Always wanted a hound-dog? A dog with an all-around GREAT disposition? The Redbone Coonhound is a great dog to consider!
Scottish and Irish immigrants brought the Red Foxhounds and the Red Irish Foxhounds to the United States. In the 1900's, the Redbone Coonhound was bred by combining these two breeds. The first had a black saddleback marking. With selective breeding in the 20th century however, the black saddleback disappeared, giving the Redbone its all over beautiful, red tone color.
The Redbone Coonhound is a scenthound and their main purpose is to track, trail, and tree raccoons. The Redbone is considered rare in Europe and Australia.
A Great Family Dog!
I actually had a Redbone Coonhound named Ginger! She was one of the sweetest and smartest dogs that I've shared my life with. She lived up to her breed traits for treeing coons. She'd happily do so, alerting us when she did.
Redbone's are a breed that wants and needs to be with their family. They enjoy snuggling and just being near you in the same room. This breed is a very loyal and dedicated. They will happily howl, bark, and give kisses upon a family member's return home (or even visiting guests). The Redbone LOVES everyone!
Sadly, if kenneled outside, Redbone's actually suffer from emotional distress, such as depression from being separated from their family members. Outdoor kenneling is NOT an ideal situation for this very loving breed.
The Redbone is a fantastic dog to have around children. They have a gentle and tolerant disposition and are considered one of the easiest hound breeds to train. Early training and socialization around children is important for any dog, including the Redbone Coonhound.
Early Age Brings A Very Active Breed
Redbones, from puppy to about 2 years old, are extremely active. If their high energy is not channeled properly, they can easily become destructive and wreak havoc in the household. Chewing, howling, counter-surfing, getting into garbage, and digging are just a few things a Redbone will be happy to do to release their energy.
This breed requires an active family that will be able to take their Redbone on daily walks for a minimum of 45 minutes, two times a day. Hounds typically do not make great running partners, as they prefer to have their nose to the ground more often then not. Consider having your Redbone carry a backpack, and take them on a long hike in the woods! The backpack gives them a sense of purpose (doing a job for you), and it will also help drain their energy quicker because the dog is bearing weight. This will truly make the Redbone a happy hound dog!
Doggy Daycare is a great option for a Redbone if you work long hours. Once home, the Redbone will be content to curl up on their doggy bed and take a long siesta!
This breed typically does not do well off leash, being a scenthound, they are happy to go where their nose takes them. A fenced in-yard is ideal, however, the Redbone can be incredibly clever in escaping too. Pet parents of a Redbone Coonhound will need to escape proof their back yard.
Have a Swimming Pool? Live Near a Lake? Fantastic!
The Redbone is considered the "Lab" in the hound group because of their LOVE for water. A Redbone Coonhound will quickly join anyone in the water. For being a hound dog, they have great swimming abilities because of their webbed paws.
Swimming is a great way to burn off a Redbone's high energy.
Don't Hunt? No Worries. The Redbone makes an Excellent Guard Dog!
Redbone's are very in-tune to their families scent, way of life, and their territory. Redbone's are known to keep even the postal man at bay with their loud, consistent barking, and show of their large canine teeth.
Don't worry, the breed is not aggressive, but their stance at protecting their home and yard can prove to be intimidating to any stranger approaching.
Easy Upkeep and Adorable Looking
With their short, dense-coat and minimal shedding, grooming is low maintenance. Occasional brushing will help keep their coat shiny and any shedding under control. They do require their long droopy ears cleaned inside to remove dirt on a weekly basis. This helps to prevent ear infections.
The Redbone is known to get their way simply by their looks. According to professional breeders, their big droopy ears, sad looking eyes, and a heartfelt expression can easily make pet parents give into their wants.
Overall, this is a happy, easy-going, social, and loving breed! Their average lifespan is 11-12 years. The Redbone is an overall healthy breed with hip dysplasia occurring in bloodlines rarely.
As you begin looking for a Redbone Coonhound, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe