Often called “The People’s Choice,” the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a smart, beloved dog in the United States. Even though they’re called “Walkers,” they are swift runners and make for excellent hunting dogs. Walkers are the 137th ranked breed out of 193 by the American Kennel Club.
The different parts of the name carry significance. “Treeing” refers to the hound following their prey’s scent until they run up a tree, as the TWC barks incessantly from the ground below. “Walker” refers to Thomas Walker, an important person in the TWC’s development in the 1700s. “Coonhound” refers to a dog developed for hunting raccoons.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds descend from the English Coonhound, brought to America by early settlers during the colonial era. From there came the Virginia hound and the Walker Foxhound, which eventually led to the TWC.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TREEING WALKER COONHOUND
Here is some information about the appearance and temperament of the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a medium-sized breed, averaging 20 to 27 inches in height and weighing up to 70 pounds. They are perfectly suited for the job for which they are bred – tracking, hunting, and treeing raccoons. They are swift and strong, with heavily-muscled legs that give them their powerful stride. They have very large ears for their head, with long, droopy upper lips.
They have a smooth, tri-colored glossy coat that comes in tan and white (they may look red, but should never be called red so as not to confuse them with the Redbone Coonhound). Their coats are very low-maintenance; their coats tend to be dirt-resistant. Wiping them down with a paper towel after playing in dirty or muddy areas will suffice, along with the occasional bath. Your Walker will grow to love grooming sessions with you, as they love spending time and bonding with their families. Pay close attention to their ears and nails to keep them happy and healthy.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a hunting and working dog; as such, they are high-energy and intelligent, and they love having a job to do. They get along well with other dogs and are a great choice for families with children, especially since that will help them get more attention. Walkers need a lot of attention or they can become high-strung. Provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation. They like a lot of space and enjoy running, so they are not the best-suited breed for apartments.
Walkers are very sweet, loving dogs with a notoriously pleading expression. They are eager to please and make for great training partners. Some are very friendly, but some can be reserved around strangers; be sure to socialize them from a young age. Also, be sure to check with your breeder as Walker temperaments and personalities can vary. They may see cats and other small pets as pray, so be careful.
CARING FOR A TREEING WALKER COONHOUND
Treeing Walker Coonhounds, like any breed, have specific needs. Here is some additional information about their nutrition, exercise, training, and health needs.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds tend to do best on high-quality dry dog foods. Be sure to select a food that is age-appropriate (puppy, adult, senior). Consult with your vet to select a diet that’s best for your dog. If your Walker isn’t working and getting the right amount of exercise, it can be very prone to obesity. Monitor their food and exercise carefully. Treats are a helpful tool when training, but be careful not to overdo it. As with all dogs, the amount of food they eat will be dependent on their age, size, and energy level. Also, make sure to always keep a bowl filled with clean, fresh water available.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are a high-energy breed that loves to run. They make great running and hiking companions and appreciate a good backyard. Just running around, playing with another dog, or playing fetch are great ways to keep your Walker mentally and physically stimulated. A long daily walk is recommended. Since they are a hunting breed with a particularly strong prey drive, be sure to always keep your Walker on a leash when outdoors. They can be pullers, especially when they catch a prey’s scent, so leashes for dogs that pull are useful.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are a very smart breed, and they are eager to please. However, they can be stubborn and independent, which can be frustrating when training. Start training from an early age – puppy and obedience classes are a great start. In addition, be sure to socialize them from an early age by introducing them to new people, places, and other animals. Keep training sessions short and fun. Walkers, as with most dogs, will learn best from positive reinforcement and will always enjoy a good treat.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is generally a very healthy breed, but they can be prone to various health issues. Be sure to select a respected breeder who screens for genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia and various eye diseases. Due to their love for running, Walkers can be prone to hip and joint issues, so it is often recommended to give them a joint supplement. Also, be sure to check your Walker’s ears weekly; ear infections are common, and ticks and other parasites like to hide out beneath the floppy ears.
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