The Bluetick Coonhound is a breed of dog. It is a type of coonhound and typically bred in the southern United States.
AppearanceThe 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 butt cheeks will be dark red. male coonhounds should be 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh approximately 55 to 80 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, being 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 to 65 pounds. The body should be higher at the shoulder than the hips, and when measured from the withers to the base of tail it should be slightly longer than tall. Blueticks (as they are known by fanciers) should have a deep chest with well sprung ribs, curving into the belly rather than having an extreme tucked up look.
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. See the American Blue Gascon Coonhound Association's breed standard: http://www.abgha.org/standard.htm
TemperamentBluetick Coonhounds are gentle with children and loyal, loving pets, but they can be challenging to train. They are the breed least likely to be aggressive to people, but they should not be trusted around cats or other small animals. They are, like their hound counterparts, very intelligent breeds, with an uncanny knack for problem-solving. This can be particularly problematic if they are confined to a household or too small a yard, and one should give this breed plenty of space. Once trained, the breed is very mindful of its owner. Breed will drool occasionally. They are very loud, constant, and howling barkers. They are bred to be working hunting dogs and can be a challenge to lazy pet owners.
In normal conditions the dog is excellent around families and children. Once trained, they are mindful, friendly dogs. However, their noses will keep them in trouble, so food and garbage should not ever 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. They will tree any animal that is small and handle the best of the coon hound breeds.
HistoryThe 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 CoonhoundsA Bluetick Coonhound named Tet was the companion of Stringfellow Hawke, the main character of popular 1980s television show Airwolf.
Neil Young has stated that his song "Old King" is a tribute to a deceased Bluetick Coonhound he once owned.
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.
Emmylou Harris sings about her friend Lillian's "Bluetick hound dog, Gideon" in her song Red Dirt Girl.
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."
David Allan Coe mentions a Bluetick hound in his song "Cum Stains on the Pillow."
A Bluetick was featured in a Miracle Whip television commercial. After making a sandwich, the dog discovers the owner is out of Miracle Whip. (Jeff Gorman Films - Man's Best Friend Makes a Sandwich; Animal Makers animation)
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 Blackmouth Cur.
Justin Moore's song "Backwoods" features a line "Bluetick coonhound you know where I'm found out in the..."
In the movie Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
In Chappelle's Show the dog in the opening credits is a Bluetick Coonhound.
Smokey, the mascot of the University of Tennessee, is a Bluetick.