The Treeing Walker Coonhound descends from both the English and the American Foxhound, who were originally used as hunting dogs. The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s original purpose was to hunt small game. Today’s hunter still uses the breed for treeing and hunting. Treeing is a type of hunting which uses dogs to force the prey to climb up into a tree. This wonderful breed not only excels as a hunter but as a great companion and family dog. The Treeing Walker Coonhound originates from the United States and is nicknamed TWC or Walker. Due to the short coat of this affectionate dog, very little maintenance is required.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound descended from the English Foxhound, which was also called English Coonhound. The “Walker” part of his name comes from John W. Walker, a Kentuckian who develop the breed. The other breeder responsible for the initial development of the breed was George Washington Maupin. During the Colonial era, Mr. Walker and Mr. Maupin imported and bred English Foxhounds. The dogs they bred were called Walker Hounds. In the 1800’s they acquired a black and tan dog named Tennessee Lead, which was then crossed with the Walker Hound. The “Walker Hound” legend is that Tennessee Lead was stolen from a deer chase in Tennessee. Tennessee Lead was a rat-tailed, black and tan hound sold to Mr. Maupin. The ancestry origins of Tennessee Lead are unknown although it is clear that the exceptional speed of the Treeing Walker Coonhound came from this legendary dog. Mr. Walker and Mr. Maupin proceeded to use Tennessee Lead as a stud dog, producing valued litters. The new breed was first called the Walker Coonhound and was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1905. The name was later changed to the Treeing Walker Coonhound. The Treeing Walker Coonhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in January 2012, making this dog the AKC's 174th recognized breed.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a broad skull. The muzzle is long and narrow. He has large, floppy pendant ears. The eyes are large, brown and have a soft and gentle expression. The breed has a smooth glossy coat and comes in a tricolor and bi-color pattern. They may come in black, tan and white or any combination of two or all three colors. The legs of the Treeing Walker Coonhound are lean and long but are muscular. Their feet are compact and well padded, with a cat-like appearance. The tail is moderately long and is set high. They have powerful shoulders. Their upper lip hangs below the lower jaw. The breed is known for its beautiful agility and grace. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is sometimes confused for a large Beagle.
A Treeing Walker Coonhound needs his owner’s companionship. The breed’s hunting instinct can be channel into tracking, field trials or search and rescue. His endurance and determination also make him a great hiking partner. His short and smooth coat needs to be brushed weekly to remove dead hair and in addition, monthly bathing will help with his musky smell. His ears should be checked weekly for wax build up, irritation or mites. The veterinarian can recommend an ear wash to use for the breed’s pendulous ears. Brushing the dog’s teeth once a week can help prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. His nails may need to be trimmed once per month. This breed is not good for apartment living as the space may be too confined. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is meant to have a large yard in which to run, play and explore.