Breed Type: Hound
Country of Origin: USA
Also Known As:  Reds
Size:  Medium Large
Height: 57-69cm Weight: 20-32kg
Exercise Requirements: High
Care Requirements: Medium
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Best Suited as: Family Pet or hunting dog

The Redbone Coonhound is a hound dog breeds in the US but was still used as a hunting dog on occasion are more often than not now seen as family pets.

History
At the end of the 19 hundreds as America grew and grew in wealth, a great many different hound dog breeds were imported into the US for use by rich landowners wishing to emulate  the hunting traditions undertaken by the English aristocracy.  Many breeds were imported including the foxhounds the Welsh hound the Beagle and others.

Whilst these dogs were well suited for hunting foxes through light would lead though not all suited to the more difficult terrain of the southern US nor would they up to the challenge facing down the often seen larger and more dangerous prey on offer to hunters such as bears cougars porcupines and raccoons. These hound dogs were used to their prey scurrying down the hole to be extracted by a terrier and then later shot by a hunter a close range. This is a far different proposition to cornering a raccoon, Cougar or bear that were far more likely to turn fight or race up a tree that flee down the whole.

Faced with these challenges the US hunters realised they needed a larger dog with higher stamina and bravery and thus began the development of the modern coonhounds. They remain to this day popular hunting dogs though they are also seen as family pets and dog shows.

They have not yet made their way to Australia where the preferred hunting dogs are powerfully built bullterrier cross style dogs capable of taking on a feral pig.

Appearance
Their build and appearance is similar to that of the Hungarian Vizsla, they are lean and muscular, well proportioned and athletic. They have long straight legs a deep barrel chest, their tails and head held high than a hunting or running. Their faces expressive if somewhat sad looking this look amplified by their long drooping ears.

The coat is short and red, the colouring likely gained from the English foxhound for which they derive much of their genetic background. In early versions black were sometimes seen but now red is the only colour of the breed.  The nose is always black and they sometimes have some black on their face and muzzle.  They are excellent swimmers on their toes webbed to aid them in the water.

Though males are clearly more masculine than females they are not massively larger in size.

Temperament
Typical of hound dogs the Redbone Coonhound makes a wonderful pet though owner should be aware that they are very different in temperament to say a labrador.They are affectionate and demonstrate this to their owners very willingly but they don’t have a desire to please their owners in almost fervent fashion as seen in retrievers.  They have intelligence and are trainable but primarily they are hunters and should they get on the trail of their quarry they may exhibit selective deafness if you try and call away from it. Yelling at them is unlikely to bring a good result as they are easily offended far better to train them with gentle encouragement the military adherence to a baying of rules.

They are vocal when hunting and can be vocal in the backyard as well if they smell something that he deserves their attention.  They are very alert to different smells sights and sounds around their backyard and the they make excellent watchdogs and backyard protectors. They have a deep and booming bark which will deter most intruders.

Puppies and adolescents can be somewhat silly and destructive and need lots of entertainment this they decide to find their own bid through the chewing of shoes the digging up of the garden or solving the problem that is getting the lead of the garbage in order to empty its contents.

Regardless of their size they are gentle and patient with young children and will take high levels of punishment.  Small children and older persons have more to fear from being knocked over by abounding Redbone Coonhound than from ever being bitten by one.

Health
Bred to hunt they are remarkably healthy breed with no known genetic health problems being associated with the breed.

Exercise Requirements
The Redbone Coonhound was built to run and run and it as a result has high exercise requirements. Failure to provide adequate strenuous exercise will lead them with access energy which they will use poorly on tasks such as exploring everything under the flowers in your garden ensuring everything that seems even remotely chewable. Daily exercise with them covering at least 5 km is required.

Suitability as a Pet
They make wonderful pets but as the breed is not currently recognised by the AKC in there are no Redbone Coonhound breeders in Australia the problem is not so much their suitability as a pet rather it is their inaccessibility as a pet. For now until someone decides to import some and started breeding program we recommend instead considering the Hungarian Vizsla