Redbone Coonhound Guide

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The Redbone is a versatile hunter that specializes in treeing raccoons, but also excels in trailing and treeing bear, cougar, and bobcat. It?s both fast and agile, able to tirelessly traverse swamplands through rocky hills, and even swim through water at a fast pace. It can follow a cold trail and has a sweet voice on the trail. The coat is short and smooth, but coarse enough to provide protection.

Redbones are generally easygoing, gentle dogs that don't let much bother them. They want to be with their people, but aren't clingy or "in your face." Redbones are eager to please but can become bored with formal training. They are active when on the hunt, but quiet inside. Their passion is hunting, and once the nose hits a scent they are oblivious to much else. Redbones get along well with people, children, and dogs, but may or may not do well with small pets.


FAMILY Scenthound

AREA OF ORIGIN United States



TODAY'S FUNCTION Raccoon hunting, night hunts

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 22 - 27 Weight: 45 - 65

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 21 - 26 Weight: 45 - 65

OTHER NAME Redbone Hound

Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Moderately playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Very friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Friendly

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability Medium

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Low tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

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Because they are driven to follow their nose as fast as they can, care must be taken to exercise Redbones in safe, fenced areas. They do well with a daily walk or jog, and enjoy swimming. Although traditionally kept as an outdoor dog, Redbones are very family oriented and make good inside dogs. Some tend to drool. They have a loud, melodious voice when trailing or excited. Coat care consists of weekly brushing.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: none
• Occasionally seen: none
• Suggested tests: hip
• Life span: 12-14 years
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Like most coonhounds, the Redbone derives from foxhound ancestors. Scottish immigrants brought red foxhounds to America in the late 1700s, and they may have formed the basis of the breed. The breed's development was heavily influenced by George Birdsong, a hunter from Georgia, who began with a pack he obtained in the 1840s. As more coonhunters became interested in the breed, they set about to create a faster, hotter-nosed dog that was even quicker to locate and tree raccoons. They crossed the existing dogs with later imports of hot, swift Red Irish Foxhounds. These early dogs were sometimes called Saddlebacks because they tended to be red with black saddles. However, in an unusual choice of priorities for coonhunters, breeders emphasized color for several generations, preferring the solid-colored red dogs. The black saddle was bred out and the breed became known as Redbone Coonhounds, either in recognition of its color or after Peter Redbone, a Tennessee promoter of the breed. In 1902, the Redbone became the second coonhound breed recognized by the UKC. Almost 100 years later, in 2001, the AKC admitted it into its Miscelleneous class. The Redbone remains a favorite of serious hunters who want a versatile hunter with uncanny treeing ability.
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