The streamlined Redbone Coonhound, an American original, is even-tempered, mellow, and kindly at home but a tiger on the trail. Vigorous activities like hunting and swimming between long periods of rest is the rhythm of coonhound life. Redbones are medium-to-large hound dogs whose muscles undulate beneath a sleek and stunning red coat. The overall impression is that a master sculptor carved them from blocks of the finest mahogany. The classically houndy head is flanked by ears long enough to reach the nose. Dreamy brown eyes give the face an expression described by the breed’s devotees as ‘pleading.’ Bred to work on all kinds of punishing terrain, Redbones are fast and surefooted and move with a proud, determined gait.
Redbones are one of six hounds developed by American settlers to provide a steady source of raccoon meat and fur during the new nation’s expansion to the south and west. Coonhounds are often portrayed in pop culture as lazy ol’ dawgs snoozing away their lives on the front porch. But anyone who’s been on a “nite hunt” in pursuit of the wily, nocturnal raccoon will tell you that Redbones and their coonhound cousins are among dogdom’s most tireless and tenacious pursuers.
Temperament: eager to please / even-tempered / amiable
Height: 21 to 27 inches
Weight: 45-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
Redbone Coonhounds are generally healthy dogs. Responsible breeders test their stock for health concerns and communicate with other dedicated breeders regularly, working together for breed health and preservation of the breed’s unique qualities. 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. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.
The Redbone Conhound’s short, smooth, protective coat requires a minimum of care. Using a shedding tool or grooming mitt at least weekly will help keep shedding to a minimum. This action also distributes skin oils down the hair shaft, giving his coat a natural shine. Nails should be trimmed once a month, and a bath every four to six weeks will keep the coat and skin clean and healthy. The Redbone’s ears should be checked weekly and cleaned of any excess wax and debris as needed.