BLUETICK COONHOUND APPEARANCE:
The overall body style of the Bluetick Coonhound should be muscular and speedy, not chunky or clumsily built. The head should be 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 with dark red ticking on the feet and lower legs below the body line, on the chest, and below the tail. Red can be eliminated, as well as the tan head coloring. Blue mottling on the body is preferred to lighter ticking. Blue ticking should be predominant over white in the body coat. Off colors are not allowed, but almost solid black with just some ticking on the feet and chest is permitted.
The Bluetick Coonhound has a broad head with low set ears which reach at least to the nose. The muzzle should be square, not narrow or snipey, and slightly shorter than the depth of skull. There should be a prominent stop, and the skull should be slightly domed. The lips and flews should well cover the lower jaw. The blueticks eyes should be large and set wide apart. Coloring light brown to dark brown, with a close fitting eylid. The neck of the Bluetick should be arched and muscular, of moderate length and without excessive dewflap.
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
The Bluetick Coonhound, which probably originated in Louisiana, is thought to be bred from English foxhounds, cur dogs, and the Bleu Gascogne French hound. 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. Breeders have started the process of obtaining recognition from the American Kennel Club. 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. The picture here appears to be of a female Gascon blue.
Bluetick hounds are a friendly breed, but new owners should be warned they can be particularly challenging to train. 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 to a small yard, and one should give this breed plenty of space. Once trained, the breed is very mindful of its owner. Breed will drool occasionally and salivate heavily when exposed to "human" foods. They are very loud, constant, and howling barkers. They are bred to be working hunting dogs and can be a challenge to pet owners.
In normal conditions the dog is excellent around families and children. Often mistaken for aggressiveness, the breed will "greet" strangers with its signature howl and will literally "sniff" the subject until satisfied. Blueticks are driven by their strong sense of smell and make excellent hunting/tracking dogs.