The result of pairing foxhounds, bloodhounds, and perhaps the Irish hound has brought us the Redbone Coonhound, a striking dog with a beautiful red coat. During the period of expansion in America, the Redbone Coonhound was instrumental in helping its owners catch raccoons, which were used for their fur and meat. Redbone Coonhounds are relatively uncommon, ranking 142nd of 193 American Kennel Club breeds in popularity. Nonetheless, these dogs are wonderful companions both out on the trail and right at home on the couch. The Redbone Coonhound is a highly adaptable dog and will quickly become a loving and beloved member of just about any family.
Redbone Coonhound Appearance
The Redbone Coonhound is a fairly tall dog, with females standing 21 to 26 inches in height; males are slightly taller at 22 to 27 inches. At a weight of 45 to 70 pounds, the Redbone Coonhound is lean, agile, and filled with sinewy muscles.
As its name suggests, the Redbone Coonhound comes in one color—red. White markings can also be seen on this dog and are considered AKC standard. The coat of the Redbone is short, shiny, and smooth, but coarse enough to provide some defense. Like other hound breeds, the Redbone Coonhound has a pair of moderately low-set ears. Forequarters and hindquarters on the Redbone Coonhound are straight, giving the appearance of strength and speed. The Redbone Coonhound also has a deep chest and sprung ribs offer these dogs an impressive lung capacity, which is crucial for endurance. The Redbone Coonhound’s strong, straight back leads to a tail of medium length.
Overall, the Redbone Coonhound should give off the appearance of a capable and vigorous dog that is equipped to thrive on any terrain. Powerful, yet agile and lean, the Redbone Coonhound is bound for success as a working dog and a specimen of red-coated beauty.
Redbone Coonhounds have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years and are ideal family dogs. Having spent many years alongside humans trekking through mountains, valleys, and swamps, the Redbone Coonhound has an inherent attachment to people. The Redbone Coonhound adores its family and despite its proficiency as a trapper and hunter, is a highly affectionate breed.
The Redbone Coonhound is as friendly with kids as it is with adults and will quickly become best friends with children. Playful yet gentle, the Redbone is great for families with kids, though care should be taken around babies and toddlers since young Redbones can often be rowdy playmates.
Redbone Coonhounds don’t make very good guard dogs and aren’t particularly territorial. While the Redbone Coonhound may have all the physical qualities of a great watchdog, this breed will likely distract itself with sleep, playtime, or socializing with its family. Don’t count on the Redbone to do much to visiting strangers besides howl for attention.
When it comes to other dogs, Redbone Coonhounds will likely be quite civil and enjoy playing, particularly if they’ve been raised together. Redbones can also adapt themselves to life with a cat in the home, but don’t expect this breed to take kindly to small animals like rodents since its instincts are to corner and hunt small game.
Social creatures that they are, Redbone Coonhounds likely won’t do well if left alone for long periods of time. That, combined with an excess of energy and an overly creative mind, can spell trouble for owners who leave their Redbones alone for too long. These dogs need attention, and are happiest when in the company of their family and other people.
Caring for a Redbone Coonhound
Redbone Coonhounds are relaxed and adaptable, but still have particular needs that should be addressed and well known to owners prior to adding these wonderful dogs to the family.
While the Redbone Coonhound will certainly appreciate a diet prepared at home, this breed can certainly thrive on an organic dog food with high-quality meals. If you’re looking for a commercial food, a grain free dog food or wet dog food with a wholesome source of animal protein and plenty of other essential nutrients should provide the Redbone Coonhound with all the energy it needs. Many people also choose to supplement a dog’s diet with a coconut oil for dogs or fish oil for dogs to help maintain healthy skin and a healthy coat.
The Redbone Coonhound is no stranger to the couch and will be happy to sit back and relax from time to time, but this is far from the right dog for anyone who is sedentary. Redbone Coonhounds have plenty of energy and need regular exercise to ensure they stay happy and healthy. Since most people don’t depend on hunting for their survival, the Redbone Coonhound will be happy to accompany you on a run or bike ride, and will also delight in the opportunity to run around the yard or a park. However, these dogs are independent and curious and should be kept behind a secure fence or on a leash at all times.
Training the Redbone Coonhound is usually a pleasure thanks to the breed’s intelligence, friendliness, and eagerness to please its owner. Still, it’s always a good idea to enroll your dog in a puppy training or socialization class. As a hound, the Redbone is often distracted by enticing scents, so it’s important to keep training sessions brief and reward the Redbone Coonhound with positive reinforcement techniques. It’s extremely important to properly train the Redbone Coonhound since these dogs can often exhibit independent thinking and a curiosity that may lead them astray. Redbones are also inclined to be very vocal, and unnecessary barking should not be encouraged.
While many breeds find themselves prone to genetic disorders, the Redbone Coonhound is probably most at risk for acute injuries sustained in the course of daily life, particularly when hunting. Some Redbone Coonhounds have also been known to be susceptible to hip dysplasia, which should be monitored through order hip evaluations from a veterinarian. Redbone Coonhounds can also experience the eye disease known as progressive retinal atrophy.
Similar to other coonhound breeds, the Redbone Coonhound can have a fetid odor. Some of this is from the naturally occurring oils in the breed’s skin, but the dog’s folds and long ears can also contribute to a stinky buildup of moisture and bacteria. Using a dog shampoo can help keep the Redbone’s coat clean while minimizing odors. Its long, floppy ears can be prone to infection so it’s important to regularly clean the Redbone Coonhound’s ears using a gentle ear-cleaning solution for dogs.
A reputable breeder should provide you with all health-related information about the Redbone Coonhound and many breeders will already have the results of several applicable health evaluations such as hip x-rays, cardiac examinations, and clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation.
Finally, the Redbone, like other dogs, should always be kept at a healthy weight, as obesity can contribute to several unwanted health problems.