Are Bluetick Beagles Hybrids? The Beagle And The Coon Hound
At first glance, the Bluetick beagles might be thought of as a cross between a beagle and a Bluetick Coon Hound. The two breeds are similar in many ways; both are members of the hound category, and both make good hunting dogs for small game, as well as good pets. There would however, seem to be not particularly good reasons for wanting to cross the two breeds.
A Beagle Of Another Color
In truth, Bluetick beagles are simply beagles of a specific color, and not a specialized breed nor a cross breed. When you get a Bluetick beagle, you get a beagle, pure and simple. Most beagles are tricolors, black, tan, and white. They are usually born black and white, with the tan developing as they progress thorough puppy hood. Bluetick beagles are born gray and white. As with the tricolor, the tan comes later as well as the blue ticking which consists of grayish-black spots of color with a bluish tinge. Blueticks also will normally have lighter eye and nose coloration than does the tricolor.
Still, whether we're talking about bluetick beagles or tricolors, a beagle is a beagle, and a joy to have as a companion. Beagles have a few characteristics that set them apart from many other breeds, and a few other characteristics that can create problems for the novice dog owner. They are playful, retaining a sense of puppy hood well into adult life (for most of their adult life it seems), they are exceptionally strong for a small dog, they are brave, and they can be independent and very stubborn.
It's Like You're Not Even There
Beagles seem to be blessed with a kind of selective hearing, which means that at times they will not hear you, even if you're standing only a few feet away. Once they get the nose to the ground, which is most of the time, when they're standing on all four legs, their whole attention seems devoted to sniffing, and once they get on a scent that interests them, you might as well be shouting at a wall. Even well trained beagles will at times act this way. When you take beagles for a walk, it's a good idea to have them on a leash, and bluetick beagles are no exception. If they get on the track of a rabbit or deer, off they go. They may come back in a few minutes, or the day after tomorrow.
Curiously, despite their strong sense of smell, beagles have poor homing instincts and can't necessarily retrace their steps if they take off into the woods. It does appear that when they want to come back, their selective hearing switches back on. They can hear your voice and will return, unless of course they find another interesting scent on the way back!
Not A Different Breed, But A Type
Bluetick beagles, being true beagles, can be registered with the American Kennel Club. Like all beagles they fall into one of two categories in accordance with their height, and need to meet the same conformation standards for show. Uno, the beagle that won top honors at the Westminster Dog Show a few years back, wasn't a Bluetick, but a Bluetick could have just as easily done the same thing.
Although it loves to put you to the test, a beagle is a joy to have as a companion. If you're interested in a Bluetick, there are breeders advertising on the web, as well as in the various dog magazines. The dogs are being bred for color, so you don't have some of the worries that can accompany purchasing a puppy whose parents are of two different breeds. A purebred Bluetick will have purebred beagles as parents, most probably both Blueticks. If you bring a beagle puppy home, get used to the fact that, when you take it for a walk, people will almost always smile when they see it. Great conversation piece too!