The Redbone Coonhound Dog, otherwise known as Reds, are purebred dogs that are originally from the United States. Reds are classified as hounds, and such is the case with any other hounds, their main function is to hunt. Although, they are also considered exceptional companions and great family pets.
The name of the Redbone Coonhound Dog is derived from the color of it’s coat, which is a deep and rich red color. These beautiful dogs are also known by other names such as Redbone, the Redbone Hound and the Red Coon Dog.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized and registered the breed in 2009. It is AKC's 164th registered breed, and the second coonhound to be registered by the kennel club.
Reds are descendants of Red Foxhounds and Red Irish Foxhounds. It was the Scottish immigrants who brought Red Foxhounds to America in the 17th century. Red Irish Foxhounds, in comparison, were imported to the United States before the Civil War.
Hunting is not the only reason for breeding a Redbone Coonhound. There came a period when Redbone Coonhound Dog breeders focused on breeding a flashy and strong-colored red dog. Today, this breed is also desired for its beautiful appearance.
This short guide to the Redone Coonhound Dog will give you all the information that you need to decide whether this breed is right for you. If you've already adopted one of these beautiful dogs, this guide will tell you what to expect from your canine companion and give some tips for caring for this breeds unique needs.
Redbone Coonhound Dog Breed Information
Main Characteristics of Redbone Coonhounds
Redbone is the name that coon hunters called the red dogs they owned back in the day. The origin and ancestry of the dogs were not known back then. Although, they did notice the fantastic tracking skills and ability of treeing raccoons that these dogs processed.
Various breeders quickly realized the great potential in breeding a dog with even more superior skills. Breeders from then onward started breeding these dogs to develop their skills even further.
Today, Reds are considered adaptable, cooperative, quick learners and have a distinctive cold nose. These qualities make them one of the best choices for hunters wanting an honest, talented, competent companion.
The Redbone Coonhound Dog is fast and agile. They are great swimmers and possess the ability to adapt to new environments, from swamplands to hills.
Physical Characteristics of Redbone Coonhounds
The Redbone Coonhound is a breed that is medium in size, stocky and sturdy. Their coats are distinguishingly of a deep-red color, sleek, short and coarse. This unique coat provides protection while hunting.
They have big muzzles in proportion to their general body size. They have clean and muscular shoulders and a cat-paw type feet structure that is compact and well-padded. The toes are well adopted to hunting, with nails that are set well.
The brown to hazel colored eyes are round in shape, set apart, with eyelids that do not droop. Their ears are set low and fine in texture. The Redbone Coonhound Dog has a neck that is generally held erect and proud, together with a slight folding in the area of the throat.
The average height of the Redbone Coonhound 21 – 27 inches (53 – 66 cm). The average weight of this breed is 50 – 70 pounds (23 – 32 kg). The Redbone Coonhound Dog has a lifespan of about 11-12 years.
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Personality Characteristics of Redbone Coonhounds
Reds are tireless and fearless hunters. They are strong, dedicated, determined, full of energy, persistent and relentless, especially during a hunt. However, they are also friendly, affectionate, sweet and sensitive. They can be exceptionally good pets, especially when they grow up within the family.
These dogs can suffer from separation anxiety or get bored easily and become destructive when left alone.
The Redbone Coonhound Dog is a working dog. They can track and hunt their prey for a long period, even when the trail has gone cold. They are active and have a high prey drive. Reds, however, are said to be one of the most relaxed and laid-back of the Coonhound breeds.
They cannot stand to be alone. They are energetic, full of energy and need physical activities to stimulate their mind.
Who Would be a Suitable Owner?
The Redbone Coonhound is not recommended for new owners. This breed needs a firm but loving owner, confident and consistent. The independence, energy, and assertiveness of the breed may just prove to be difficult to handle for new owners.
Redbone Coonhound Dog owners should be willing to spend a lot of time with their canine companion. If they are not willing to do so or they do not have the time, it is suggested that they do not purchase a Redbone.
This breed absolutely needs to be entertained with stimulating activities, else they will become rambunctious. They will definitely find a way to entertain themselves, even if that means chewing at their owner’s shoes or destroying items in the yard.
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How Will My Dog React to Other People and Pets?
The Redbone Coonhound Dog is friendly, sweet and loving, especially to his family. This might not hold true, though, if faced with a stranger. They may react differently to people they do not know and the ones they do recognize.
However, any aggressiveness and naughtiness of the dog might be curbed if the Redbone has been exposed to other people before. If they had the chance to socialize with people at a young age, they will be more prone to friendliness towards strangers.
As with the dog's interaction with strangers, Reds tend to be on friendly terms with other pets if they are able to socialize with them starting at an early age. They can even be friendly with a cat if they grew up together.
However, as they have a high prey drive and are known hunters, they still have a tendency to run after other cats and smaller animals. Reds can be friendly with pets in their own homes, but they may also hurt the pets of other neighbors.
Along with barking at strangers, the Redbone Coonhound Dog may bark at other stimulation as well. They can adapt to city life, however, they have a tendency to bark a lot. If you have neighbors who are sensitive to sound and noise, expect that you will either need to move or choose not to own a Redbone.
How to Train A Redbone Coonhound Dog
Start training your Redbone Coonhound Dog at an early age. They will be easier to train and will be less stubborn. Early training will also help in establishing who is the leader and the boss between the two of you.
A young Redbone will find ways to test you at every corner in order to establish with what they can get away with, thus making them harder to train. Yet, once they have learned the command, will they retain the knowledge of it easily.
Redbone Coonhounds are sensitive, therefore will you need a lot of patience and positive optimism during training. They love food, thus food can be used as a good reward and positive reinforcement. Although, ensure it is a treat you never otherwise give to them. This treat needs to be reserved for training only.
Reds are quite creative in interpreting your commands.
You have to ensure your Red knows that you are the boss. Do not let him get away with anything that you don't actually want him to do. They can be naughty at times. Remember, once the Redbone has learned something, it will be difficult to undo and remove it.
These dogs have a tendency to change or twist a direction that you give them. Therefore, ensure during training that you correct any commands not done as instructed. You need to be sure that you are strict and consistent with your training method or these dogs will quickly take advantage.
How to Care For A Redbone Coonhound Dog
Redbones are not a high maintenance dog breed. They don’t require a lot of grooming and rarely require the services of a professional groomer. Luckily, they also don’t tend to shed hair that much. They just need brushing or a wipe-down of their coats from time to time as needed.
When Reds see water, they dive in. These dogs love to swim! If your dog goes for a swim more than once a month, regular bathing won't be required very often. The only time a Redbone Coonhound Dog really needs a washing is when they get into something they shouldn't. If they're dirty or smelly, it's time to get in the tub.
The ears should be kept clean with approved cleansers and a cotton ball, NEVER with a cotton swab. You'll also need to keep up with your dog's dental care. His teeth should be cleaned weekly to prevent bad breath, tartar buildup and maintain healthy gums.
A Redbone Coonhound Dog should have his nails trimmed monthly. Reds tend to wear down their nails more often than other dogs. They are quite active and can damage a nail or two during hunting. Ingrown nails can become a problem as well, but this issue needs to be dealt with by a professional groomer or veterinarian.
Redbone Coonhound Dog Health Concerns
Generally, Redbone Coonhounds are healthy. However, there are some common ailments that this breed is susceptible to. They include:
- Hip Dysplasia – Dysplasia can also happen in the elbows.
- Overeating – This is one of the reasons why a Redbone Coonhound Dog needs to have regular exercise. The Reds' diet should be regulated and checked. Portions should be distributed according to needs only and not left in a self-service machine type dog food dispenser.
- Eye problems – This breed can also be susceptible to eye problems. It is therefore recommended to check thiry eyes regularly, especially if you take your Red outdoors or on hunting expeditions often.
- Hypothyroidism – This is a condition that effects the thyroid gland located in your dog's neck. This gland produces a hormone called thyroxine, which controls his metabolism. With this condition, the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine. This condition causes hair loss and coat deterioration, dry skin, weight gain, sluggishness, muscle loss, a slower heart rate, ear infections and other serious health complications.
- Ear Infections
- Dental issues
Where to Adopt A Redbone Coonhound Dog?
If you're looking to add a Redbone Coonhound Dog to your family, you have the option of adopting one from a shelter or rescue organization or purchasing a puppy from a breeder. Because the Redbone Coonhound isn't one of the top most popular dog breeds, it may be difficult to find one at your local shelter.
There are some breed specific rescues that focus on hound dogs, but there may not be one located in your area. If you're set on adopting this breed, the quickest way will likely be to work with a breeder.
As with adopting any breed, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing a Redbone Coonhound Dog breeder. Finding a recommended and registered breeder is always a good option. Refrain from purchasing a puppy whose parentage is unknown, or that you have not inspected first.
Health certifications and other paperwork will be easily completed and relayed to you if the breeder is legit and knows what should be done. Money is low on the priority list and finding a good home is the goal.
Good breeders will welcome questions. They will also be asking questions on what kind of home the prospective owner will be able to give the puppy. They can also provide tips and advice on caring for your Redbone Coonhound Dog.
Research the puppy and the breed that you will be getting as you would when you want to buy a car, a house, or say an appliance. It will save you money in the long run. Buying a puppy from the web is not recommended, as you will not know the details of the puppy you are getting.
Consider if you will get a puppy or an adult Redbone Coonhound Dog. Note that more patience, effort and time will be spent for puppies. Reds need training from an early age.
One can also opt to adopt a Redbone from a shelter or rescue. In such cases, here are some tips:
- Use the Web: Visit sites such as Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com. AnimalShelter can also help. Visit sites such as the National Redbone Coonhound Association. Most of these groups are fond of the breed you are interested in, and can point you in the right direction.
- Talk to Local Pet Professionals: Groomers, veterinarians, walkers, and other pet professionals.
- Contact Breed Rescue: Network with people in pet or breed rescue programs. Foster programs also exist at some rescue organizations that will allow you to take one home and see how it goes from there.
Whether you're adopting a puppy or an adult Redbone Coonhound Dog, there are some questions that need to be answered.
- What is the energy level of this particular puppy/dog?
- How does the dog relate to other people, children or other animals?
- What is the temperament and characteristics of the dog?
- Is the dog house trained?
- Does the dog have any health issues?
- Is the parentage of the dog known?
And, remember that as soon as your new puppy (or adult Red) arrives, take him/her to the Vet for proper inspection and to get all vaccines up to date. This will help ensure that preventive measures on possible health issues and concerns is prevented.
Each of us is looking for the perfect pet, the right that will fit into our unique circumstances and/or family. If you know what characteristics you love, and what you won't like at all, it will be easier to choose. Always study the particular breed you are interested in beforehand.
If you feel it's right that you own a Redbone Coonhound, then go get one. Go with your instinct and do take good care of your new friend. If you take care of him, your Redbone Coonhound Dog will take care of you.
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