"There I was sitting right in the middle of the finest hunting country in the world and I didn't even have a dog."
Did you know that redbone coonhounds are the dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows? Or that the UKC recognized the redbone coonhound in 1902, but the AKC didn't until 2010? Redbones even have webbed feet and are excellent puzzle solvers. Redbone coonhounds can be both "hot nosed" and "cold nosed" trailing dogs, depending on what you need.
Let's find out more about this interesting red dog hound group!
1. The Dogs in Where the Red Fern Grows Are Redbone Coonhounds.
Wilson Rawls wrote this classic book in 1961, then turned it into a movie in 1974. Billy Coleman, the main character, is ten years old and works odd jobs for two years to save up for two puppies. He names his puppies Little Ann and Old Dan and trains them to hunt raccoons. Billy and his hounds become well-known in the Ozarks as the best coon hunters. A mountain lion attacks the dogs one night while the trio is hunting. The dogs kill the mountain lion, but Old Dan dies from his injuries later. Billy's father believes that God sent the hound dogs to show that the family was meant to stay together.
2. The Redbone Coonhound Was Recognized By the UKC in 1902, but Not By the AKC Until 2010.
The United Kennel Club accepted the Redbone Coonhound breed in 1902, but the American Kennel Club did not until 2010. In the early nineteenth century, Scottish immigrants introduced red-colored foxhounds to Georgia, which became the base stock for today's Redbone. Irish-bred red Irish foxhounds and bloodhound lines were introduced around 1840. Over time, breeders adopted a selective policy that resulted in a coonhound capable of treeing raccoons and other small animals, brave in the face of more giant predators such as cougars and mountain lions, athletic enough to track in the mountains or the wetlands, and capable of swimming if necessary. They are scenthounds suitable for both small and sizeable prey-pack hunting. Breed standards were adopted for purebred coonhounds upon their addition to the AKC.
3. Redbone Coonhounds Have Webbed Feet.
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The Redbone originally had a black and tan saddleback, but an uninterrupted solid red coat had replaced it by the early twentieth century. The Redbone Coonhound has a lean, athletic body that is well proportioned. The body shape is characteristic of the coonhound subgroup, with long straight legs, a deep belly, and head and tail raised high and proud while hunting or displaying. The Redbone Coonhound has blue eyes and a face that is often portrayed as begging. The dog's eyes will range from dark brown to hazel, but a darker color is preferred. The coat is short and sleek against the fur but coarse enough to cover the skin when hunting in dense underbrush. A deep red color is characteristic of this breed. Although their coats are short, they require weekly brushing for optimal health.
Their big paws have thick pads and webbed toes, and dewclaws are popular. The nose is always black and prominent, with black on the muzzle and around the eyes, a practice known as masking. When stretched out, the ears are floppy and would most certainly reach almost to the end of the nose. The coat is always a deep crimson, with a slight amount of white on the collar, between the thighs, or the bottom. The white chest and footmarks that occasionally occur on Redbone Coonhound puppies today are most definitely a result of bloodhound and foxhound bloodlines being mixed.
4. Redbones Are Puzzle Solvers.
This sensitive and easygoing dog breed loves its human family and can make excellent playmates for children if they receive early socialization instruction. Of course, playtime with children and dogs, even well-trained dogs, must still be supervised. Redbone Coonhounds are an intelligent and athletic breed and have a high energy level. They need a lot of mental and physical activity, otherwise they will get bored and act out. Keep them occupied, and you'll have a satisfied, engaged family member. They make excellent family watchdogs, have a lifespan of approximately 10-12 years, and are not susceptible to many health issues other than hip dysplasia.
5. Redbone Coonhounds Are Both "Hot Nosed" and "Cold Nosed" Hunting Dogs.
They are among the finest dog breeds in the world when it comes to hunting. Their only aim is to hunt, whether raccoons or larger predators like tigers, mountain lions, wild boars, and deer. Their physical characteristics make them ideal for this mission. They are, by necessity, scent hounds, which means they can run their game solely by smell. As a result, they can detect any animal over long distances. They are excellent at trailing and treeing, making it simple for hunters to hit the mark. This comes in handy, particularly when hunting raccoons and other related games.
They are both cold-nosed and hot-nosed, but are generally more hot-nosed. This means they can detect new smells in a field, allowing them to fish a fresh catch. Those that have a cold nose can also follow older scents that have been left on the ground, making them valuable locators of their prey's habitat.
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