The Coonhound was originally bred to hunt racoons in the United States of America. It is a type of scent hound under the Hound Breed Group. The Coonhound is kind and often docile when at home with the family, but can be quick outdoors when it picks up a scent. It is a reliable and agile dog breed with an incredible stamina that is perfect for the hunt. Coonhound is a medium to large dog breed weighing 75–100 pounds and standing 50–75 centimetres at the withers. It comes in distinct breeds: redbone, black and tan, blue-tick, treeing walker, red-tick, and the plott hound.
Are you interested in getting any Coonhound? Here is a brief background of this scent-hound 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, the black and tan Coonhounds were bred as working and hunting dogs in North America. The breed has been used to primarily hunt racoons as well as bobcats, cougars, deer, elks, and wild boars. The Coonhound has 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 was recognised in 1902, followed by the red-tick Coonhound in 1905. The tricoloured treeing walker Coonhound and the blue-tick Coonhound 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.
Appearance and Grooming
The black and tan Coonhound is a sturdy-looking dog that is strong and agile with incredible stamina during a hunt. It is a medium to large dog, standing 50–75 centimetres and weighing between 75–100 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.
The black and tan Coonhound has a short and dense coat that is fine and glossy. This glossy characteristic offers this breed protection against the weather and the bush as it works 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.
Temperament and Intelligence
The black and tan Coonhound is good-natured and even-tempered. It can be outgoing and friendly despite its tough exterior. It is also sensitive and will show that it is miserable when its feelings are hurt. It is a loyal and reliable companion dog provided that it receives 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, the Coonhound will need to know the alpha in the pack, which in this case is you. Letting it know who the leader is in the pack will make obedience training easier.
The black and tan Coonhound is an excellent family pet. It gets along well with children of all ages. However, like any dogs, it should not be left unsupervised with children. Since it operates in packs, the Coonhound gets on well with other dogs. However, smaller pets are a different matter. The black and tan Coonhound has a high prey instinct that may prove difficult to curb.
Nutrition and Feeding
A typical serving for an adult Coonhound is three to five cups of premium-quality dry dog food a day. However, the amount of serving is mainly a rough guide for 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 are the typical calorie needs of an adult black and tan Coonhound per day:
- Senior and less active: up to 1,140 calories daily
- Typical adult: up to 1,390 calories daily
- Physically active: up to 2,200 calories daily
For a coonhound to grow and thrive, it will require a diet composed of high-quality animal protein for healthy bones and muscles. The coonhound should also be served with healthy fats (such as fish oil) that promote a healthy heart and digestion. Give it kibbles with adequate fish meat and essential oils for balanced nutrition.
Health and Exercise
The Coonhound is healthy, but it is 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 to take your Coonhound for a walk for at least an hour and a half. It has boundless energy and is very intelligent, so it will need to be given enough physical and mental stimulation to prevent it from getting bored. Like any scent hound, the Coonhound is a great escape artist if given a chance, especially if a strong scent is in the picture. Make sure that your yard fence is super secure to prevent it from escaping.
Cost of Ownership
If you are looking to get a black and tan Coonhound, you may need to spend at least £600 for a well-bred puppy from a reputable breeder. There is a chance that you will go on a waiting list as this a rare breed in the UK. To manage costs in case of sudden illness or in case of accidents, consider buying pet insurance. You can choose between a basic cover that costs £20 a month and a lifetime cover that costs £42 a month.
Paying for pet insurance does not exempt you from other costs like veterinary consultations and initial vaccinations, annual boosters, and costs to spay or neuter. All these treatments and procedures will cost about £1,000 annually. Additional outgoings include high-quality food and treats that can set you back £30-40 a month depending on the brand you choose. You also need to consider the initial cost for basic equipment and dog accessories such as lead, collar, bowl, bed, and others. You may need to pay about £150-£200 for these things.
Overall, owning a coonhound will roughly cost about £70–£100 a month. However, the actual amount will depend on the type of insurance cover you select for your dog and the training you may wish to enrol your Coonhound.
Coonhound Breed Highlights
- The Coonhound, being a scent hound, gets easily distracted by various scents.
- It is extremely active and will need at least sixty minutes of daily exercise.
- The Coonhound may not be recommended for new dog owners.
- The Coonhound is gentle and even-tempered.
- It may not be trusted around smaller pets due to its strong prey instincts.
- The Coonhound is intelligent, but may be challenging to train.
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