Studies
Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease): An autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease causing severe neurological symptoms including seizures, hypotonia, blindness, and death in young affected dogs. Three affected males were identified in a litter of Bluetick Coonhounds.
Tests of Genotype: None
Tests of Phenotype: Recommend hip and elbow radiographs, CERF eye examination, thyroid profile including autoantibodies, cardiac examination, and patella evaluation.
- Breed name synonyms: Bluetick
- Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, ANKC (Australian National Kennel Club), NKC (National Kennel Club)
- AKC rank: (none) AKC recognized in Dec. 2009. Entire stud book entered.
- Internet resources: American Bluetick Hound Association: www.akc.org/akc_clubs/?AmericanBluetickHoundAssociation
Bluetick Coonhound Breeders of America: www.bluetickbreedersofamerica.com
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