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The Coonhound is originally bred to hunt racoons in the United States of America. It is a type of scenthound under the hound breed group. Coonhounds are kind and often docile when at home with the family but can be quick outdoors when they pick up a scent. They are reliable and agile dogs with incredible stamina, perfect for the hunt. Coonhounds are medium to large dog breed weighing 75 to 100 pounds and standing 50 to 75 centimetres at the withers. They come in distinct breeds: Redbone, Black and Tan, Blue-Tick, Treeing Walker, Red-Tick and the Plott Hound.
Are you interested in getting any of the Coonhounds? Here is a brief background of this scenthound dog.
The origin of the Coonhound can be traced back to the ancestry of the American and Virginia Foxhounds as well as Bloodhounds that were imported from England during the colonial times.
Originally, there were the Black and Tan Coonhounds that were bred as working and hunting dogs in North America. They have been used to primarily hunt racoons as well as bobcats, cougars, deer, elks, and wild boars. Coonhounds have been used for hunting and tracking since the late 1700s.
The Coonhound has six distinct breeds. The Black and Tan Coonhound was first recognised by the United Kennel Club as an official breed in 1900. The Redbone Coonhound in 1902 followed by the Red-Tick Coonhound in 1905. The fourth Coonhound, tri-coloured Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Blue-Tick Coonhound and were recognised in 1945 and 1946 respectively. The Plott Hound, a dark brindle coloured breed was the last to be recognised in 1946. It is not yet recognised by The Kennel Club.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is a sturdy looking dog that is strong, agile with incredible stamina during a hunt. It is a medium to large dog, standing 50 to 75 centimetres and weighing between 75 and 100 pounds. The Black and Tan Coonhound’s length is usually equal to its height, albeit some are a bit longer than they are tall. Some physical characteristics inherited from its Bloodhound forefathers include its build, long low-hanging ears, cold nose and colouring. The Black and Tan Coonhound also has round, hazel and brown eyes that often look pensive.
Black and Tan Coonhounds have short and dense coats that are fine and glossy. This glossy characteristic offers this breed protection against the weather and the bush as it worked in the hunting field. The coat colours are naturally black and tan, with black being the base colour and tan appears as markings around the eyes, sides of the muzzle, chest, legs and thighs.
Brush the Black and Tan Coonhound twice or thrice a week to remove loose and dead hair, and to maintain its glossy appearance. Bathing should be done as needed. Frequent bathing may strip the Coonhound of its natural oils, which can potentially lead to skin infections and certain allergies. Other hygiene requirements include regular cleaning of the teeth and ears.
Black and Tan Coonhounds are good-natured and even-tempered. They can be outgoing and friendly despite their tough exterior. They are also sensitive and will show that they are miserable when their feelings are hurt. They are loyal and reliable companion dogs provided that they receive an adequate amount of socialisation and training.
This dog breed is intelligent but does not respond well to harsh correction or strict training methods. Providing positive reinforcement during training is essential. Considering the training required to handle a Coonhound, it is not suitable for first-time dog owners. Also, as a member of the hound family, Coonhounds will need to know the alpha in the pack which in this case is you. Letting them know who the leader is in the pack, will make obedience training easier.
Black and Tan Coonhounds are excellent family pets. They get along well with children of all ages. However, like any dogs, it should not be left unsupervised with children. Since they operate in packs, Coonhounds get on well with other dogs. However, smaller pets are a different matter. Black and Tan Coonhounds have a high prey instinct that may prove difficult to curb.
A typical serving of an adult Coonhound is 3 to 5 cups of premium quality dry dog food a day. However, the amount of servings is mainly a rough guide of an average Coonhound since each dog has different nutritional requirement depending on its size, age, build and metabolism. Activity level also plays a significant factor when it comes to a dog's calorie requirement.
For example, here's a typical calorie needs of an adult Black and Tan Coonhound per day:
For a Coonhound to grow and thrive, it will require a diet composed of high-quality animal protein for healthy bones and muscles. Coonhounds should also be served with healthy fats (such as fish oils) that promote a healthy heart and digestion. Give them kibbles with adequate fish meat and essential oils for balanced nutrition.
Coonhounds are healthy but are known to suffer from specific ailments. These ailments may include Hip Dysplasia, Cataracts, Ectropion, and Hypothyroidism. To identify these health issues, a veterinary consultation is recommended.
This dog breed is bred for active work. Thus it will require a lot of exercise. Make sure you take your Coonhound for a walk for at least an hour and a half. They have boundless energy and are so intelligent, so they will need to be given enough physical and mental stimulation to prevent them from getting bored. Like any scenthound, Coonhounds are great escape artists if given a chance especially if a strong scent is in the picture. Make sure that your yard fence is super secure to prevent them from escaping.
If you are looking to get a Black and Tan Coonhound, make sure that you are financially prepared. For instance, you need to have at least £600 to buy a Coonhound puppy from a reputable breeder. Pet insurance is another thing, which you should factor in to help you manage costs in case of accidents or sudden illnesses. You can choose between a basic cover (£20/month) and a lifetime cover (£42/month). However, paying for a pet insurance does not exempt you from other costs for veterinary consultations and initial vaccinations. You also need to add annual boosters and costs to neuter. All these treatments and procedures will quickly cost you around £1,000 annually.
Overall, owning a Coonhound will roughly cost you about £70 to £100 a month. However, the actual amount will depend on the level of insurance cover you select for your dog and the training you may wish to enrol your Coonhound.
Are you sure the Coonhound is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Can you keep a Black and Tan Coonhound as a pet dog? If you're not sure, take our Pet Finder for other selection of dog breeds.
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