Everything You Need to Know About Coonhounds

Posted by Mateja Lane

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Coonhounds are a lovable, hardworking breed.

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. Official breeds in the Coonhound group 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.

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. They are working dogs and if a Coonhound owner doesn't hunt them, they need sufficient exercise to keep them mentally stimulated.

Coon dogs are fierce trackers

This hunting dog breed is a fierce tracker in the field and possess "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. They are 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.

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. 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 Coonhound category 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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General Appearance

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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Everything You Need to Know About Coonhounds