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Redbone Coonhound
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Redbone Coonhound
Nicknames Reds
Country of origin United States
Traits

The Redbone Coonhound is a breed of dog. They are widely used for hunting bear, racoon, and cougar. Their agility allows them to be used for hunting from swamplands to mountains, and some can be used as water dogs. The Redbone Coonhound is the only solid colored coonhound. The AKC standard says, "The Redbone mingles handsome looks and an even temperament with a confident air and fine hunting talents." [1] This breed has been registered with the UKC since 1904.

Contents

Description

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Appearance

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 or hazel eyes and long, drooping ears.These dogs are great at getting what they want because of their expressions. Their coat is short and smooth against the body, but coarse enough to provide protection to the skin while hunting through brush.Their paws should have thick pads; dewclaws are common. The nose should be black and prominent. The ears are floppy and should extend to nearly the end of the nose if stretched out. 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. Variations of black fur on the face and muzzle are also common. The toes are usually webbed.

Males should be 22-27 inches (56-68.5 cm) at the shoulder, with females 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.

A female Redbone Coonhound

Temperament

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 nearby, watching them: a Redbone coonhound who has been left out of the family fun or penned up during the party is often a heartbroken one. Overall, they are very affectionate and loving: they will often leap to their feet barking loudly to greet their master upon his return home and a typical Redbone will shower everyone with love, licking the face off of family and friends if left to his own devices. A redbone coon hound usually wont come and ask for attention as a lab might. They are very happy if you pet them, and love it. Sometimes they just need their space and may growl slightly if you come to close while they're trying to sleep, especially if they're new to the family. They are also a very boisterous breed: as explained above, adult Redbones grow to a large size. They may not know how big and strong they are when young and thus may accidentally knock over elderly adults and young children if left untrained or never taught the command "heel," so basic obedience MUST be on the agenda with this breed. Very often the redbone can be dubbed an extremely vocal dog, as with many of its close relatives in the hound group, barking and 'baying' at various obstacles and individuals. It takes training to first control their excited, emotional, booming barks, but also to help provide the hounds an outlet for their 'tracking' desires that sometimes drive their vocalizations.

If not hunting with the dog, an excellent outlet is to train as a watchdog, seeing that it's a perfect alarm call as well as a highly alert and focused breed. As watchdogs, Redbones are unusually aware of the dress, ethnicity, and territory of their owners, and have been known to "protect" the yard against service providers such as mailmen and garbage collectors. Their deep bark and long canine teeth can be most intimidating to the unwary intruder.

Redbones do not reach full physical and mental maturity until the age of two years, comparatively slower than many other breeds. Puppies and adolescents are more energetic than adults and need lots of activity or they will become destructive, with chewing furniture, chewing shoes, and snooping around the garbage as particular forms of mischief. When going through obedience training, it is imperative for a master to know that harsher methods will not work with this breed: coonhounds are stubborn but also very sensitive and being overbearing will only result in a broken spirit, a dog terrified of everything. Once trained (and aware of its size) it is typically very gentle with even small children, easily tolerating a small child playing tag or a crawling baby tugging on its long ears.

Coonhounds are in the same group as better known breeds like the Beagle, Basset Hound, and Bloodhound:they are bred to track game both with their noses and eyes over long distances, to jump over obstacles, and to "sing" as they catch up with their quarry. Therefore, this breed likes to chase small animals that may wander into a back garden, like rabbits, squirrels, badgers, or even cats: a Redbone Coonhound owner should have a fence at least 7 feet high to keep the dog in so as to make sure his dog does not follow his nose into trouble and wander from home. Further, this breed, like its relatives, has a very loud baying bark that it will use fervently especially if excited or bored, and thus this breed is not recommended for prospective owners who prefer silence.

Like many hunting dogs, they require a good deal of exercise to be happy and are best suited to the countryside; urban environs are less than ideal but workable so long as they get roughly an hour and a half or more of walking per day. Redbones, especially those kept as family pets 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. They are able to jump quite high so any fence is preferably one exceeding seven feet.

History

In the late 1700s, many European type hunting dogs were imported to America, most of them of Scottish, French, English, and Irish ancestry: the English Foxhound, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, the Welsh Hound, the beagle, and the Bloodhound were among these. Most often, these dogs were imported so that wealthy planters of the Tidewater could mimic the European gentry and engage in foxhunting, with smaller amounts of dogs winding up on small farms. However, after the American Revolution, as settlement pushed farther West and deeper South, hunters found they needed dogs that were much more suited to the environment and wildlife found there: the hounds of Europe at that time were bred to hunt in terrain that did not include bayous, wide open spaces, rugged mountains, cypress swamps, or animals that would fight back viciously like alligators, bears, porcupines, or raccoons. In addition, such dogs were found to be nearly useless unless their prey burrowed into the ground: when confronted with an animal that climbed a tree or (in some cases) tried to throw off their pursuers in deep, swampy water, they would mill about confused (when confronted with porcupines they would sometimes even flee.) Over time, Southern hunters would selectively breed dogs that wouldn't back down, had great stamina, and would tree their quarry: coonhounds.

In the late 1700s Scottish immigrants brought with them red colored foxhounds to Georgia, dogs which would be the foundation stock of the Redbone. Later, c. 1840 Irish Foxhounds and Bloodhound lines were added to the mix. The name would come from an early breeder, Peter Redbone of Tennessee, though other breeders of note are Georgia F.L. Birdsong of Georgia (contemporary) and the 19th Century's Dr. Thomas Henry. Over time, breeders followed a selective program that led to a coonhound that is more specialized for prey which climbs trees than European hunting dogs, was unafraid of taking on large (and ornery) animals, was agile enough to carry on over mountain or in meadow, and liked to swim if necessary. 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.


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 (Many young American students of school age today are familiar with this breed through a novel called Where the Red Fern Grows: the two dogs owned by the main character, Old Dan and Little Ann, are both Redbone Coonhounds.) Unfortunately, for reasons of its main use as a hunting dog rather than a show dog Redbones are extremely rare dogs outside of the United States. There are very few breeders outside of North America of this hound and it is virtually unknown in Europe or Australia.

External links


Simple English

A Redbone Hound is a breed of dog. The breed is used for hunting bear, raccoon, and other wild game.



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