Choosing a coonhound is an important decision since each breed has different characteristics. All coonhounds do share some common traits. 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, appropriate discipline, 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. Both good training and enough exercise and work are very important. If you cannot provide both, then you should consider another type of dog for your needs.
Different Breeds of Coonhound to Consider:
- Black and Tan Coon Hounds
- The American Leopard
- The American English
- The Treeing Walker
- Curs and Feists
Once the decision to get a coonhound has been made there are some key considerations to think about.
- Which breed will best hunt the type of quarry you hunt.
- What conditions will the dog hunt in.
- Which dog has the kind of temperment to fir your lifestyle.
- How dedicated you are to training..
Things to Consider When Choosing a Coonhound
To answer your question “which coonhound is the best?” It depends! Here are some factors to take into consideration:
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. 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.
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. They need to be a part of the pack and in the case of getting a single dog, that pack is your family.