Redbone Coonhound

  • Overview

    Redbone Coonhounds are efficient, fiercely dogged hunters. They're often referred to as honest dogs because they are genuine in their actions — although they love to work for their owners, they march to the beat of their own drummer.

    The Redbone Coonhound is a diligent worker who can adapt very well to the family environment because they are loyal, trusting and generally quite friendly. Make sure to begin basic obedience training at a young age to help their family-friendly traits flourish.

  • Personality

    The Redbone Coonhound is a steady and determined hunter who was bred to chase down raccoons and other small game at a fast clip. These dogs are most popular as working dogs in the country and on farms, but they have recently been gaining popularity as pets. Their temperaments vary greatly based on whether they were raised indoors as companions or outdoors as coonhounds. Indoor dogs are calm and balanced with a keen desire to please and respond to their owners, but outdoor dogs can be more willful, less likely to listen and incredibly single-minded in pursuit of a task. Even if the Redbone Coonhound is mainly a companion dog, they will still need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to burn off the energy they expect to use while hunting.

    Redbone Coonhounds are incredibly dedicated hunters who become single-minded in their pursuit of game. Their owners describe their outdoor behavior as "nose down, ears closed," because they are so easily distracted by scents and sounds. Indoors, and away from the field, they are quite amiable to training and can be very eager to please their owners. Redbone Coonhounds were bred to work with humans, so they tend to have a good sense of their owner's feelings and concerns. They respond best to consistent, formal obedience training that will help them become responsive to their owner's commands.

  • Coat Care

    The Redbone Coonhound's red coat should be the solid deep red shade of a molasses cookie. Some dogs have darker muzzles or small amounts of white on the feet and chest, but other colors should never be excessively present. The coat is short and fine, but of a coarse enough texture to protect the coonhound in all types of climate and environment.

Brushing

Brush these dogs weekly with a firm rubber brush or hound glove. They shed mildly, so brushing will help stimulate hair growth, remove dead hairs and tame the mess from shedding.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Smooth coated breeds adhere to the general rule of dog bathing: about once every three months. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing.

Hair Clipping

Trim between their foot pads and around their ears if necessary to help your dog stay comfortable.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.