AKC Dog Breeds: Treeing Walker Coonhound

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Miscellaneous Class
Height: 20-27 inches   Weight: 50-70 pounds  Color: tricolor, brindle; black with streaking

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a breed of dog descended from the English Foxhound, first recognized as a separate breed in 1945. The breed began when a stolen dog of unknown origin, known as "Tennessee Lead", was crossed into the Walker Hound in the 1800s. Thomas Walker had imported the English Foxhound to Virginia in 1742. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are extremely fast, agile, and tireless in the pursuit of game. They are extremely vocal with a distinctive bay that allows their owners to easily identify their dogs from great distances. Walker dogs are best known for being coon hounds. They chase a raccoon until it is forced up a tree to hide from the dog. The treeing part of the Walker coon hound is that it also stops at the tree and barks so the dog handler can find the tree that the game is hiding in. Once the game can be found in the tree the dog is rewarded.

General Appearance

The Treeing Walker Coonhound has powerful, mobile shoulders. The ears are large compared to the head. The upper lips hang well below the lower jaw. The forelegs are long, straight and lean. The smooth coat is fine and glossy and comes in a tri-color and a bi-color pattern. (Tri-color is preferred by breeders.) Although they come in tan and white, they must never be called "red," to distinguish them from the Redbone Coonhound. They are extremely powerful, especially throughout the shoulder region, and have large ears compared to their head size. Their legs are straight and lean, and are not well muscled. They may be mistaken for very large beagles.


The Treeing Walker Coonhound is highly skilled, intelligent, and courageous. First and foremost they are hunting and working dogs, and yet, they also make a terrific companion. They thrive on attention, are loving, and eager to please. They get along well with older children and other dogs. However, their instinct to hunt small or moving prey does not make them suitable for homes with cats or other small household pets. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is typically high-strung and exuberant. They do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. Without attention and stimulation they will become bored and destructive. They love to nest and cuddle. Getting a Walker hound out of your bed, off your couch or away from your fireplace will be a feat in itself. They love to sleep after a long day and are the perfect dogs for watching television. Generally easy to train with little trouble, they make excellent pets if well exercised. Because they are eager to please, loving, intelligent and confident, they make a splendid companion dog for an owner willing to give them proper exercise. Training must be consistent as Walker hounds are extremely intelligent and will take full advantage of loopholes in the training regimen. These hounds have been known to use objects as levers/tools and often manipulate their environment to accomplish a task (e.g., moving furniture to climb over gates, using household objects to manipulate kennel mechanisms, etc.). They love to carry plastic soda bottles. Most Walker hounds are capable of scaling fences in excess of 6 feet (1.8 m), so a proper yard system whether fence or electric fence is a must. They bury bones and dig if they are on scent. In general, they are oblivious to commands when trailing a scent, much like a beagle or basset hound, so it is imperative for a Walker hound to have serious training and a safe running area free of cars or other potential dangers. They have strong tracking instincts, which is why they are popular as hunting dogs. They can be quite adept at catching small rodents such as squirrels, roof rats, opossums, and skunks. They are also known for their ability to tree raccoons, bobcats, cougars and bears when hunting in packs of two or more. They are swift with a very good sense of smell and a distinctive howl. Socialize at a young age. 

This breed is a heavy shedder. This breed requires minimal grooming and only needs to be combed and brushed occasionally. Bathing should only be done when necessary. It is important to keep their ears cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infection.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a relatively healthy breed. The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a life expectance of 11- 13 years.

Activity Level
While generally not considered suitable for apartment dwelling, Treeing Walker Coonhounds can do well in that setting, provided they are given plenty of opportunities for exercise outdoors. This breed requires intense exercise to match its energy levels, Walker hounds cannot settle for mere walks in the neighborhood.


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