The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a breed of hound descended from the English and American Foxhounds. The breed originated in the United States in the 19th century, specifically in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, and it was developed for its exceptional hunting skills, specifically for its ability to track and tree raccoons. The breed was first recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1945 as part of the coonhound group, and later by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2012.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health conditions. These can include hip dysplasia, ear infections (due to their long, pendulous ears that can trap moisture), and polyradiculoneuritis, an acute inflammatory disease that can affect the nerves.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are energetic, intelligent, and typically friendly dogs. They are known for their courage and desire to track, which makes them excellent hunting dogs. Despite their hunting background, they are usually very good with children and other dogs. However, their tracking instinct can make them prone to wander if not properly contained or supervised. They can be very vocal and will often "sing" or bay when they have treed their quarry or when they are bored. Training and socialization from a young age are important to manage these behaviors.
The "Treeing" in their name refers to the breed's ability to chase a prey animal up a tree and hold it there until the hunter arrives.
They are often mistaken for a tall Beagle because of their similar coloration and hound characteristics.
They were originally known as the "Walker Coonhound", named after John W. Walker, a Kentucky breeder who was instrumental in their development. The "Treeing" was added later to distinguish their specific hunting style.