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Coonhounds
(Treeing Dogs)
Coonhounds are dog breeds that descend from the Bloodhounds and Foxhounds brought from England to the British colony in Virginia in the 17th century. These dogs, originally known as Virginia hounds, were especially created for night-hunting arboreal prey, such as raccoons, opossums and bobcats.

This type of hunting needed the creation of a new type of scenthound as foxhounds were found to be inadequate for hunting animals that took to the treetops to escape instead of going to ground. Traditional scenthounds that were good for the ground-level pursuit were often confused or unable to hold the scent when the prey took to the trees. They would soon lose interest and wander off pursuing another quarry.


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Instead coonhounds will not give up once the quarry has been treed. They will surround the tree barking for as long as it takes for the hunter to catch up. They have been selectively bred for their keen sense of smell, their ability to track, chase and corner the prey independent of human commands.

American Blue Gascon Hound
Black Mouth Cur
Black and Tan Coonhound
Bluetick Coonhound
Canadian Cur
DenMark Feist
English Coonhound
Kemmer Stock Mountain Cur
Leopard Tree Dog
Majestic Tree Hound
Mountain View Cur
(see: dog breeds named after their original kennel)
Mullins' Feist
Plott Hound
(see: dog breeds named after a family)
Redbone Coonhound
Stephens Stock
(see: dog breeds named after a person)
Treeing Cur
Treeing Tennessee Brindle
Treeing Walker Coonhound
Running Walker Coonhound

Coonhounds are not a dog for everyone. They are good with small children, but are very high energy dogs and like to be around people. They get easily bored and will find a way to occupy themselves if they are not provided with some fun tasks to carry out with or for you. If left alone they can become very destructive (major diggers, escape artists) and persistant "boredom barkers". Remember that Coonhounds were bred to bark very, very loud. Their voices must be heared by the hunter to lead him to the tree the prey has climbed.

While coonhounds are enthusiastic, affectionate dogs, they have the reputation of being very difficult to train. That is because most common training methods won't work with Coonhounds.
Being independent hunting dogs, Coonhounds will always try to escape to go chasing something. Since they have a very high pain threshold, the "invisible fence" will not work. Keeping a coonhound in may involve some major work or adjustments in your house or garden.

Black and Tan Coonhound
Photo: Allison Viron
Black and Tan Coonhound
Linda Hibbard