Bluetick Coonhound


Other Names – Old-Fashioned Blueticks

Country of Origin – United States – Louisiana

Weight – 55 to 80 pounds

Height – (13 to 24 inches)

Coat – Moderately Coarse and Glossy


  • Blue
  • Black
  • White

Group: Hound


Like many coonhounds, the Bluetick Coonhound gets its name from a coat pattern, which is dark blue in color and covered in a ticking or mottled pattern. Working ability is very important to owners who prize the sturdy and athletic Bluetick for its skill in trailing and treeing raccoons and other small animals. Blueticks are known for having the typical coonhound “bawling” bark. This steady and determined breed can stay on the most intricate of tracks, making it a prized companion for active sporting families.

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.


Right Breed for You?

Athletic and hardy, Blueticks are working dogs that need a job – such as hunting, obedience or agility – to stay happy. Their short, glossy coat requires only occasional baths and brushing.

If you are considering purchasing a Bluetick Coonhound puppy, learn more here.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 2009.
  • Ranging in size from 21 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and 45 to 80 pounds.
  • Raccoon hunter; small game hunter.


The Bluetick Coonhound is a breed of dog. It is a type of coonhound and typically bred in the United States.


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The overall body style of the Bluetick Coonhound is muscular and speedy , not chunky or clumsily built. The head is carried well up and the tail carried over the back, without signs of fear or nervousness. The Bluetick coat should be moderately coarse and glossy. The Bluetick Coonhound gets its “blue” coloring from black/white mottling which gives the impression of a navy blue color. This mottling covers the body and can be interspersed with variously-shaped black spots on the back, ears and sides. Preference runs to more blue than black on the body. Black should predominate on the head and ears.

Bluetick Coonhounds should have tan dots over the eyes and on the cheeks will be dark red. All coonhounds should be 1 foot 11 inches -2 feet and weigh approximately 55 to 80 pounds. Females are considerably smaller. Feet should be cat-like, rounded with well-arched toes. Their paws are larger than nearly all other breeds of dogs. Rear legs should have a moderate bend at the hocks. All legs should be straight when viewed from the front or rear.

Gascon blues are larger than standard blueticks, with males a minimum of 27 inches and a maximum of 30 inches.



Bluetick Coonhounds are bred to be hunting dogs. They are athletic and hardy and need a full-time job or activity such as hunting, obedience or agility to stay happy. They can be challenging to train and they should be monitored around cats or other small animals. They are, like their hound counterparts, very intelligent breeds, with an uncanny knack for problem-solving. Once trained, the breed is very mindful of its owner. Something first time owners should be aware of is the daunting task of “voice-training” these dogs. They tend to be relentlessly loud barkers and/or howlers. If properly socialized from a young age, they can make a great family pet. These dogs were bred to be working/hunting dogs.

In normal conditions, this dog is excellent around children. They are mindful, friendly dogs. However, their noses will keep them in trouble, so food and garbage should never be left out unattended. Often mistaken for aggressiveness, the breed will “greet” strangers with its signature howl and will sniff the subject until satisfied. Usually this is just the way the breed gets to know its subjects. Since Blueticks are driven by their strong sense of smell, they make excellent hunting/tracking dogs. If allowed, they will tree almost any animal smaller than them. Blueticks are generally easier to handle in the field than some other coon hounds.



The Bluetick Coonhound, which originated in Louisiana, was developed from the Bleu de Gascogne hound of southwest France, as well as the English Foxhound, the cur dog, the American Foxhound, and the Black And Tan Virginia Foxhound. Originally, Bluetick Coonhounds were registered in the United Kennel Club under the English Foxhound and Coonhound, but were recognized by the club as a separate breed in 1946. Bluetick Coonhounds are also recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council and the New Zealand Kennel Club. In April 2009 the breed was accepted by the American Kennel Club and in December 2009 they became eligible to compete in AKC coonhound events.

The American Blue Gascon is a subgroup of bluetick coonhounds that is larger, heavier, and more “houndy” looking than the standard bluetick. American Blue Gascons are often referred to as “old-fashioned” blueticks. This is due to their appearance and “colder” nose, or slower style of tracking, compared to other modern coonhound breeds. The picture here appears to be of a female American Blue Gascon.


Famous Bluetick Coonhounds

  • Smokey, the mascot of the University of Tennessee, is a Bluetick.
  • A Bluetick Coonhound named Tet was the companion of Stringfellow Hawke, the main character of the popular 1980s television show Airwolf.
  • An unnamed Bluetick Coonhound is featured in Blake Shelton’s hit single, “Ol’ Red”. The song relates an escape plan of a man convicted of a crime of passion when he murdered his wife and her lover. He devises a plan to have a female Bluetick lure the prison’s male Redbone Coonhound Ol’ Red away from the narrator (Shelton) instead of tracking him as he heads in the opposite direction. The closing lines of the song are: “Now there’s red-haired Blueticks all in the South, / Love got me in there and love got me out.”
  • Coonhounds are featured in the book Where the Red Fern Grows. However, the two main dogs are Redbone Coonhounds.
  • Neil Young has stated that his song “Old King” is a tribute to a deceased Bluetick Coonhound he once owned.
  • Emmylou Harris sings about her friend Lillian’s “Bluetick hound dog, Gideon” in her song Red Dirt Girl.
  • Dolly Parton sings about an old woman who lives “with a one-eyed cat named Wink, a billy goat, and a bluetick hound” in her song “These Old Bones.”
  • Charlie Daniels mentions that he is “kinda like my old Bluetick hound/I like to lay around in the shade” in his song “Long Haired Country Boy.”
  • Old Blue, a Bluetick Coonhound, was in the 1960 Elia Kazan film, “Wild River”.
  • Ken Kesey, in his novel, “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”, used a Bluetick Coonhound as a symbol for his main character Chief Bromden.
  • In Savage Sam, the sequel to Old Yeller, the title character is a Bluetick Coonhound. He is meant to be the son of Old Yeller, despite Old Yeller having been a Black Mouth Cur.
  • In Chappelle’s Show the dog in the opening credits is a Bluetick Coonhound.
  • In the book Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls, the hound dog Rowdy is a Bluetick Coonhound.
  • Pistol Annies sing about a no-good husband in the song “The Hunter’s Wife” on the album Hell on Heels: “I’ve got myself a problem / I can’t figure no way out / It’s like I’m married to a shotgun carrying, tobacco chewing, no good Bluetick Hound.”