Redbone Coonhound

Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM
By Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM on Aug. 16, 2023
two redbone coonhounds playing outside

In This Article

General Care

Originating in the United States, the Redbone Coonhound is a dog as versatile as they are resilient. Redbone Coonhounds came into existence in the late 18th century, thanks to hunters in search of a dog capable of navigating various terrains—from the densest swamps to the steepest mountains—in pursuit of prey. And, as the breed’s name suggests, that preferred prey was raccoons.

The Redbone Coonhound is a medium to large dog, with adults weighing 45–70 pounds and standing 21–27 inches tall. While their versatility and hunting prowess make these dogs desirable to many pet parents, the most eye-catching feature of the Redbone Coonhound is by far their stunning, deep red coat.

Caring for a Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhounds are the epitome of friendliness, loyalty, and—most of all—energy. They are always up for a game and adore outdoor activities with their people, whether it’s going for a long hike or taking a dip at the lake.

Their coat is short and smooth, requiring minimal grooming, which makes them a relatively low-maintenance breed. That said, their high energy levels mean Redbone Coonhound pups need regular exercise to stay both physically and mentally stimulated.

Redbone Coonhound Health Issues

The average Redbone Coonhound lifespan is 12–15 years. Although they are generally healthy dogs, they do have a predisposition to certain health conditions. It's important for potential pet parents to be aware of these conditions and consider pet insurance, which may be a good option.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic disorder that commonly affects Redbone Coonhounds. Hip dysplasia develops in dogs when their hip bones do not align properly. This causes irritation in the joint, leading to discomfort, mobility issues, and arthritis.

Regular vet check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help manage this condition. Joint supplements and pain medication may help alleviate symptoms; however, in severe cases, surgery might be recommended.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, refers to inherited eye conditions that gradually result in blindness.

While PRA cannot be prevented or treated, a DNA test is available to screen for the defective gene in potential carriers. Regular veterinary check-ups can aid in early detection and managing its progression.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes (such as cataracts/cloudiness) or behavior (like suddenly bumping into objects, especially at night), contact your veterinarian for an eye exam.

What To Feed a Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhounds require a well-balanced diet that includes ample protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. High-quality commercial dog food that is formulated for active breeds and meets the nutritional standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is typically a good choice.

It’s best to discuss your dog’s diet with your veterinarian. A vet can make recommendations based on your pet’s specific medical history.

How To Feed a Redbone Coonhound

Redbone Coonhounds should be fed two meals a day to maintain their energy levels. Most do well with a morning and evening feeding. Redbone Coonhound puppies need to eat more frequently—about three or four meals a day on a regular schedule.

How Much Should You Feed a Redbone Coonhound?

The amount of food a Redbone Coonhound requires depends on their age, size, health, and activity level. Generally, an adult Redbone Coonhound should consume about 2–2.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, though this can vary.

Your AAFCO-approved dog food will provide portion guidance on the packaging. But for the most accurate information, talk to your vet about how much you should be feeding your Coonhound.

Nutritional Tips for Redbone Coonhounds

Supplements such as fish oil can support a Redbone Coonhound’s overall health, particularly their skin and coat health. However, always consult with your dog’s veterinarian before introducing any supplements to their diet.

Behavior and Training Tips for Redbone Coonhounds

Redbone Coonhound Personality and Temperament 

Redbone Coonhounds are known for their friendly and loyal nature. They are high-energy dogs that require regular exercise and ample mental stimulation. Their friendly personality makes them generally suitable for homes with children and other pets.

Redbone Coonhound Behavior

Bred for the hunt, Redbone Coonhounds are naturally curious and intelligent dogs. If they are not sufficiently exercised, they can be prone to barking and digging.

Leashed walks and a fenced yard are essential to prevent wandering, as Redbone Coonhounds will follow interesting scents and are known to chase critters outdoors. For this reason, it’s  important to microchip your dog and make sure they’re wearing up-to-date ID tags.

Bred for the hunt, Redbone Coonhounds are naturally curious and intelligent dogs. If they are not sufficiently exercised, they can be prone to barking and digging.

Redbone Coonhound Training

Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please, training a Redbone Coonhound can be fun for both the dog and you, especially when positive reinforcement training methods are used. Early socialization and obedience training are recommended.

Fun Activities for Redbone Coonhounds

  • Agility training

  • Nose work

  • Hunting

  • Hiking

  • Fetch

Redbone Coonhound Grooming Guide

Redbone Coonhounds have a short, smooth coat. Despite moderate shedding, they are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Skin Care 

Though Redbone Coonhounds don’t need any special skin care, bathing them regularly with a moisturizing shampoo can help keep them healthy. 

Coat Care

Their beautiful red coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils.

Eye Care

Because of their predisposition for PRA, Redbone Coonhounds need regular eye check-ups at the vet. Pet parents should also regularly check their dog’s eyes at home and remain vigilant for any changes.

Ear Care

Check your dog’s ears every week for signs of an ear infection. Redbone Coonhounds have floppy ears, which makes them more susceptible to infections caused by trapped moisture and debris. Clean their ears as needed with a vet-approved cleanser.

Considerations for Pet Parents

Redbone Coonhounds are ideally matched with active families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental engagement. Their friendly nature makes them excellent family dogs that get along with children and other pets.

However, Redbone Coonhounds are not well-suited for apartment living due to their high energy levels and tendency to bark. As hounds, they need lots of space to run and sniff—while being kept securely on a leash or inside a fence for their safety, that is.

Redbone Coonhound FAQs

Is a Redbone Coonhound a good family dog?

Redbone Coonhounds are known for their friendly and loyal nature, making them great family dogs. As with any dog, their interactions with children should always be supervised.

Do Redbone Coonhounds bark a lot?

Redbone Coonhounds can be prone to barking, especially if they are bored or not sufficiently exercised.

What is the Redbone Coonhound lifespan?

Redbone Coonhounds have an average lifespan of 12–15 years.

Featured Image: Adobe/Marcello

Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM


Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM


Dr. Teresa Kho-Pelfrey graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and completed her clinical year at Purdue...

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