Which Coon Dog Should I Choose?

Dog Breeds Header Image

Choosing a coonhound is a fairly important decision, as each breed has different characteristics, even though essentially, they’re all good-natured, they will all trail a scent, tree a raccoon or other animal, and let their handler know where they are by baying melodically once their quarry is cornered.

All coonhounds need good leadership, gentle correction to any undesirable behavior, and time spent on consistent training.  They also must be able to exhibit natural hunting behavior and get enough exercise that they don’t become high-strung and frustrated, as this boredom may cause them to be destructive.  Both good training and enough exercise and work are very important and if you cannot provide both, then you should consider another type of dog for your needs.

Different Breeds of Coon Hounds to Consider:

Once the decision to get a coonhound has been made, you need to think about which breed will best hunt the type of quarry you hunt, in what conditions, has the kind of temperament that best fits in with your lifestyle, how dedicated you are to being consistent in your training, and many other things you might not have considered until you think about the traits that make each coonhound it’s own breed.  Below are just some considerations you should be thinking about, and suggestions of coonhounds to fit your needs.

Which Coon Dog Should I Choose?

Things to consider:

If you’d like to compete in field trials, you’re likely to want one of the fast, hot-nosed breeds, such as the Treeing Walker coonhound, or the American English coonhound.  However, the American English coonhound does not do as well in intense heat, so if you live somewhere that will be very hot when you’re out hunting, the Treeing Walker coonhound may be the best choice of the two.

If you’d like to hunt huge ferocious game, you’re likely to want a Plott coonhound or an American Leopard hound. While the other coonhounds are commonly described as fearless, the Plott coonhound is particularly aggressive when cornering large game, and the American Leopard hound is very good at holding large game for long periods of time, without getting injured, due to quick sidestepping movements and staring down their quarry.

Some hunters will prefer that their coonhound goes and does it’s job of tracking and treeing, while others will value a closer relationship with their coonhound on the hunt.  The Plott coonhound will still be responsive during the hunt, while the Black and Tan coonhound steadily follows a trail without commands and will let a hunter know when he’s treed the raccoon.  A Bluetick coonhound will call throughout the hunt, letting the hunter know what stage of pursuing the game he is at.

If you have other pets, or small children, maybe a baby on the way, then you do not want a Redbone coonhound, at least not until he’s over two years old.  This is because they mature very slowly and are likely to be boisterous rowdy puppies, even when they’re bodies look like adult dogs, they can play rough without realizing.

A Feist might be more appropriate, particularly as they’re extremely protective.  They’re also small, and if you like to hunt small game, perhaps with children accompanying, then the Feist is a good choice, and able to get down rabbit holes as well as chase squirrels.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of situations you should think about when choosing a coonhound.  Your coonhound must be able to fit well into your life, not just your hunting, as they need to be a part of the pack, and in the case of getting a single dog, that pack is your family.