Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound was the only dog that could cope with American climate and terrain challenges and quarry that climbed trees or jumped into swamps to evade pursuers. Before that, dogs such as Grands Bleus de Gascogne, Welsh Hounds, English Foxhounds, and Bloodhounds were brought to America before the Revolutionary War. Centuries later, these breeds were combined and bred selectively for courage and added stamina and the ability to tree, swim, and climb, and this provided the basis for the coonhound breeds. Years later, Red Foxhounds imported from Ireland and Scotland were added to the mix, resulting in the Redbone Coonhound.

Redbones are versatile hunters specializing in treeing raccoons, but they also excel in trailing cougar, bobcat, and bear. The dogs are agile and fast, capable of tirelessly traversing swamplands through rocky hills and even swimming through water at a swift pace.

Breed Standard (What Does a Redbone Coonhound Look Like?)

redbone coonhound temperament

The Redbone Coonhound is a muscular, lean, well-balanced dog with a flashy red coat and a demeanor that shouts confidence. The dog’s head is moderately broad and flat, with a square muzzle. This breed’s neck is medium-length, with straight legs, round feet with well-arched, stout toes, a deep chest, and a back that slopes slightly from shoulder to hip. The tail is medium-length, has a little hairbrush at the tip, and is carried like a saber. This coonhound’s eyes are dark brown to hazel color, broad set, and round. Its ears are set low, fine-textured, and long enough to reach the end of the black nose when pulled forward.

Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training
redbone coonhound history

Activity level: High. Redbone Coonhounds are fast, versatile, and agile hunting dogs built to work over various terrains, from mountains to swamplands. The dogs are swift and surefooted, and they are also phenomenal swimmers. They will chase small animals, roam to follow exciting scents if bored, and not listen to comeback commands. These coonhounds are also excellent jumpers and climbers and need exercise on a lead or in areas with high and secure fencing. The dogs do well with a daily jog or walk, and they also enjoy swimming. Redbones are usually kept as outdoor dogs; however, they are incredibly family-oriented and make excellent indoor dogs.

Grooming: Weekly brushing.

Coat: Short, smooth, protective, and coarse. Shedding is minimum

Color: Solid red.

Group: Hound

Year of recognition by the AKC: 2009

  • Popularity: Rare
  • Family group: Scenthound
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Date developed: 1800s
  • Original purpose: Raccoon hunting
  • Current purpose: Raccoon hunting, nite hunts
  • Other names: Redbone Hound

Redbone Coonhound Temperament

redbone coonhound weight

These dogs are undemanding and even-tempered. Redbones are willing to please and trainable but too sensitive to endure harsh and heavy-handed treatment. The dogs are affectionate and enjoy being around the family, making them excellent pets for owners who can ensure that their dog’s exercise needs are adhered to and met. They are also endowed with exceptional problem-solving skills. It is a slow-maturing breed; puppies are energetic and rambunctious and need plenty of exercise and supervision. These coonhounds are determined hunters and have excellent hunting skills. They are selectively bred to vocalize as they follow tracks. The dogs are noted for booming barks and howls, making them excellent watchdogs.

These dogs are also gentle, easy-going, and do not let much bother them. Redbones want nothing more than to be with their people; however, they are not clingy or always in your face. They are highly active when on the hunt; but quiet when in the household. Hunting is the dog’s passion, and once its nose picks up a scent, they become oblivious to much else. They get along well with children, people, and other dogs but may not love small pets.


  • Main concerns: none
  • Minor problems: none
  • Rarely seen: none
  • Recommended tests: (hip)
  • Life span: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 45 to 65 pounds
  • Height: male – 22 to 27”; female – 21 to 26”

Breeder and Buyer’s Advice

redbone coonhound puppies

Please purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder. Contact the parent club for referrals to breeders in your area, or visit the AKC or Dogtime website, where you can find breeders of Merit. When you find a breeder with Redbone Coonhound puppies for sale, make sure to ask plenty of questions. Owning a Redbone is not an easy commitment. The dogs live for 12 to 15 years. Therefore, get ready for a canine companion that will give you and your family plenty of joy for many years to come.

Parent club: National Redbone Coonhound Association

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