- What is the history of the Coonhound?
- Why do I see so many different color Coonhounds?
- What is the personality of the Coonhound?
- Are Coonhounds "runners"?
- Are Coonhound good with kids?
- Are Coonhounds stubborn?
- Are Coonhound noisy dogs?
- What is "nose deafness"?
- Are Coonhounds good with other animals?
- How is the Coonhounds health?
- Do Coonhounds make good pets?
Links to other detailed CoonHound Information:
- Black and Tan Coonhound - Wikipedia
- Black and Tan Coonhound- TerrificPets.com
- RedBone Coonhound - Wikipedia
- RedBone Coonhound - Terrificpets.com
- Bluetick Coonhound - Wikipedia
- Bluetick Coonhound - DogBreedInfo.com
- English (redtick) Coonhound - DogBreedInfo.com
- English (redtick) Coonhound - Wikipedia
- Treeing Walker Coonhound - WIkipedia
- Treeing Walker Coonhound - greatdogsite.com
- Plott hound - Wikipedia
- Plott Hound - DogBreedInfo.com
The History of the Coonhound is somewhat varied depending on which breed of Coonhound is being discussed. A generalized history would be that when settlers came to America they found themselves in terrain that was unfamiliar and with game species, like Racoon, that were not available in Europe. These settlers took European Hounds and specialized them to hunt in their new surroundings. From this selective breeding came hounds like the Black and Tan, the Bluetick, and others.
It is generally accepted that there a 6 breeds of Coonhound. Some people include other breeds like Cur dogs and Leopard dogs when counting Coonhound breeds. Some exclude breeds like the Redtick or English from their count sighting that they are color variations of the same dog. We do not include Dogs like the Cur and Leopard dogs in our count ...though they are commonly used for Raccoon hunting they are not of the same lineage as dogs like the Black and Tan and Bluetick. The 6 breeds of Coonhound most commonly recognized are the Black and Tan, The Treeing Walker, The RedBone, The Bluetick, The Redtick ( or English), and the Plott Hound. Each breed of Coonhound, while close in lineage ( except for the Plott which was bred from German Bear hounds), are distinct breeds and have some characteristics unique to their breed.
Many people refer to the Coonhound as a "big Beagle". This is only partly true. While the Coonhound shares some of the Beagles traits, like being a generally cooperative and well mannered dog. These similarities are happenstance from breeding for similar purposes. ( IE: both Coonhounds and Beagles generally hunt in groups,many times with other dogs they do not know and have never met). They are as well scent hounds, so they typically follow their noses...but that is where the similarities end. The Coonhound is a different dog than the Beagle. If the Beagle can be described and a curious dog, the Coonhound should be called driven. The Beagle goes about its hunting task as much for fun and to satisfy its curious nature. The Coonhound is somewhat more serious in its demeanor. The Coonhound has more of a "working dog" temperament. Having read that back I feel like some may take these comments as a bad thing, This is not the case. This more serious manner of the Coonhound also makes them somewhat more trainable and more versatile in some tasks than the Beagle.
We find the Coonhound is generally more easily trained to respond to spoken command and recall commands than other breeds of hound. WITH THAT SAID...one should keep in mind that the breeding of the Coonhound is similar to the Beagle and other hounds and they can be wanderers. The Coonhound is prized in the hunting community for its focus and determination. They are trained by hunters that there is no such thing as an obstacle. If there is something in the way of a Coonhound getting to quarry it wants to chase, the Coonhound will find a way to go over, around, under, or through what is keeping it from its quarry. The Coonhound that cannot be trained is rare however. The most determined Coonhound can be trained to not "misbehave" given the proper motivation.
Coonhounds are good with kids and make good family dogs. If I had to point to a failing in this regard it would be that the Coonhound is not always fully aware of their size. As a pet they are playful and interactive. They will romp with the best of them but caution need be taken regarding young children who can get knocked down and run over. The Coonhound is typically patient and cooperative with children and those that are not are viewed as problem dogs. So strong is the Coonhounds reputation as a good kid and family dog that dogs who do show intolerance are strongly frowned upon by most in the Hound community.
Coonhounds are not guilty of the famous stubborn streaks of the Basset and the Beagle. They are STILL NOT Labradors or Shepard's, but are more cooperative than other hound breeds. The Coonhounds, like all hounds, will show single minded focus and stubbornness when actively hunting or tracking quarry. IT is the responsibility of owners to learn their dogs body language to recognize excitement levels and deter hunts before they begin if such behaviors are an issue.
Much of this is based on the individual animal. Some Coonhounds can use their voice more than others. Like the Beagle this is many times due to environment. Coonhounds do not typically use their voice without reason. Owners might not always agree with the Coonhounds reasons. Also, like the Beagle, the Coonhound has a big voice. In comparison to a Beagle the Coonhound has a huge voice. The Coonhound is meant to be heard for long distances through dense woods and cover. This means the Coonhounds song can carry well and people living in apartments or confined quarters might have to take some time to find a individual dog who is not as prone to bark or find a breed with less vocal capability.
Nose deafness is a slang terminology for the Hounds tendency to not listen when scenting. We say "the nose turns on and the brain turns off". Hounds are driven by their noses. It is their nature. If you are more accustomed to dogs who will leave behind interesting scents to respond to your commands , you might consider a different breed or dog.
This somewhat depends on the individual dog. As a general rule, Coonhounds are good with other dogs but may ned to be supervised with other animals. The Coonhound is a very intelligent dog. It learns well and can learn to live with other animals when supervised. The Coonhound is smart enough to make distinctions. As an example, a coonhound can learn to live your pet cat in the house...but will hunt the neighbors outdoor cat. The Coonhound is still held VERY close to its hunting heritage. Most Coonhounds you meet were either once hunters themselves or, at the very least, their parents were hunting dogs. ( this is not as true of the Black and Tan). This close proximity to their heritage means you will need to keep an ACTIVE eye on Coonhounds around animals other than dogs. We come across as many Coonhounds who are fine with any and all other animals as we do those whom are not.
I mentioned above that Coonhounds are still held very close to their hunting heritage. One thing that this heritage has done for the Coonhound is maintained a fairly healthy breed of dog. Coonhounds are no more prone to any given illness's than any other breed. Allergies are likely the most common issue we see in Coonhounds. They are NOT prone to hip and joint issues like many other medium/large breed dogs. A condition called Coonhound Paralysis shows up from time to time but is not common. They, like any long eared dog, will need ears and jowls maintained to ward off infections.
We often hear that Coonhounds cannot be pets. We hear people say that they are hunting dogs, outdoor dogs, and you should not bring them into your home. Those people are quite wrong...dare I say DEAD WRONG. The Coonhound makes a great pet. the belief that they are strictly outdoor hunting dogs is a myth. I will admit that Coonhounds not accustomed to home life will take some more effort to train than will a Labrador or Shepard...and like all hounds those seeking Coonhounds as pets will need a good sense of humor. The truth is that the Coonhound is more easily trained and more cooperative than many other hound breeds. The Coonhound is intelligent and cooperative. The difference between the Coonhound and your neighbors Labrador would be this...you neighbor might never need to take his Labrador through formal training to have a well behaved, easy to live with, dog. The Coonhound on the other hand will need training and is best with those whom have some experience with dogs. We would not suggest a Coonhound as a first pet.