The Redbone Coonhound is a breed of dog that was developed in the United States for hunting raccoons and other game animals. The breed's name comes from its distinctive rich, red coat. The Redbone Coonhound has a fascinating history that dates back to the late 18th century. Early settlers in the US required dogs that could hunt and survive in rugged wilderness conditions. During the late 1700s and early 1800s, red foxhounds from Scotland and Ireland were imported to America, and the Redbone Coonhound is believed to be a descendant of these foxhounds. The breed was refined during the 19th century to create a dog with speed, a keen nose, and versatility in tracking across different types of terrain, whether water or land. The dogs were selectively bred for their red color, which led to the breed being named Redbone. Today, they are popular for their skill in treeing and tracking game, especially raccoons, hence the name Coonhound.
Redbone Coonhounds may suffer from hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, and eye disorders such as glaucoma and central progressive retinal atrophy (CPRA). Genetic testing is recommended, including for the blood disorder called Pelger–Huet anomaly, and the neurological condition canine polyradiculoneuritis.
Redbone Coonhounds are known for their well-rounded personality. They are generally good-natured, amiable, and eager to please. They're also known for their versatility as family pets and hunting dogs.
They have a keen instinct to track scents, and they can be quite focused and determined when on a trail. Despite their hunting instincts, they are typically good with children and other dogs. They have a lot of energy and require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. However, they can also be quite laid-back when they're at home.
The Redbone Coonhound has a distinctive bay that can carry for long distances. This was important for hunters who needed to locate their dogs in dense forests or over vast areas.
The breed gained fame through the classic novel "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls. The book tells the story of a young boy and his two Redbone Coonhound dogs, named Old Dan and Little Ann.
Despite their hunting background, many Redbones are also excellent swimmers and enjoy water activities.
This breed demonstrates exceptional speed and agility.