WATCH NOW: Coonhounds Are the Floppiest!
A high-energy dog breed, the Coonhound is the ideal family companion for active families. Here is everything you need to know about these hunting hounds.
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.
Types of 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
- 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 (so make sure to give them enough 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
Originally bred for hunting raccoons, these Coon dogs are fierce trackers.
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.
FYI: A descendent of the English Foxhound, the American English Coonhound is known to have a higher prey drive.
Adding a Coonhound to Your Home
Coonhounds generally don't have that many health problems or health conditions, but regular vet check-ups from puppyhood to when they are adult dogs are always important.
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.
You can expect the lifespan of Coonhounds to be 10 to 12 years.
Do you have a Coonhound? Show us your pooch on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!
This article was originally published December 23, 2019.