Most coonhounds are ancestors of the foxhound and the same holds true for the Redbone Coonhound. During the late 1700s, red foxhounds were brought to America by Scottish immigrants. It is suggested that these are the dogs that formed the base for the Redbone Coonhound breed.
A man named George Birdsong heavily influenced the breed. During the 1840s, Mr. Birdsong, a hunter from Georgia, obtained a pack of coonhounds and began breeding his own dogs. In time, more and more coonhunters became interested in these dogs and began mixing them with Red Irish Foxhounds. The purpose of this mix was to create a dog that was faster and could hunt down coons with a stronger sense of smell.
The resulting litters produced many dogs that were colored red with black saddles. For a while they were referred to as “Saddlebacks. Over several generations, hunters would breed these dogs in an attempt to emphasize a solid-red color. The Black saddle was eventually bred out. It was around this time when the breed became recognized as the “Redbone Coonhound”.
The Redbone Coonhound became the second coonhound dog breed to be recognized by the UKC in 1902. It wasn’t until the year 2001, practically a century later, that the AKC admitted this breed into the miscellaneous class. To this day, the Redbone Coonhound remains a favorite choice for serious hunters that prefer a versatile hunting dog that has a strong treeing ability.
The Redbone Coonhound Is typically very gentle, relaxed, and easy-going. They have a calm attitude and generally do not let trouble get to them. They enjoy being with their family or hunter owners, but are not starved for attention. This is one dog breed that needs to be kept busy with daily exercise and advanced training for mental stimulation. They are gentle with children and other dogs, but may be a little too rough with smaller house pets.
Taking Care Of Your Redbone Coonhound
As mentioned above, Redbone Coonhound dogs must have plenty of daily exercise. They have an amazing sense of smell and when a scent is picked up, it may have a tendency to dart off as fast as they can towards the target. These dogs also love to swim and can be kept outdoors if necessary. However, they are family-oriented so it makes a better choice to keep them indoors at night with the rest of the family. Grooming requirements are minimal, with a weekly brushing to remove dead hair. Some Redbone Coonhounds also have a tendency to drool a lot.
Like many purebred dogs who have kept their bloodline intact, Redbone Coonhounds are amazingly healthy with absolutely no major health issues to worry about and zero minor health concerns. These dogs have an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years.