Redbone Coonhound

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Redbone Coonhound

As a rare hunting breed originated from America, the Redbone Coonhound has a rich, glossy red coat and soulful eyes. They can follow a cold trail and have a sweet voice. Versatile and tenacious, ferocious and focused, this breed maintains the skills to hunt raccoon and larger North American prey. Reds are at their happiest when keeping their beloved family members company.

Other Names Redbone, Redbone Hound, Reds
Color Red
Height Males: 22-27 inches. Females: 21-26 inches.
Weight Males: 45-70 pounds. Females: 45-70 pounds.
Life Span 12-15 years
Personality Even-Tempered, Amiable, Eager to Please
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #143
Groom Needs Weekly Brushing
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 6-10 puppies

Redbone Coonhound Pictures

Redbone Coonhound Video


This one – the Redbone Coonhound is a rare breed with rich, smooth, red glossy coat and soulful eyes. Their coat actually feels coarse to the touch, providing them with some protection from inclement weather.  An occasional brushing will be required for keeping these beauties. They make easy-going companions when they get plenty of routine and structure from their owners. They are children’s friends, but being quite rambunctious, they are not so suitable for homes with very young children as they can knock kids over. They are alert for prey when on the hunt, but as a watchdog, they are not really vigilant. They are indoor dogs too, and if you wanted to get this dog for the outdoors, you are going to struggle. He does require 1-2 hours of vigorous physical exercise every day such as running or hiking with you as long as his family members are with him and not leaving him alone. He is around 27 inches at the shoulders and weighs around 70 pounds.

Living with Redbone Coonhound

With short and smooth coat that’s, the Redbone Coonhound requires a minimum of care. Using a shedding tool or grooming mitt at least weekly will help keep shedding to a minimum, which also can help distributes skin oils down the hair shaft, giving his coat a natural shine.

Weekly brushing with a hound mitt or rubber curry brush will keep it clean and shiny, as well as remove dead hair so it doesn’t land on your floor, furniture or clothing.

Bathe your Coonhound as needed to keep the coat and skin clean and healthy, as he may have a bit of a “houndy” odor, which some people love and others hate. Bathing can help reduce the smell if you don’t like it, but it won’t take it away completely or permanently.

Wash your Red’s ears weekly with a gentle, vet-approved cleanser to prevent infection caused when wax, moisture, and dirt build up. 

Brush his teeth several times a week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Daily brushing can help more to keep your dog’s oral health. Nails should be trimmed once a month to prevent painful cracking.

Capable of a lot of exercise – and indeed, they were bred that way – this is a great outdoor dog and a good companion for someone who wants to get plenty of vigorous exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Redbone Coonhounds should spend most of their day outdoors, hunting, playing, or hiking with you. Because they are driven to follow their nose as fast as they can, care must be taken to exercise Redbone Coonhounds in safe, fenced areas. 

The Redbone Coonhound is a friendly, energetic canine athlete and makes a wonderful companion for someone who is an active runner, biker, or hiker. The breed has a very strong instinct to follow his nose and go off after prey, so he should never be allowed off leash in an uncontrolled situation.

Most Redbone Coonhounds love swimming and, with their webbed feet, they are naturals in the water. Even though Reds are strong swimmers, always watch them closely in or near the water.

The Redbone Coonhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. 

But the amount of your dog diet should vary with his age, size, activity level and metabolism. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you’ll need to shake into your dog’s bowl.

As a strong hunting breed known for being able to take out small animals – and even large ones – this dog will enjoy fresh meat of different varieties, from poultry to beef. Meat should be mixed in with whole, nutritious food aimed at giving the dog a healthy coat and satiating its appetite.

Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. 

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.  

Redbone Coonhound is generally healthy, and they mature more slowly than most, both mentally and physically. Breed health concerns may include eye problems, hip dysplasia ticks beneath their ears, ear infections and obesity.

The breed also may suffer from injuries from rough terrain and underbrush or caused by prey, such as raccoon, on the hunt. Not all Reds will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

A Redbone’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste formulated for dogs.

There are several health tests considerations specific to the breed, such as hip evaluation. Responsible breeders test all breeding stock for conditions that can affect the breed. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

Total Annual Cost: $3239

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Redbones are devoted companions and are very versatile, excelling in a range of venues, including coonhound trials and canine sports such as agility. 

Reds who are not used for hunting should definitely participate in agility training, advanced obedience classes, and dog sports. These activities give them a sense of purpose and the undivided attention of their owners, which the breed relishes.

Every dog should certainly feel this way about humans but should be trained with the discipline to realize that its role is subservient to every human in the house.

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Redbones are devoted companions and are very versatile, excelling in a range of venues, including coonhound trials and canine sports such as agility. Most of all they are great family dogs, very loving and loyal.

While Redbone Coonhounds are eager to please, they have a short attention span. Keep training sessions brief and incorporate play so they don’t know they are in dog school. 

Food and praise are strong incentives for this breed. Attentive, early training is important for Reds, because it’s difficult to train them out of bad habits once they form.

Redbone Coonhounds make excellent tracking dogs. They are adept at hunting raccoons, deer, and bears.


Redbone Coonhounds were developed in the US. Colonial settlers from Scotland and Ireland brought red hounds with them to the United States in the 1700s. It is those dogs that are the ancestors of the Redbone. Their skills were used to hunt for North American prey like deer, bear, and raccoon. They were tenacious hunting dogs, possessing strong scent abilities, and capable of running at great speeds with their well-muscled sleek bodies. After the hunt, the ferociousness was replaced with playful and affectionate companions.

Breeders wanted to produce a dog with characteristics to make it a superior coonhound; searching to breed a hound for speed and to sniff out prey to the tee.

The first dogs were commonly called “Saddlebacks” because they had a dark saddle. Some breeders preferred the solid red dogs though. With selective breeding, the black saddle was bred out. Then the solid red dogs became known as Redbone Coonhounds. Their ancestors were the foxhound and bloodhound. The result of this mixture makes them a suitable and reliable hunting dog.

This dog was named after an early breeder, Peter Redbone of Tennessee.

If you have ever read the book Where the Red Fern Grows; the two dogs, Little Ann and Old Dan – both were Redbones.

The Redbone Coonhound was recognized by the AKC in 2009.

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