July 8, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Redbone Coonhound

Overview:

  • Height: 21"- 27”
  • Weight: 50-70 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting
  • Modern function: Hunting, companion
  • AKC classification: Hound

Physical Characteristics:

The Redbone Coonhound is an athletic, robustly built dog with a beautiful red coat. The ears are long. The eyes are hazel or brown. The expression often looks pleading. The coat is short and shiny. There may be a little white on the chest and feet. The legs are long and straight. The chest is broad. 

History of the Breed:

The Redbone Coonhound, like all Coonhounds, is a decedent of the Foxhound. This breed was developed in the South for hunting, specifically for treeing raccoons, mountain lions and bear. The general ancestry is vague, though a bloodhound cross is probable at some point in an effort to increase the hound's hot tracking ability. The European hunting breeds did not have the stamina for the conditions in the deep South. There became an effort to produce a breed with bold athleticism and determination, and the Redbone Coonhound is a sturdy and devoted example. This dog was featured in the book and movie "Where the Red Fern Grows." This breed is relatively unknown outside the United States. 

Temperament:

The Redbone Coonhound requires a lot of exercise, but is relatively inactive indoors. This is an intelligent dog but is eager to please. He does well around children with his happy, even-tempered nature. May chase cats and other non-canine pets. Should be raised with a cat from puppyhood to prevent this. Fencing needs to be high and secure. This independent problem solver can figure out solutions for hunting or escape. May ignore the owner's voice when on the trail of a scent, so a sturdy leash is imperative in a non-secure area.  

  • Best suited for: Active families, hunters. 
  • Preferred living conditions: This hunting dog does best in a rural setting, but can do okay even in an apartment, given enough exercise (about 1-1/2 hours of walking per day.)

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy-care light-shedding coat needs occasional brushing. 
  • Exercise needs: Daily long walk or jog. 
  • Life expectancy: 11-12 years.
  • Health concerns: Some lines may be prone to hip dysplasia, but most are healthy. 

Breed Club Links: Redbone Coonhound Association of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: Bright Steps Reflective Dog Bands for keeping track of your tracking dog.

Have any stories about a Redbone Coonhound? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

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