Treeing Walker Coon Hounds

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The treeing Walker coonhound is a beautiful and highly skilled hunting companion.

A Mr. Thomas Walker brought an English foxhound to Virginia in 1742 and it is speculated that the breed has descended from an accidental pairing of a cross-bred hound and one of the later English related Virginia foxhounds.

Treeing Walker coon hounds were finally acknowledged as an official breed in 1945 and while they have retained the rich coloring of the Walker fox hound, their hunting style is now quite different.  These dogs will track and chase a raccoon until it runs up a tree, and the loud call of the coonhound alerts his handler that the tracking is over.

Treeing Walker coon hounds are fast and locate their quarry very quickly, but they’ll also chase all day and all night if necessary, such is their endurance and stamina.  A raccoon may find itself up a tree in no time at all, with the coonhound calling his handler with his distinctive baying call.  These dogs may also bark very loudly after treeing an animal, making it easier for them to be located.

Despite their name, coonhounds will chase many other animals and the treeing Walker coonhound is no exception. This breed has been used to hunt everything from rats to bears, alone or with other dogs, and they’re exceptionally effective. T

heir melodic howl and ability to climb trees to corner their quarry is attractive to hunters who want a reliable hunting coonhound they can easily find.

Of the coonhounds, the treeing Walker has a much less ‘cold’ nose, so is best suited for tracking recent quarry, and may even be distracted from a chase by a fresher track they find.  Their hot-nosed tendencies make them excellent field trial dogs, and their speed gives them a very competitive edge.

While these coonhounds have razor-sharp scent tracking skills and enviable endurance for long hunts, they also make wonderful members of the family, enjoying being snuggled up in a warm house.  It is well-known among treeing Walker coonhound owners that it can be difficult to coax a comfortable warm dog out for a hunt, although they relish the chase and the exercise once you can.

They are intelligent dogs, and require very consistent training to ensure they don’t lapse into any bad behaviors.  Treeing Walker coonhounds will find any tiny gap of opportunity to get away with something they’re not supposed to be doing, just like a human, if they get bored they’ll come up with ways to make things more interesting.  A hunting-trained treeing Walker will need very high fences at home, as they are capable of scrambling over anything 6 feet or even higher.

Potential Concerns

Generally speaking, treeing Walker coonhounds are healthy dogs with no strong pre-disposition to particular ailments, even as they get older.  However, some dogs may suffer from coonhound paralysis, an allergic reaction to raccoon saliva, if they’re bitten.  Otherwise, they are known to have rather sensitive digestive systems and a plain diet with no human food treats is advised.

They may chew on grass or other leaves to settle an upset stomach.  Treeing Walker coonhounds are unlikely to put on extra fat, they are naturally very lean and even a well fed and nourished dog can sometimes look quite skinny.

Overall, the treeing Walker coonhound is a fantastic hunting buddy to have if you’re keen on following fresh tracks or you’re thinking of entering into field trial competitions.  They’ll fit well into a family environment, they are affectionate and unperturbed by small children – they can even learn not to chase the family cat.

If the Treeing Walker isn’t for you, consider one of the other Coon Hound Breeds.