AKC Dog Breeds: Redbone Coonhound

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Miscellaneous Class
Height: 21-27 inches   Weight: 40-70 pounds  Color: solid red

The Redbone Coonhound are widely used for hunting bear, raccoon, and cougar. Their agility allows them to be used for hunting from swamplands to mountains, and some can be used as water dogs. The Redbone Coonhound is the only solid colored coonhound.  In the late 1700s Scottish immigrants brought with them red colored foxhounds to Georgia, dogs which would be the foundation stock of the Redbone. Later, Irish Foxhounds and Bloodhound lines were added to the mix. The name would come from an early breeder, Peter Redbone of Tennessee. Like many American hunting dogs, especially those from the South, they were widely known and loved by hunters and farmers, but totally unknown in the show ring.

General Appearance

The Redbone Coonhound has the lean, muscular, well proportioned build typical to the coonhounds, with long straight legs, a deep chest, and a head and tail held high and proud when hunting or showing. The face has a pleading expression, with sorrowful dark brown or hazel eyes and long, drooping ears. These dogs are great at getting what they want because of their expressions. The coat is short and smooth against the body, but coarse enough to provide protection to the skin while hunting through brush. The paws should have thick pads; dewclaws are common. The nose should be black and prominent. The ears are floppy and should extend to nearly the end of the nose if stretched out. The nose is always black and the coat color is always a rich red, though a small amount of white on the chest, between the legs, or on the feet is permissible, though not preferred. Variations of black fur on the face and muzzle are also common. The toes are usually webbed.


The Redbone Coonhound is an excellent companion and family pet, with some special considerations. They love to be with their owners and family, and are happy just doing things with their humans, or sitting nearby, watching them: a Redbone coonhound who has been left out of the family fun or penned up during the party is often a heartbroken one. Overall, they are very affectionate and loving: they will often leap to their feet barking loudly to greet their master upon his return home and a typical Redbone will shower everyone with love, licking the face off of family and friends if left to his own devices. However, they are also a very boisterous breed: as explained above, adult Redbones grow to a large size. They may not know how big and strong they are when young and thus may accidentally knock over elderly adults and young children if left untrained. Very often the redbone can be dubbed an extremely vocal dog, as with many of its close relatives in the hound group, barking and 'baying' at various obstacles and individuals. It takes training to first control their excited, emotional barks, but also to help provide the hounds an outlet for their 'tracking' desires that sometimes drive their vocalizations. If not hunting with the dog, an excellent outlet is to train as a watchdog, seeing that it's a perfect alarm call as well as a highly alert and focused breed.

Redbone Coonhound's require occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush. This breed is a light shedder. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary. It is important to regularly check the ears and paws for debris.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Usually a healthy breed, the Redbone Coonhound has a life expectance of 11- 12 years.

Activity Level
Redbones do not reach full physical and mental maturity until the age of two years, comparatively slower than many other breeds. Puppies and adolescents are more energetic than adults and need lots of activity or they will become destructive, with chewing furniture, chewing shoes, and snooping around the garbage as particular forms of mischief. Like many hunting dogs, they require a good deal of exercise to be happy and are best suited to the countryside; urban environs are less than ideal but workable so long as they get roughly an hour and a half or more of walking per day. Redbones, especially those kept as family pets have an independent intelligence especially well suited for problem solving. This can be an issue if the problem they want to solve is their backyard fence or the dog-proof garbage. They are able to jump quite high so any fence is preferably a tall one.


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Redbone Coonhound profile on dog encyclopedia
Redbone Coonhound profile on dog encyclopedia