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Everything You Need To Know About Redbone Coonhound Breed

Last Updated - August 31, 2022

The Redbone Coonhound is a stunningly gorgeous hound breed with a winning personality and an appetite for life. These dogs love their people and love to be included in everything their families do. Redbone Coonhound's good manners and laid-back nature makes them great pets to include in life and wonderful, easy daily companions. So is the Redbone Coonhound, the dog for you?

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability

Apartment Living

How easily a dog deals with living in an apartment. Despite the dog's size, you should also consider energy level, calmness, and friendliness.

Being Alone

Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to panic and separation anxiety when left alone. When left alone, they can become very destructive, bark, whine, chew and cause mayhem. These breeds do best in a home with a family member around during the day, can go to work with their owner, or recommend attending doggy day care if the owner is not home during the day.

Sensitivity Level

Low sensitivity dogs are easygoing, tolerant, and resilient. They can handle a noisy and chaotic household, a loud or assertive owner, and tolerate an inconsistent or variable routine.

Tolerate Cold Climate

Short coat and little to no coat breeds are vulnerable to cold climates. These breeds will have a low cold tolerance and need to live inside in a cool climate and should have a jacket or sweater on for chilly walks.

Tolerate Warm Climate

Breeds with a thick and double coat are vulnerable to overheating. Breeds with a short nose and flat face are also vulnerable as they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If these breeds of dog live in a warm and humid environment, you will need to be extra cautious about taking them outdoor in the heat.

Friendliness

Cat Friendly

Friendliness towards cats and humans is very different. Some breeds are gentle and accept cats readily as part of the family. Some breeds will chase, fight, or rough play with a cat and cause severe injury. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Dog Friendly

Friendliness towards other dogs. Some dogs may try to dominate other dogs and attack and fight, while others would rather play. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation.

Family Friendly

How affectionate a breed is likely to be with family members or other people he knows well. Some breeds are independent, some breeds can be aloof with everyone but their owner, while others treat everyone they know like it's their best friend.
Breed, however, isn't the only factor affecting affection levels. Proper socialization and training can improve the situation.

Kid Friendly

Kid-friendly dogs should be gentle with children, be more tolerant of screaming and running children as well as other children's behavior.

Openness To Strangers

How welcoming a breed is likely to be towards strangers. Some dogs will greet a stranger with wagging tails, while others are shy, reserved, cautious, or aggressive. However, no matter the breed, proper socialization, and training can improve the situation. 

Health And Grooming

Coat Grooming Frequency

Amount of bathing, brushing, trimming, and professional grooming needs. Consider how much time, patience, and budget you have for this type of care when looking at the grooming effort needed. All breeds require regular nail trimming.

Drooling Level

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm or wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine. But if you are a neat freak, dogs that are drool prone may not be the right choice for you.

General Health

Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems. However, this doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases, and it just means that they're at an increased risk.
If you're adopting or rescuing a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.
If you are purchasing from a breeder, be sure to do your research. Purchase from a reputable breeder and ask for the parent's health records to understand what potential health issue your pup may have.

Shedding Level

Amount and frequency of dog hair shedding.

If you are getting a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. 

Trainability

Easy To Train

Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt, an action, and a reward (such as treats, appraise, or toys). Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.

Intelligence

Dogs bred for jobs requiring decision-making, intelligence, and concentration, need to exercise their brains. Such as, dogs bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they can become destructive and exhibit behaviors such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

Potential To Mouthiness

Common in most breeds during the puppy stage. Mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need the training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy squeaky toys, as well as a good chew on a toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Prey Drive

Dogs who were bred to hunt have an inborn desire to chase--and sometimes kill. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, or rabbits, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small animals. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase. But you'll probably have difficulty getting their attention when birds fly by.

Bark Or Howl Tendencies

Some breeds are more vocal than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. While some breeds will bark at every passing bird, some may use other sounds to express themselves.

Physical And Mental Needs

Energy Level

The amount of physical and mental stimulation a breed needs. High-energy breeds are ready to go and eager for their next adventure. Low-energy breeds are like couch potatoes - they're happy to lay around and sleep.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.

Mental Stimulation

How much mental stimulation a breed needs to stay happy and healthy. Purpose-bred dogs can have jobs that require decision-making, problem-solving, concentration, or other qualities. Without the brain exercise they need, they can be destructive and have unwanted behavior issues.

Territorial

A dog's inclination to be protective of his family members, home, yard, or even car.

Watchdog Ability

A breed's tendency to alert you that strangers are around. These breeds are more likely to react to any potential threat, whether it's the mailman or a squirrel outside the window.

Origin of Redbone Coonhounds

The Redbone Coonhound dog breed is a hound group breed that originates in the US, primarily in the southeastern parts of the US, specifically Georgia. They were originally a breed developed from foxhounds brought to the US in the late 18th century by Scottish immigrants. The Redbone Coonhound was bred for raccoon hunting skills and was crossed with Irish hounds and possibly bloodhounds.  

The breed was thoroughly established by the late 19th century. United Kennel Club recognized the coonhound breed in 1902. It was the second coonhound breed to gain recognition, and the American Kennel Club recognized it in 2009 into the hound group. However, the breed is still quite rare outside of the US.

While one might assume that their name originated with the striking color of a Redbone Coonhound, the name actually comes from the name of one of the early breeders, Peter Redbone. Original Redbone Coonhounds were not solid red either, and they had a black saddleback, which eventually was bred out, leaving just a solid, deep red mahogany coat. 

gender
male

Height: 22-27"

Weight: 45-70 lbs

female

Height: 21-25"

Weight: 45-65 lbs

Life Span: 10-12

Breed Group: Miscellaneous Class

Size 

Redbone Coonhounds are medium to large size dog breeds, growing to heights of 21-27 inches and weighing anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds full grown.

Personality 

The Redbone Coonhound has a very mild-mannered and easy-going personality. They are energetic, smart, friendly, loving, independent, and loyal, bringing together all of the best dog qualities in one complex yet mild dog companion.

Redbone Coonhound in backyard

Image source: Instagram @theycallme_otis

Appearance/Colors

The standard for a Redbone Coonhound is a deep red or mahogany coat, usually always solid red, though a dark muzzle or some white on the chest are still considered acceptable or normal for the breed. Their coats are very short and smooth.

Temperament

The Redbone Coonhound's temperament is very mild. They are great family dogs, but their friendliness will not make them good guard dogs since they are ready to befriend strangers and newcomers of all kinds.

They do well with children though they may not be a good fit for families with very small children due to high energy levels. They are not a clingy breed of dog but still will always want to be included in family activities. They make great companions for individuals with busy lifestyles that they can be included in. 

Diet/Nutritional Needs

Dietary needs vary slightly from dog to dog, so always consult your vet about the correct amount of food for your dog's age, size, and lifestyle. Most Redbones will eat about a cup and a half of dry food a day, and it is best to split this up between two meals rather than one big meal or free feeding to reduce digestive issues. Try a slow feeder bowl or automatic dog feeders for small portion meals. These dogs are prone to overeating, so be sure to monitor your dog's eating and what treats or food scraps he is getting to ensure that your dog does not gain unhealthy weight. 

Activity/Exercise Needs

One of the main considerations when determining if the Redbone Coonhound is a good choice for you is whether you have the time and availability to keep up with their relatively high exercise needs. As an energetic hunting breed, Redbone Coonhounds will need a lot of daily exercises to keep out of trouble and stay in optimal health.

A Redbone Coonhound will need at least 90 minutes of exercise daily, either in walking, jogging, running, dog sports, or swimming. They are easily bored, so it is good to switch it up often and let them explore new places to keep them engaged. This is not a breed of dog you should ever let off leash if you are not in a safely fenced-in area. As scent-hounds, they will take off after a smell that piques their interest and will take off fast and far margin them very hard to get back. They are prone to wanderlust, so, in addition to rigorous training, you will want to ensure that you always keep your Redbone on a leash whenever you are out and about.

Grooming Needs

One thing that makes Redbone Coonhounds an attractive choice is that they are pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their short coats don't shed much and can be easily kept under control with a weekly brushing. The dog hair stays relatively clean and only needs to be bathed as needed. 

Their floppy ears will require careful inspection and regular cleaning to check for and prevent irritation or infection. You will want to get in the habit of brushing your puppy's teeth a few times a week so that it adjusts as it grows up. Nails should be kept short to prevent tearing or splitting. This breed has a mild potential for drooling but is not nearly as high as other coonhound breeds.

Adaptability

Redbone Coonhounds are fairly flexible and adaptable dogs. They are not clingy and can handle being on their own for small amounts of time, provided they have acceptable ways to entertain themselves. They are prone to loud baying, which can be problematic for apartment living. 

Redbone Coonhound's high prey drive may make relationships with other pets challenging. Still, if they are socialized well when they are puppies and introduced to household pets at a young age, they can usually be taught to respect smaller pets' space. As far as coonhound breeds go, they are one of the better breeds when it comes to being able to learn to get along with smaller pets. 

Trainability of Redbone Coonhound Puppies

One of the challenges of owning a Redbone Coon hound puppy is that they have a relatively short attention span and are very easily distracted. It will take a lot of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement to train these dogs adequately.

While they pick up hunting training quickly, they find some basic training mundane. They are also a breed prone to canine attention deficit disorder (ADD), can be stubborn, and use their intelligence to interpret commands rather than simply obeying them creatively. Short, ten-minute training sessions several times during the day is your best route when it comes to training a Redbone Coonhound. 

Redbone Coonhound on boat

Image source: Instagram @gentlejakescoonhound

Life Expectancy

A healthy Redbone Coonhound can live as long as 10-12 years. 

Potential Health Issues

The Redbone Coonhound is one of the more relatively healthy dogs. Most of the health issues Redbone's have are related to physical injuries they get while on the hunt and genetic conditions that come as a result of improper breeding standards.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that results in the malformation of a dog's joints. Sometimes hip dysplasia shows up during puppyhood and sometimes not until later in life. 

There is little that can be done to prevent it. But only buying from reputable redbone breeders who are breeding responsibly can help. 

Ear Infections

Dogs with floppy ears are prone to a number of ear issues and infections, including—

  • Ear mites
  • Bacterial infection, or otitis externa
  • Foreign objects becoming lodged or stuck

The most effective way to prevent ear infections in dogs is to clean their ears regularly and to clean them well with the correct ear cleaner.

About the Author

Lara Girsko

Doctor of veterinary medicine with extensive experience in animal welfare with a strong interest in feline medicine and plans to pursue ABVP-Feline specialty board certification. A key member of many local veterinary associations and avid reader of animal related science journals and studies.

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