There are SIX Coonhound dog breeds officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. They all originated around the 1750’s, and were bred from English Foxhounds and French hounds that were brought to America.
The one exception is the Plott Hound, whose ancestors were German Hannover Hounds brought to America by Johannes Plott. Originally used to hunt big game such as mountain lions, bears and wild boar, the Plott eventually also excelled at hunting Raccoon, and so is included in this group.
According to the AKC, nearly all hounds share common ancestors that were used in hunting. Some have an acute sense of smell (even for a dog), while others can run down their prey with sheer speed.
The Coonhound dog breeds all share an amazing sense of smell, combined with ruthless determination and seemingly endless endurance. They can make excellent companion dogs and family dogs, but they also need a lot of exercise and room to move.
Here are the 6 Coonhound dog breeds in alphabetical order;
American English Coonhound (Redtick Coonhound)
The American English Coonhound is also called the Redtick Coonhound. It was developed and bred in America by crossing English Foxhounds with local breeds. It is also referred to (more correctly) simply as the English Coonhound. The breed gets its name from the red patches or “ticks” in its coat.
Black and Tan Coonhound
The American Black and Tan Coonhound is a friendly, easygoing dog that belongs to the Hound group of dog breeds. Originally bred to hunt Raccoon, they are tenacious when on the trail but laid-back and relaxed at home. These are large, athletic dogs that cover difficult ground quickly with a sure-footed, easy stride.
Like all the Coonhound breeds, the Bluetick Coonhound was developed in America, primarily to hunt raccoon. The name comes from the colored ticks in its coat. They could also work in packs on more dangerous targets like bear, wild boar, lynx, and cougar.
In the early 20th century, Fred Gipson, author of “Old Yeller,” wrote about a line of famous Blueticks: “In this breeding they’ve got a big, bell-voiced hound with a nose that can pick up a week-old trail, the endurance to run that trail 30 hours at a stretch, and the lusty courage that’ll make him tackle anything that won’t take a tree before he catches him.”
This is a happy, amiable breed of dog that makes a great companion. They love being at home and around their owners, and seek human company. They do not do well if left alone for long periods, and may start to howl and bawl.
The Plott gets on well with other dogs, but can’t be trusted alone with other smaller household pets. Their hunting background means they will tend to go after any animal smaller than itself, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, etc.
The Redbone Coonhound Dog is a breed with an interesting history. Originally used for hunting raccoon at night, they have also been used for hunting just about every other type of large game, such as Bears, Deer, Cougars and wild Boar. A member of the Hound group of dog breeds, they hunt by scent.
In appearance, they resemble the Rhodesian Ridgeback and the Hungarian Viszla. They are muscular and athletic, with a proud stance and a sense of self-worth.
Treeing Walker Coonhound
This is the most popular of the Coonhound breeds, and is considered by many to be the best coonhound for raccoon hunting competitions. These hunting dogs can make great family pets and companions due to their friendly and laid back nature.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound was developed from the Walker Foxhound, which in turn descended from the Virginia Hound that evolved 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 Coonhound in 1945.