WATCH NOW: Coonhounds Are the Floppiest!
If you're looking for a tireless partner who will adore long walks in the woods and who will be a real asset on your hunting trips, the Coonhound might be the perfect breed of dog for you. Coonhounds are a lovable, hardworking breed, and their intense tracking skills make them great partners for hunters.
At the same time, these dogs are loyal and affectionate, so they can double as family pets as long as you understand their energy levels and drive to track. When you consider the many dog breeds available, the Coonhound's distinctive characteristics can definitely make it stand out.
The Coonhound Breeds
Even though they can be quite hard-headed and stubborn, Coonhounds are a type of dog that many dog owners quickly fall in love with. Within the Coonhound category, you'll find many different breeds. The official Coonhound breeds include the Black and Tan Coonhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Redtick Coonhound or American English Coonhound, English Treeing Walker Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, and Plott Hound. Each is considered a different breed in the American Kennel Club (AKC) registry.
Characteristics of Coonhounds
Coonhound breeds are known for their inquisitive charm and can be quite goofy. They are scent hounds and are most noticeable by their long ears and large bays. Coonhounds are working dogs, and if a Coonhound owner doesn't hunt them, they need sufficient exercise to keep them mentally stimulated.
While they have incredible endurance and can be high-strung without sufficient exercise, Coonhounds are great nappers. Some people may call them "lazy" because they are normally sleeping if they aren't on the trail, but most owners will agree they are just conserving their energy for the next time they are out and about.
Coonhounds are known for being intelligent and loving, and they enjoy spending time with humans. When hunting, these dogs are tireless and on constant alert. They can make great family dogs as they can become super affectionate when they trust you, but supervision due to their energy level is recommended.
The True Hunting Dog
These Coon dogs are fierce trackers.
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This hunting dog breed possesses "cold noses," meaning they can pick up scents from animals that had been there days before. Their floppy ears actually help bring out the scents from the brush underneath. Coonhounds also tree their quarry, keeping the animal up in the branches with his loud bays until his master comes.
Coon dogs make natural hunting partners. They're known to hunt animals ranging from small animals like raccoons (their namesake), to big game like mountain lions. They make great hunting partners with positive reinforcement. Coonhounds are extremely treat motivated and most owners, especially if they are hunting them, utilize e-collar training.
Adding a Coonhound to Your Home
Coonhounds generally don't have that many health problems, but regular vet check-ups from puppyhood to when they are adult dogs are always important.
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Coonhounds can seem floppy and ungraceful but when they are on the scent, they are fierce trackers. They are primarily a hunting dog but many Coonhound owners will attest to them being great house and family dogs as well.
Coonhounds have the quintessential hound look, with loose skin, long ears, and loud bays instead of barks.
Coonhounds have long silky ears which should be longer than the nose when pulled to the muzzle. Black and Tans' ears are set off the head like its Bloodhound ancestor. The Bluetick often has a domed head. All Coonhound eyes are expressive and inquisitive.
Coonhounds have incredible cold noses which allow them to pick up on scents from animals who may have passed there days before.
All Coonhounds have short, smooth hair.
Black and Tans are jet-black with a brown/tan muzzle and leg markings.
Redbone Coonhounds have a deep auburn-red coloring. Some may have slight white markings.
Bluetick Coonhouds have black and gray ticking (spotted). May have slight tan/brown markings.
English (Redtick) Coonhounds are similar to Bluetick but in a red/auburn color way.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds can be black, white, or tri-colored.
Plott Hounds can have varying brindle colorings from black, blue, chocolate, orange, red, tan, to yellow. They can also have buckskin coloring or can be completely black.
Coonhounds have slightly extra skin like most dogs in the hound grouping. They are not as wrinkled as the Bloodhound, as an example. They are strong, able dogs that have endurance and stamina to help them last on days-long hunting trips.
While most Coonhounds are big nappers, they must also receive sufficient exercise and good training. The Coonhound breed is a working dog and is hardy; they have no specific ailments but are still susceptible to all canine disease, so vet visits are imperative.
These hound dogs are often found in animal shelters, especially the ones who follow scents and find themselves lost. Rescue groups specifically include American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue that focuses on Coonhounds in Bloodhounds in shelters across America.
Another great resource for the hound group is the American Black and Tan Coonhound Club.
Coonhounds make excellent companions and adopting one may very well change your life.
Do you have a Coonhound? Show us in the comments below!
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