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Redbone Coonhound sitting in grass

Redbone coonhound breed overview

  • Average Weight (Male)*  — 57.5 pounds
  • Average Weight (Female)* — 50.6 pounds
  • Breed Size — Medium
  • Height — 22-27 inches (male), 21-26 inches (female)
  • Life span — 12-15 years
  • Breed Temperament — Eager to please, go with the flow, even, and loving
  • Coat length & texture — Short, glossy, smooth
  • Coat color —Redbone coonhounds are deep solid red or red with a white chest or markings on their feet
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Exercise needs —High
  • Barking — Redbone coonhounds are on the more vocal side of things. Like other hounds, they’re known for their deep, soulful bay and can be pretty noisy dogs.
  • Intelligence — Average
  • Origin — United States of America
  • Breed group — Hound group (American Kennel Club)

*Methodology: Average male weight,  female weight and breed size are based on calculations from our database of more than 1,000,000 pets. 

Redbone coonhound temperament and characteristics 

The breed is especially mellow, sweet, and down to earth. Redbone coonhounds are the epitome of laid-back with a loving disposition to match. They’re some of the most affectionate, playful, and amicable purebred dogs and are known to get along well with others. Redbone coonhounds are great with kids, dogs, and people and are generally open to making new friends, both two- and four-legged. They’re highly adaptable and fit into just about any family environment as long as they get plenty of attention! Even though they’re one of the most laid back dogs, they will get bent out of shape about one thing: being ignored by their beloved humans.


The Redbone Coonhound is an impressive breed with a distinctive appearance. According to AKC breed standards, its short coat ranges in color from a deep red to a bright chestnut, with smooth feathering on its ears and lower legs. A dark muzzle and a small amount of white on brisket and feet are permissible. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, the common coat color for the Redbone Coonhound is (77%) red.

Caring for your redbone coonhound

Adopting a new puppy of any breed can be overwhelming. There are plenty of things to think about. You’ll need to choose a vet and make your first trip, plus schedule your dog’s vaccinations. Then, there’s your environment; we can help you puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething.

Although no one likes to think about losing their new dog, FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag, so you’re prepared for the worst. Here are some other basics specific to the redbone coonhound.


Redbone coonhounds are a high-energy breed that requires vigorous exercise. The American Kennel Club recommends one to two hours of exercise daily for these canine athletes. It’s near impossible to wear a redbone coonhound out, so they’ll keep going as long as you will. Redbone coonhounds are the ideal hiking companion since they can navigate any kind of terrain with ease and also make great jogging partners.

The breed doesn’t do well with extreme temperatures and is particularly susceptible to overheating. As athletic as this breed is, they also like their comforts, like air conditioning in the summer and couch snuggles and heat in the winter.

Training your redbone coonhound

Here’s what you should know about training a redbone coonhound: they’re naturally independent dogs that will do what they want without proper training. Don’t let that scare you, as the breed is eager to please and, with patience, can be very well trained. Remember that training your dog is in your best interest and theirs. An adventurous redbone coonhound that isn’t trained to respond to their owner can easily get themselves in trouble while on the scent.

Always start training your pup as young as possible. Start with a well-exercised pup who isn’t overflowing with pent-up energy. Your redbone coonhound has a short attention span and will respond well to quick, focused training sessions. Prolonged training will end in your pup losing interest and a lot of frustration and difficulty for the dog owner.

Never use punishment or intimidation to train your dog. It can result in shutting down or aggression from your dog. Your redbone coonhound will respond well to treats, positive reinforcement, and praise.

Closeup of a Redbone Coonhound

History of the redbone coonhound

Despite being an American breed, the redbone coonhound is derived from Scottish foxhounds and Irish hounds. The redbone coonhound was first conceived in the southern United States when George F.L. Birdsong of Georgia became exasperated by the elusive red fox and his hunting dog’s inability to catch it. He resolved to develop a worthy opponent that could outwit the slyest of foxes, and so the first redbone coonhound was born. The name is said to have originated from well-known early breeder Peter Redbone of Tennessee.

The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in the early 1900s, but redbone coonhounds didn’t gain recognition from the American Kennel Club until 2010.

Redbone Coonhound dogs playing

Common redbone coonhound health problems 

Coonhound breeds are generally healthy, and the redbone coonhound is no exception. Breeders will screen for the most common conditions, but there are still a few things dog owners should be on the lookout for.

  • Hip dysplasia. This inherited condition prevents the hip joints from properly forming and can lead to painful arthritis. It can affect any dog, including redbone coonhounds.  Depending on the severity, your veterinarian may suggest medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
  • Ear infections. Redbone coonhounds’ floppy ears are a breeding ground for trapped moisture and bacteria that can result in an ear infection.  As a preventative, be sure to keep your dog’s ears cleaned and dried after a bath, swim, hike, or romp in the yard.
  • Coonhound paralysis. Coonhound paralysis usually occurs after a raccoon bite or some exposure to their saliva, although in some cases the cause is unknown. The condition is believed to be an immune system response. When this occurs, the dog’s legs rapidly stop working, and sometimes total paralysis occurs for a time. In most cases, the dog can recover over a period of weeks.

Cost of caring for redbone coonhound

Although the redbone coonhound is a healthy breed, the cost of caring for a dog can add up quickly. Preventative medications like heartworm medication, vaccinations, and routine check-ups are an expense that dog owners need to plan for. In the event of hip dysplasia, the treatment cost can be a big hit. Pet health insurance may be a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Pet owners who sign up their pets early will reap the greatest benefit. Alternatively, creating a budget or a pet savings account may benefit redbone coonhound owners.

Redbone Coonhound puppy sleeping in a blanket

Redbone coonhound fun facts 

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Redbone Coonhounds Copper; Duke is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Redbone Coonhounds love Bella, then Molly.

  • They’re movie stars. You might remember redbone coonhounds as the main characters in the popular movie Where the Red Fern Grows, adapted from the 1961 children’s novel by the same name.
  • Music moves them. Redbone coonhounds love to sing, and it’s not hard to convince them to belt out a tune. They’re especially inspired by the harmonica; even the most novice players can get a redbone coonhound to join in with the high and low tunes.
  • They have webbed feet. Redbone coonhounds’ webbed feet help them hunt prey through swamps and bayous and also make them strong swimmers.
Redbone coonhound swimming in a pool


Redbone coonhounds’ short, smooth coat makes for easy upkeep and minimal grooming. Many coonhound owners will use their dogs for hunting, so an odor-neutralizing wash like this aloe oatmeal bath is often used to mask the dog’s scent. A weekly brush down with a grooming mitt will help keep shedding to a minimum while nicely distributing your dog’s skin oils. A monthly bath will be enough to keep your pup in good shape, although this adventurous dog may need a good wipe-down after a day on the trail.

Dogs of all breeds need regular dental care and nail trimming to keep them healthy. Redbone coonhounds, in particular, will need weekly ear cleaning to prevent ear infections.

Diet and nutrition

Redbone coonhounds are a healthy breed that will likely do well on any standard canine diet. As a general rule, redbone coonhounds will need about 2.5 cups of food daily, split into two meals, but talk with your vet about food portioning. Whatever food you choose, make sure your pup is getting the nutrition they need to support its high energy and athleticism.

Breeds similar to the redbone coonhound

Not quite sure that a redbone coonhound is the right puppy for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Bluetick coonhound. This heftier, muscular coonhound is known for its striking coat and high intelligence. They’re better suited for older children and are a bit higher energy than the redbone.
  • Black and tan coonhound. By far the largest of the coonhounds, adult black and tans can get up to 110 pounds. They do have a shorter life expectancy, but they are bright, easy-going companions that do well with children and other animals.
  • American English coonhound. The American English coonhound requires the least amount of grooming and is a sweet, agreeable breed. They’re better suited for families with older kids, and you can expect very little shedding.

Frequently asked questions

Are redbone coonhounds rare?

They’re extremely rare outside of the United States and still a lesser-known breed in the U.S. They’re more popular among hunters, but families can expect to be asked, “what kind of dog is that?!” upon adopting a redbone.

Are redbone coonhounds good guard dogs?

No. Redbone coonhounds are rarely wary of other people or animals and are unlikely to notice a guest until the doorbell rings.

Do redbone coonhounds like other dogs?

Yes. They’re bred to team up with others for the hunt, so they’ll make fast friends with other animals and very rarely have any problems getting along.

Do redbone coonhounds like to snuggle?

Yes! These sweet, affectionate dogs love nothing more than a good couch cuddle with their humans.

Do redbone coonhounds have a distinct smell?

Yes. They have a natural musky odor that can take a little getting used to.