Everything You Need to Know About the Redbone Coonhound Dog Breed

If you’re looking for a loyal, affectionate, and energetic dog, the Redbone Coonhound might be the breed for you. This American hunting dog is known for its striking appearance, distinctive baying voice, and ability to track game for miles.

History of the Redbone Coonhound

Origins and Ancestry

The Redbone Coonhound’s origins can be traced back to the late 18th century in the southern United States, where hunters needed a dog that could track raccoons and other game through dense forests and across rough terrain. The breed likely descends from Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and other scent hounds brought over by European settlers.

These early settlers quickly realized that the terrain in the southern United States was unlike anything they had encountered in Europe. The dense forests and swamps were home to a variety of game, including raccoons, which were a popular source of food and fur. However, tracking these animals was no easy feat. The settlers needed a dog with a keen sense of smell and the stamina to keep up with the raccoons, which could run for miles before finally taking refuge in a tree.

As a result, the Redbone Coonhound was developed to meet these specific needs. Breeders focused on producing a dog with a keen sense of smell, a strong hunting drive, and the endurance to run for hours without tiring. The breed’s striking red coat also became a distinguishing feature, making it easier for hunters to spot their dogs in the dense forests.

Development in the United States

The Redbone Coonhound was developed primarily in Tennessee and Georgia. These states were home to some of the most skilled and dedicated hunters in the country, who were always on the lookout for the perfect hunting dog.

One of the most famous breeders of Redbone Coonhounds was George F.L. Birdsong. Birdsong was a wealthy landowner who lived in Georgia in the late 19th century. He was passionate about hunting and spent years developing the perfect Redbone Coonhound. His dogs were known for their exceptional hunting skills and were highly sought after by other hunters in the area.

Another influential breeder of Redbone Coonhounds was Red Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a Tennessee native who began breeding Redbones in the early 20th century. His dogs were known for their endurance and tenacity, and he is credited with helping to establish the breed’s reputation as a top-notch hunting dog.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Redbone Coonhound was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1902 and the American Kennel Club in 2009. Today, the breed is still primarily used for hunting, but also makes a loyal and loving companion for active families.

Despite their hunting prowess, Redbone Coonhounds are also known for their friendly and outgoing personalities. They are great with children and make excellent family pets for those who lead an active lifestyle. They require regular exercise and plenty of mental stimulation, but with the right training and socialization, they can make wonderful additions to any home.

In addition to their hunting and companion roles, Redbone Coonhounds have also been used in search and rescue operations. Their keen sense of smell and ability to navigate rough terrain make them valuable assets in emergency situations.

Physical Characteristics

The Redbone Coonhound is a beautiful and athletic breed that possesses a number of distinctive physical characteristics. In this section, we will take a closer look at the size and weight, coat and color, and other unique features of this beloved breed.

Size and Weight

As mentioned, the Redbone Coonhound is a medium to large-sized dog, with males typically being larger than females. These dogs stand at an impressive 22-27 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 45-70 pounds. Despite their size, Redbone Coonhounds are graceful and agile, with a lean, muscular build that allows them to move quickly and easily through rough terrain.

Coat and Color

The Redbone Coonhound’s coat is one of its most distinctive features. This breed has a short, sleek coat that comes in a rich, deep red color. The coat is dense and glossy, with a soft texture that is a pleasure to pet. Although these dogs do shed lightly, regular brushing can help keep their coat looking healthy and shiny.

Distinctive Features

In addition to their striking coat, Redbone Coonhounds have a number of other unique physical features. One of the most notable of these is their long, floppy ears. These ears serve an important purpose, helping to trap scent and allowing the dog to track game with great accuracy. The breed’s expressive brown eyes are also a defining characteristic, conveying their friendly and outgoing nature.

Another distinctive feature of the Redbone Coonhound is their loud, melodic bark. This bark is used to alert hunters to the presence of game, and is often described as being musical or even soulful. It is a sound that is instantly recognizable to those who know and love this breed.

Overall, the Redbone Coonhound is a breed that is both beautiful and functional. Their unique physical characteristics make them well-suited to their role as hunting dogs, while also endearing them to those who appreciate their beauty and charm.

Personality and Temperament

Redbone Coonhounds are a breed of dog that is known for their upbeat and outgoing personalities. They are typically happy, affectionate dogs who thrive on attention and positive reinforcement. These dogs are very social and love to be around people. They are great with children and make excellent family pets.

Redbone Coonhounds are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners. They are very protective of their family and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe. These dogs have a lot of energy and love to play, making them a great choice for families with children.

General Disposition

Redbone Coonhounds have a very friendly and outgoing personality. They are always eager to meet new people and make new friends. These dogs are very affectionate and love to be around their owners. They are also very intelligent and have a lot of energy, which makes them great for families with children.

These dogs were originally bred to hunt in packs, so they tend to do well in households with other pets or children. They are very social animals and enjoy being part of a group. They are also very active and require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Intelligence and Trainability

Redbone Coonhounds are intelligent dogs who respond well to positive reinforcement methods like treats and praise. They are very eager to please their owners and will work hard to learn new things. However, like most hounds, Redbone Coonhounds can be independent thinkers and will need consistent, positive training to reinforce good behavior.

These dogs have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They love to play and enjoy learning new things. They are very curious and love to explore their surroundings. This makes them great for families who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Socialization and Compatibility with Other Animals

Redbone Coonhounds are pack animals and generally do well around other pets and animals. They are very social and enjoy playing with other dogs and animals. However, early socialization is important to teach them appropriate play and interaction with other dogs and animals.

These dogs are very loyal and protective of their family. They will do whatever it takes to keep their family safe and happy. They are also very affectionate and love to cuddle with their owners.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Redbone Coonhounds are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. These can include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and ear infections. Working with a reputable breeder and scheduling regular checkups with a veterinarian can help identify and address any potential health concerns.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care, like regular checkups with a veterinarian, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, can help keep Redbone Coonhounds healthy and happy throughout their lives. They also benefit from regular grooming, including ear cleaning, brushing, and nail trimming.

Expected Lifespan

On average, Redbone Coonhounds live to be around 11-12 years old. However, with proper care and attention, some can live well into their teens.


If you’re searching for a loyal and friendly hunting dog or a loving companion for an active family, the Redbone Coonhound may be the breed for you. With their striking appearance, distinctive bark, and affectionate personalities, these dogs have captured the hearts of many dog lovers.

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