The Treeing Walker Coonhound certainly fits the bill if you are looking for a fast, agile dog with a keen nose for tracking. This breed has an interesting history and was developed in the United States to hunt raccoons and other small game. Named after its ability to chase its prey up a tree and alert its owner with a distinctive howl.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a member of the hound group in the American Kennel Club (AKC) and ranks 127th in the AKC breed popularity ranking. The United Kennel Club (UKC) and the National Breed Club also recognize the breed.
History of the Treeing Walker Coonhound
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a descendant of the English foxhound that was brought to America in the 18th century by Thomas Walker, a Virginia colonist who wanted to develop a hunting dog that could track raccoons in the dense forests of the South. Walker crossed his foxhounds with other breeds, such as the Irish Hound and American Foxhound, as well as the bloodline of Tennessee Lead (a stolen black and tan dog from Kentucky).
The result was a fast, agile, and courageous hound that could track raccoons by scent and chase them up trees. The breed was originally called the Walker foxhound or the Walker coonhound but later became known as the Treeing Walker Coonhound to distinguish it from other coonhound breeds.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound was popular among coon hunters in the South who admired its speed, stamina, and tenacity. The breed was also used for hunting other game, like squirrels, opossums, foxes, bobcats, bears, and even larger prey like deer and mountain lions. The breed was also known for its distinctive howl that alerted its owner when it treed its quarry.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Treeing Walker Coonhound in 1905 as part of the Coonhound group. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also accepted the breed in 2012 as part of the hound group. The breed has a dedicated following among hunters and pet owners who appreciate its loyal and energetic personality.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds Appearance
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a medium-sized dog weighing 45 to 80 pounds and standing between 20 to 27 inches at the shoulder. The breed has a muscular and athletic body that is well-proportioned and balanced. The breed has a long head, a slightly arched neck, and long ears that hang close to the face. The tail is set high and carried upright. The eyes are dark and expressive, and the nose is black.
The Treeing Walker has a short and smooth coat that comes in tricolor (black, tan, and white) or bicolor (tan and white). The breed has a unique coat pattern that consists of black spots on a white background with tan markings on the head, chest, legs, and tail. This pattern is called “ticking” and gives the breed a speckled appearance.
A graceful and elegant dog moving with speed and agility, this breed has a smooth and effortless gait covering much ground. They have a strong and powerful drive that enables them to pursue their prey with determination and endurance.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a friendly, outgoing, and loyal dog that loves to be around people. The breed is good with children and other dogs but may not get along well with cats or other small animals due to its strong hunting instinct. Not a good choice for apartment living! They need a lot of exercise and space to run, plus this is a breed that tends to bark and howl a lot, which will probably annoy your neighbors.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are intelligent and trainable dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement and praise. They can learn a variety of commands and tricks but may also be stubborn and independent at times. Dogs of this breed need a firm, consistent owner who can provide leadership and guidance. Like many dog breeds, they benefit from early socialization and exposure to different people, places, and situations.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is an energetic and adventurous dog who loves exploring new scents and chasing after anything that moves. The breed is an excellent hunting dog that can track and tree raccoons, squirrels, opossums, foxes, bobcats, bears, and even larger prey like deer and mountain lions. They easily work well alone or in packs and will alert their owner with a loud and distinctive howl when it finds their quarry.
They make phenomenal hunting dogs, companions, and family pets. The breed is affectionate, playful, and eager to please its owner. The Treeing Walker Coonhound enjoys everything from cuddling on the couch to playing fetch in the yard or going for walks or hikes.. as long as it gets to spend time with its owner. The breed is often used to participate in various dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally, tracking, or lure coursing.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Treeing Walker
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a loyal and affectionate dog that loves to be around people and other dogs.
- They are intelligent and trainable dogs that can learn a variety of commands and tricks.
- The treeing walker coonhound is an energetic and adventurous dog that enjoys hunting, exploring, and playing.
- They are healthy and low-maintenance dogs that do not require much grooming.
- Not a good choice for apartment living or sedentary owners, as they need a lot of exercise and space to run.
- Treeing Walker Coonhounds tend to bark and howl a lot, which may annoy your neighbors or cause noise complaints.
- Due to its strong hunting instinct, the Treeing Walker Coonhound may not get along well with cats or other small animals.
- This breed is sometimes stubborn and independent, so it needs a firm and consistent owner who can provide leadership and guidance.
As a breed, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are generally healthy without major genetic problems and can live up to 12 to 13 years. Like any dog breed, there are some health issues to look out for.
- Hip dysplasia: A condition where the hip joint does not fit properly into the socket, causing pain and arthritis.
- Ear infections: A common problem for dogs with long ears that trap moisture and dirt. Regular cleaning and checking of the ears can prevent this issue.
- Eye problems: Such as cataracts, glaucoma, or progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can cause blindness.
- Bloat: A life-threatening condition where the stomach twists and fills with gas. Feeding smaller meals throughout the day and avoiding exercise right after eating can help prevent this issue.
To keep your dog healthy, you should take it to the vet for regular check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite control. You should also spay or neuter your dog to prevent unwanted pregnancies and health problems. Provide them with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. Avoid feeding any dog human food or table scraps that may cause obesity or digestive issues.
With short, smooth coats that shed moderately throughout the year. The Treeing Walker Coonhound does not require much grooming, but you should brush its coat once or twice a week to remove loose hair and dirt. You should also bathe your dog as needed or when it gets dirty from hunting or playing outside.
Other grooming tasks include trimming your dog’s nails every few weeks to prevent cracking or splitting, cleaning your dog’s ears regularly to prevent infections, and brushing your dog’s teeth daily to prevent dental problems.
You should also check your dog’s skin for any signs of irritation, infection, or parasites such as fleas or ticks. You should also inspect your dog’s eyes for any discharge or redness. If you notice any problems, you should consult your vet for treatment.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a very active and energetic dog that needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. The breed is not suitable for apartment living or sedentary owners, as it can become bored, restless, and destructive if not given enough outlets for its energy.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound needs at least an hour of vigorous exercise every day, preferably in a large and fenced area where it can run freely and safely. You can also take your dog for long walks or hikes, but make sure to keep it on a leash as it may chase after any interesting scent or animal it encounters. You can also play games with your dog, such as fetch, tug-of-war, or hide-and-seek, to keep it entertained and happy.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is also a working dog who enjoys having a job. You can train your dog to hunt with you or join a local hunting club where you can participate in events and competitions. You can also enroll your dog in various dog sports such as agility, obedience, rally, tracking, or lure coursing to challenge its physical and mental abilities.
Training a Treeing Walker
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a highly intelligent and trainable dog that can learn a variety of commands and tricks. However, the breed can also be stubborn and independent at times, so it needs a firm and consistent owner who can provide leadership and guidance.
Similar to most dogs, they respond best to positive reinforcement and praise rather than harsh or negative methods. Start training your dog from an early age and use treats, toys, or play as rewards. And remember to be patient and persistent with your dog; it may take some time for it to master certain skills or behaviors.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds benefit from early socialization and exposure to different people, places, and situations to prevent them from becoming shy or aggressive. Introduce your dog to various people, animals, sounds, and objects in a positive and controlled manner. It’s especially helpful to teach your dog basic manners and obedience, such as sit, stay, come, heel, leave it, and drop it.
Always remember this breed is a hunting dog with a strong prey drive and has a tendency to chase anything that moves. Teaching your dog to recall reliably and to ignore distractions when off-leash is essential. An important suggestion to prevent problems down the road is to train your dog to differentiate between game and non-game animals and respect other wildlife and livestock.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is sometimes called the “people’s choice” among coonhound breeds because of its popularity and versatility.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is the state dog of Virginia, where Thomas Walker developed it.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is featured on the logo of the Coon Hunters Association of America (CHAA), a national organization that promotes the sport and welfare of coon hunting.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is one of the few breeds that can climb trees, using its strong nails and muscular legs to grip the bark.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a unique coat pattern that consists of black spots on a white background with tan markings on the head, chest, legs, and tail. This pattern is called “ticking” and gives the breed a speckled appearance.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a keen sense of smell that can detect even the faintest scent of its prey. The breed can also follow both hot and cold trails, meaning it can track fresh or old scents.
- The Treeing Walker Coonhound is named after its ability to chase its prey up a tree and alert its owner with a loud and distinctive howl. The breed can also strike different poses on the tree to indicate the location and size of its quarry.
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Where to Buy
If you are interested in buying a Treeing Walker Coonhound, you should be prepared to spend between $300 to $600 for a puppy from a reputable breeder. The breed is not very common outside of the South, where it is mainly used for hunting. You may have to travel or wait for a long time to find a suitable puppy.
You can find a list of reputable breeders on the websites of the AKC, the UKC, or the National Breed Club. It’s a great idea as well to contact local coonhound clubs or rescue groups for referrals or adoption options. You can also search online for Treeing Walker Coonhound puppies for sale or adoption near you.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are exceptionally loyal and energetic hunting dogs that can track and tree raccoons and other small game. The breed is also a friendly, outgoing, affectionate companion and family pet who loves being around people. The Treeing Walker Coonhound needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep it happy and healthy. They also need a kind but firm, consistent owner who can provide leadership and guidance.
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Are Treeing Walker Coonhounds aggressive?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are not aggressive by nature, but they may show aggression towards other animals due to their strong hunting instinct. They may also be wary of strangers if they are not well-socialized. They are generally friendly and outgoing with people they know and trust.
Are Treeing Walker Coonhounds protective?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are loyal and devoted to their owners but not very protective or territorial. They may alert their owners to the presence of intruders or potential threats with their loud and distinctive howl, but they are not likely to attack or defend their property.
Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds bark a lot?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds bark and howl a lot, especially when they are excited, bored, or hunting. They use their voice to communicate with their owners and other dogs and to signal when they have treed their prey. They may also bark or howl when they are lonely, anxious, or in pain.
Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds have webbed feet?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds do not have webbed feet, but they have long and strong nails that help them grip the bark of trees. They also have muscular and athletic legs that enable them to run fast and jump high.
When do Treeing Walker Coonhounds stop growing?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds stop growing when they reach their adult size, which is usually between 20 to 27 inches at the shoulder and 45 to 80 pounds in weight. This may vary depending on the individual dog’s genetics, diet, and health. The breed typically reaches its full maturity by the age of two years.