How to Train a Treeing Walker Coonhound


Want to learn how to train your Treeing Walker Coonhound to be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how.

A smart, brave, and sensible hunter, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a genuine American favorite, nicknamed “The People’s Choice.” Don’t let the name fool you’ Walkers are runners and are capable of covering a lot of ground in a hurry.

Few things can quicken a coon hunter’s pulse like the sight of this swift tricolored hound in full stride’the long, muscular legs, the powerful and propulsive hindquarters, and the streamlined frame all working to cover maximum ground with minimum effort. Later, basking in the warmth of a campfire after an honest night’s work, this sweet-faced hound will look up and stir your soul with his gentle, pleading expression. Mercy, what a pretty picture! No wonder Treeing Walkers are called the People’s Choice.


Let’s unpack the name a word at a time. “Treeing” refers to a hound trailing the scent of his quarry until the quarry scurries up a tree for safety, with the hound camping out below and barking, vigorously and distinctively, for as long as it takes for the gun-toting hunter to arrive. “Walker” is Thomas Walker, of Virginia, who in the mid-1700s was a pivotal figure of the breed’s early development. “Coonhound” is a dog developed to “tree” raccoons and, sometimes, bigger game.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound was developed from the Walker Foxhound, which evolved from the Virginia Hounds that descended from the earliest English Foxhounds that were brought to America. Originally classified as an English Coonhound, the Treeing Walker’s breeders broke away from the English version in 1945 and bred to retain the qualities they desired. It is a fast, hot-nosed, sensible hunter, with a clear, ringing bugle voice or a steady, clear chop with changeover at the tree. It locates its quarry quickly and has superb endurance and treeing ability. Known to range widely, it may leave the original track if it picks up a stronger scent. Extremely competitive because of its speed, the Treeing Walker’s reputation grew as night-hunts achieved popularity.

Today the Treeing Walker retains the same color and similar conformation to the Walker Foxhound and is occasionally described as a trailing hound with treeing instinct.

Quick Facts

Temperament: Smart / Brave / Courteous

Height: 2–27 inches

Weight: 50-70 pounds

Life expectancy: 12-13 years

Hound Group


The Treeing Walker is overall quite a healthy breed, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye anomalies. Be sure to always check the dog’s ears when he comes in from outside, as ticks love to burrow beneath the coonhound’s floppy ears. Removing excess ear wax and debris and checking the ears at least weekly will help you to avoid common ear infections.

Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
  • No recommended health tests


The Treeing Walker is a very low-maintenance breed. His short, smooth coat repels dirt and mud, and he will require only the occasional bath to maintain his handsome appearance. Wiping him down with a damp towel or a hound glove will keep his coat shining. His nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks, as long nails can cause the dog discomfort and structural problems. A hound’s ears should be cleaned regularly to keep them free of excess wax or debris and to check for any signs of ear infection. The Treeing Walker will look forward to grooming sessions as bonding experiences with the human he loves.

Like most coonhounds, the Treeing Walker is a high-energy breed who delights in stretching his legs in a good, long run. He is an excellent candidate for someone who wants a running or hiking companion. While most coonhounds can quite happily become couch potatoes, most will still appreciate long daily walks at a minimum. Romps in the backyard, chasing a ball, or playing with human or canine friends will help to keep him mentally and physically healthy. The Treeing Walker has a very high prey drive and should be on a leash for walks and hikes, as he may be unable to resist the instinct to pursue an interesting scent.
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The Treeing Walker Coonhound is very intelligent and eager to learn. These hounds love to please their people, but they also have a stubborn, independent streak. This can make them seem difficult to a trainer who doesn’t understand the coonhound brain. Keeping training lessons fun and entertaining and praising good behavior and jobs well done with treats as well as effusive praise will result in a hound who is a joy to live with.


The Treeing Walker Coonhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). A hound who isn’t working can be prone to becoming overweight, so owners should monitor the dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. 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. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Want to learn how to train your Treeing Walker Coonhound to be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how.