The Redbone Coonhound is a breed of dog bred to hunt raccoon. They are also widely used for hunting bear and cougar. Their agility allows them to be hunted from swamplands to mountains. The Redbone Coonhound is the only solid colored coonhound. Like the standard says: "The Redbone mingles handsome looks and an even temperament with a confident air and fine hunting talents."
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 eyes and long, drooping ears. The coat is short and smooth against the body, but coarse enough to provide protection to the skin while hunting through brush. 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.
Males should be 22-27 inches (56-68.5 cm)at the shoulder, with bitches slightly shorter at 21-26 inches (53-66 cm). Weight should be proportional to the size and bone structure of the individual dogs, with a preference towards leaner working dogs rather than heavier dogs. Generally, weights will range from 45 to 70 lbs (20.5 to 31.75 kg). Males are typically larger and heavier boned than females and carry a deeper bay.
The Redbone Coonhound is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are hip dysplasia and obesity. The average lifespan of a Red is 10-15 years.
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 by watching them. They are very affectionate, but can be overwhelming to small children or even adults if not properly trained. They tend to be inactive if kept indoors most of the time and can easily become overweight.
Conversely, young coonhounds are energetic and need lots of activity, or they will become destructive. This can lead to acting out in the form of chewing and baying. They take a longer time to train than some other breeds, because they mature more slowly both physically and mentally.
Some Redbones drool a significant amount, and others have a very doggy smell. They are all loud, loud barkers.
Like many hunting dogs, they 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. But they also are pretty unflappable, able to take anything that comes at them.
As with all hounds, this breed should be watched closely off leash since they have a tendency to roam and a reputation for chasing small creatures such as cats.
The Redbone Coonhound is an American breed. It was developed in Georgia in the 1800s from Foxhounds and Bloodhounds. Breeders followed a selective program that led to a coonhound that was faster and had a more developed sense of smell than other coonhounds. They were ideal for pack hunting of both small and larger prey. Originally, the Redbone had a black saddleback, but by the beginning of the 1900s, they were a pure red tone.
Sadly, 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. Recently, this has changed, and the Redbone has found recognition by the two major American kennel clubs.
Perhaps the best known fictional Redbones were Old Dan and Little Ann, featured in the children's classic story, Where the Red Fern Grows, a popular novel about two dogs and a boy's dream.
Puppies, be warned, like to chew on nearly anything, and can cause quite a bit of a mess, but a simple month to year of training should stop this. A suggestion is to consult one of Stanley Coren's books, preferably How to Speak Dog.
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