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Redbone Coonhound

Originally developed as a hunting dog, the Redbone Coonhound is also an excellent companion and family pet.


Physical Characteristics

The agile and fast Redbone Coonhound can travel tirelessly through rocky hills and swamplands. The dog's solid red coat is smooth and short, but its coarseness provides protection while hunting.

The dog's specialty is to tree raccoons, but it is also an expert in treeing and trailing bears, bobcats, and cougars. In addition, the Redbone Coonhound is a fast swimmer, able to pick up on trails that have long been "cold."

Personality and Temperament

The Redbone loves the company of its human family, but does not display overtly tenacious behavior. In fact, it is often described as a gentle and easy-going breed, with few cares in the world. And although it is eager to please, it may become frustrated with formal training techniques. The Redbone does, however, mingle well with children, dogs, and pets that are not too small.


Traditionally used as an outdoor dog, the Redbone has become more adaptable to indoor living with a family. It should be taken out on routine jogs, walks, or be allowed to swim nearby. However, these activities should only be done in safe and secure locations, as the dog can quickly roam off if it picks up a curious scent. While trailing or when excited, it has a loud and melodious voice.

To maintain its coat, the Redbone should be brushed weekly. Many Redbone Coonhounds also have a tendency to drool.


The Redbone Coohound, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, does not generally suffer from any serious health conditions. Despite this, it is common for veterinarians to conduct routine hip exams on this breed of dog.

History and Background

The origins of the Redbone Coonhound can be traced to the late 1700s, when Scottish immigrants introduced red foxhounds (its ancestor) to the United States. Coon hunters, however, sought a breed that was faster and more swift at locating and treeing game.

It wasn't until 1840, when a Georgian hunter and breeder named George Birdsong took an interest in developing such a dog, that the predecessor to the Redbone Coonhound was truly established. Later imports of swift Red Irish Foxhounds were crossed with these early Redbone dogs, resulting in "Saddlebacks" -- named for their unique black saddles. Dissatisfied with this characteristic, breeders continued to produce new litters until only rich, solid red-coated puppies remained.

The United Kennel Club recognized the Redbone as the second coonhound breed in 1902. Then, in 2001, it inducted into the American Kennel Club under the Miscellaneous Class. Even today, avid hunters choose this breed for its versatility and companionship.

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  • Absolute sweetheart!
    10/27/2014 05:51pm

    We were not looking for any specific breed when we got our redbone coonhound...he was a rescue - the people who own the parents are irresponsible and keep letting their dogs have litters, and a friend of ours rescued a puppy and asked if we wanted him. This dog is the sweetest, most lovable dog you can ask for. He's not too keen on listening sometimes - his nose rules, and if he's on a scent, that's all he cares about. And WOW - when he lets loose with a bark/howl, hold your ears!!! But those two things are the WORST I can say. He is an absolute joy - he and my 5 year old black lab get along so great - he tends to chase and play a little rough with my three cats, but I make sure the cats have a "safe area" where he can't get to. I highly and strongly recommend this dog. Have a large fenced-in secure yard, and keep any and all food out of reach!!! Be prepared to have a sleeping snuggle buddy, too!! :)

  • 08/13/2015 08:45pm

    An update...our Goku is now a year and 3 months, and he is still the most lovable, wonderful dog. However, he's a bit of a drama queen...be warned, if there is something wrong, your redbone will let you know with dramatic howling and theatrical body language that puts most broadway actors to shame!!! He hurt his paw frolicking in the yard, and x-rays showed nothing broken or damaged...but you'd never know it, he acts as if his entire body was smashed. Some painkillers from the vet and extra TLC did the trick...he refuses to learn "sit" but he quickly learned that if he looks pathetic and hurt he gets lots of love :)

  • Loving Redbone
    03/08/2016 06:51pm

    Eleven years ago I was doing research to identify a good family dog and learned about the Redbone. I contacted a breeder, online, and my Redbone was born in April and 8 weeks later he flew from New Orleans to California. He has been a pure joy and resembles most of the comments documented by the other owners. A couple medical issues he had, a year apart, were ACL and Meniscus tears which resulted in two successful TPLO surgeries. These tears were at age 8 and 9 years of age. It was determined that the tears were accidents by running on slightly uneven ground. My Redbone is a beautiful family dog and his bark is a great deterrent for possible intruders; however, if they got through the door, the intruder would probably be loved to death. At 11 years old, he sleeps more hours, now, but when he is not sleeping, he has just as much energy as a young pup. Love my Redbone !!!

  • A Wonderful Family Dog!
    03/30/2016 03:48pm

    I have owned a Redbone since she was 9 weeks old. She is now 15 months old. What a joy she is. Affectionate and but sometimes demanding, she loves attention, and has a wonderful temperament and just wants to be loved. I wouldn't trade her for anything!

  • A Wonderful Family Dog!
    03/30/2016 03:48pm

    I have owned a Redbone since she was 9 weeks old. She is now 15 months old. What a joy she is. Affectionate and but sometimes demanding, she loves attention, and has a wonderful temperament and just wants to be loved. I wouldn't trade her for anything!

  • 04/06/2016 03:34pm

    I bet he was adorable


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