Redbone Coonhound

45-80 lbs
Southern United States
Redbone Hound, Saddlebacks

The Redbone Coonhound was bred in 18th century America from Foxhounds and Bloodhounds that were brought over from Ireland and Scotland. Intended to be faster hunters that could tree raccoons, these dogs were agile and energetic, and able to cross many types of terrain quickly. These versatile hunting dogs were selected for the signature solid red coat seen in the breed today. This dog is known for his loyal and affectionate nature that makes him a good family dog, and an adaptability that lends itself to the field. Redbone Coonhound lovers enjoy the deep, melodious voice that can carry for miles, especially when a good scent has been discovered, much to their neighbor’s chagrin.

Hunting small game, Treeing game
Date of Origin
Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, Irish Hounds

Redbone Coonhound Health

Average Size
Male Redbone Coonhound size stats
Height: 21-27 inches Weight: 45-80 lbs
Female Redbone Coonhound size stats
Height: 21-27 inches Weight: 45-80 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Coonhound Paralysis
Minor Concerns
  • Pelger - Huet Syndrome
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Redbone Coonhound Breed History

The Redbone Coonhound is an American made breed that is descended from Foxhounds and Bloodhounds. In the late 1700s, Red Foxhounds were imported into the United States with Scottish immigrants. Before the Civil War, Red Irish Foxhounds were also brought with the Irish settlers. By the late 18th century, coon hunters needed a faster, hotter nosed dog that could locate and tree raccoons quicker than the current breeds in the area. By crossing these immigrant breeds, this faster dog was born. For several years, breeding concentrated on creating a nearly solid colored red dog bred for its speed and agility in various terrains. Many early versions of the breed had black coloring over their backs resembling a saddle, and were called “Saddlebacks.” As the red color was favored, the black saddle was eventually bred out of the breed. George Birdsong, a famous Georgian fox hunter and dog breeder, obtained a pack of this breed in 1840, and successfully refined it. Many believe the Redbone Coonhound owes its name to its striking red color, but more likely it is named for Peter Redbone, a Tennessee promoter of the breed. In 1902, the Redbone Coonhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club. Familiarity of the breed grew after the book, and subsequent movie, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” which featured two Redbone Coonhounds. Today, this dog is still a versatile hunter which cannot only tree raccoons, but also bears, cougars, and bobcats too. The American Kennel Club finally recognized the breed in 2009. 

Redbone Coonhound Breed Appearance

The Redbone Coonhound is a medium sized, strong and streamlined dog, meant to speed across swamplands, rocky hills, and wooded areas. His gait is well-balanced with the head and tail carried up. This dog is squarely proportioned, and is slightly longer than tall. A long and gently arched neck leads into a broad and slightly domed skull that boasts a well-balanced muzzle, and large, open nostrils in a black nose. The face carries a pleading expression with round, dark brown or hazel eyes, and large, floppy ears that are set moderately low on the head. A strong and straight back and broad chest are supported by well-muscled legs. This breed has cat-like feet that are compact and well-padded with arched toes. The tail is moderate in length. The coat is comprised of short and glossy hair. Generally, the color is a solid, rich mahogany, although there can be a small amount of white on the chest and feet.

Redbone Coonhound Breed Maintenance

This breed is generally easy to maintain, needing a weekly brushing, as the Redbone Coonhound does shed moderately and is not hypoallergenic. The Redbone has been known to have a musty scent which can be controlled with regular baths. The long, floppy ears do need to be routinely cleaned, as well as kept dry, to avoid the ear infections this breed is prone to have. The nails grow fast and should be regularly trimmed to prevent splitting and cracking. This hound enjoys and requires frequent daily exercise, and will become bored without something to do. The Coonhound can benefit from long walks and jogs, spaces to run, swimming, and hunting. Keep this dog leashed or fenced in, or else he can run off after a scent. The laidback Redbone can live indoors or outdoors, and does best in a rural home that allows him to hunt and howl. Be sure to spend quality time with this hound, as if left alone, he will pine for human companionship. The Redbone is prone to be obese, so be sure to avoid overfeeding him.

Redbone Coonhound Temperament

The Redbone Coonhound is a devoted and loyal family dog who is intelligent and eager to please. These are affectionate and easy going dogs who are playful and love attention from their family, without being overly demanding. Though they love children, Redbones can be too rambunctious for toddlers when they are young. This breed can peacefully co-exist with other animals, but may view small animals such as cats as prey, and may chase them. They will do better with cats if they are raised with them. The Redbone can also do well with strangers, but may take on the job of watchdog. Good socialization while young can acclimatize this hound to different animals and people. The most distinguishing feature of the Redbone is his musical, deep barking and baying voice which can carry for long distances. These dogs are independent and stubborn, and may prove challenging to train. Begin training early with short sessions, using positive reinforcement and treat rewards. Though they are more responsive than other breeds to training, obedience isn’t their strong suit. Energy abounds in this breed who needs regular, daily exercise. Redbones are versatile and can hunt and swim in a variety of terrains. If hunting is not on the schedule, these adaptable dogs can also enjoy agility and obedience trials, tracking, rally, dog shows and even employment in the search and rescue division.

Redbone Coonhound Owner Experiences

2 Years
Playing with toys
Both of the Redbone Coonhounds I've walked are very friendly and high-energy. One of them has to be kept in a kennel while his owners aren't home because otherwise he gets into everything and makes a mess. They both jumped up on me a bit when I came in but one of them wanted to jump up on every single person we passed on the street, which was a little hard to handle. Using a Gentle Leader harness definitely helps, as does walking them in a less-crowded area where they can have more space to themselves. They also have very intense barks (more like howls) and can make quite a lot of noise when they want to! A fire engine passed us with it's siren on and the coonhound began howling in unison with the siren! It was very cute and everyone on the street stopped to watch.
10 months, 3 weeks ago
4 Years
playing on grass
The coonhound that I walked was very friendly and was a very obedient. He always walked by my side and never barked. He was even good around other dogs.
10 months, 4 weeks ago
Gilligan Mumbles
9+ People
cool beans cool beans cool beans and big blue jeans. and peeing all over mom
11 months, 1 week ago
7 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Playing in the snow
Elegant, kind, and loyal.
11 months, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd