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Treeing Walker coonhound standing in a yard

Treeing Walker coonhound overview

  • Breed group — Hound group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height — 20-27 inches
  • Weight — 50-70 pounds
  • Coat length & texture — Smooth, short coat that sheds moderately
  • Coat color — Black, white, or tri-color coats which may have black or tan spots
  • Exercise needs — High
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — Often
  • Life span — 12-13 years
  • Temperament — Active, alert, and intelligent
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Origin — United States

Treeing Walker 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 Treeing Walker Coonhounds Cooper; Cooper is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Treeing Walker Coonhounds love Sadie, then Daisy.

  • They were originally bred to hunt raccoons. Occasionally, the Treeing Walker has been trained to hunt and “tree” more challenging prey, such as bobcats and black bears.
  • Tennessee Lead, a dog of unknown breed, influenced the early Treeing Walker coonhound. Before this dog was recognized as a separate breed, their predecessor, the Walker coonhound, was bred with Tennessee Lead. It’s been said that this mysterious dog gave the Treeing Walker some of its defining characteristics.
  • “Walker” refers to an influential dog breeder, not the coonhound’s behavior. Anyone who’s ever owned a Treeing Walker may feel like “walker” doesn’t adequately describe this dog’s active lifestyle. Walker is actually a reference to Thomas Walker, a dog breeder from Virginia who was influential in the development of the breed.
Treeing Walker coonhound close up with a field in the background

Treeing Walker coonhound temperament and characteristics

You might find the Treeing Walker coonhound baying or howling at your door before your morning alarm because they’ve found a deer in your backyard. On the other hand, their social nature might compel them to stay in bed with you until you get up to brew your coffee. The Treeing Walker combines high activity levels with a deep sense of companionship. After a tiring walk, they might plop down on your porch or settle beside your desk for a long nap. They generally get along great with children and other dogs, including people outside of the household.

As alert and intelligent hounds, they’ll probably bark to alert you if a stranger enters your property, but they aren’t likely to react aggressively. Due to their high prey drive, the treeing walker coonhound might not be a great match for a home with cats or small animals that could be confused for prey. It’s not impossible to have a Walker and a cat under the same roof, though. They’re more likely to respect your feline’s boundaries if they’ve been around cats from a young age, but some dogs get along well with other animals even when introduced as an adult. In the end, your dog and cat’s personalities determine their potential for friendship more than their breed.

Standing between 20 and 27 inches tall, Walkers are considered a medium-sized breed. Their floppy ears give them a true hound appearance and their coat is usually white, black, or tri-colored according to the AKC breed standard. Certain patterns and markings are allowed for conformation standards, such as tan or black spots. Blanket or saddle back patterns are also very common, and Walkers not held to show dog standards may display a mix of colors or patterns .


The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a tall, sleek, muscular hound with a short coat. According to the AKC breed standard, the tri-colored coat color is preferred: white, black, and tan. White may be the predominant color with black marking and tan trim. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, the common coat color for the Treeing Walker Coonhound is (36%) brown and white.

Common Treeing Walker coonhound health problems

There aren’t too many health conditions associated with this breed in particular. Rather, you should be on the lookout for conditions that are common to the canine population as a whole.

  • Hip dysplasia. This common condition occurs when the femur grows in such a way that it doesn’t line up with the hip socket. Although hip dysplasia has many risk factors, genetic screening before breeding may prevent certain cases.
  • Eye problems. An ophthalmologist exam is recommended before breeding to prevent genetically transmitted eye diseases. Some common problems with their eyes, such as cataracts, can be age-related and may occur in dogs of any breed.
  • Hypothyroidism . Some thyroid complications, like hypothyroidism, are genetically influenced. A thyroid evaluation is recommended before breeding to reduce the risk of passing thyroid diseases to the puppies.

Cost of caring for a Treeing Walker coonhound

You can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $6,000 for your Walker. A reputable breeder usually charges more on the expensive side, but you might be able to adopt one and save some money by going through an animal shelter or rescue organization.

Even though the Treeing Walker coonhound is a relatively hardy breed, investing in a health insurance policy for your pet can assist you when things do go ary. Instead of facing a $$$$ bill on your credit card statement, you’ll pay your vet at the time of the emergency and then receive a reimbursement that usually covers 70-90% of the amount you owe. Most companies process claims within 14 days.

Pet insurance usually works best if you enroll your pup early. Senior dogs may receive limited coverage, or may be denied entirely depending on the provider. If you have an older dog or don’t want to pay an annual insurance deductible, you might consider opening a pet savings account instead.

Treeing Walker coonhound in the grass

History of the Treeing Walker coonhound

As whispers of revolution swept through the British Colonies in America in the 18th century, a new type of dog descended from the English foxhounds that had accompanied the early settlers. Known regionally as the “Walker foxhound” after their breeder, Thomas Walker, these dogs formed the breeding stock of what would become the modern Treeing Walker coonhound.

Southern hunters embraced the Treeing Walker as heartily as they celebrated traditions like biscuits and Brunswick stew. They realized they had a unique dog romping through their swamps and forests, and eagerly continued to develop the breed. The new Treeing Walker coonhound differed from its ancestors because they were bred to hunt raccoons, not foxes. They’re also slightly smaller than the more reserved English foxhound.

However, the Treeing Walker coonhound wasn’t officially recognized as a separate breed until 1945 when they were accepted into the United Kennel Club. They were formally inducted into the American Kennel Club as members of the Hound Group in 2012.

Caring for your Treeing Walker coonhound

Caring for your Walker can be overwhelming. Almost as soon as you bring them home,  you’ll need to schedule their first trip to the vet for a wellness exam and core vaccinations. As your treeing walker coonhound learns how to navigate their new world, we can show you how to puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething. Since they have an intensely efficient nose, a tantalizing smell can suddenly send your treeing walker coonhound on an expedition outside of your backyard before you realize they’re gone. FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag so you’re prepared just in case they make a grand escape.

You’ll also want to invest in a crate for training. While some people prefer to start their puppy off on potty pads, you’ll still need a crate. Crate training without potty pads may be a more effective method of housetraining, but you’ll need to find the way that works best for you and your dog.


The Treeing Walker coonhound is a high energy dog that requires at least two hours of outdoor exercise daily to stay healthy. Activities that engage their muscles, nose, and mental capabilities work best, such as taking stimulating walks on a trail. Sniffing lowers stress and makes your dog happy, so let your hound linger in the leaves for a few minutes to enjoy the full experience.

Since Walkers have a high prey drive, be sure to keep them on a leash if you’re not in a restricted area such as a thoroughly fenced backyard or dog park. A sudden whiff of a squirrel may send them bolting far away, so you’ll want to secure the premises before you let them off-leash.

Treeing Walker coonhound outside by a tree


You’ll be relieved to learn that the Treeing Walker would rather spend their time exploring or cuddling with you instead of being blow-dried in a salon. Their smooth coat naturally repels water and is easy to maintain. Since they do shed and drool, they’re not considered hypoallergenic. However, the good news is that they’ll also never need a haircut.

A hound glove is an ideal tool for your Walker’s weekly brushing. When they return home from their adventures, wipe them down with a moist towel or pet-friendly wipe instead of opting for a bath when possible, in order to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Save baths for every couple months or when they’re truly dirty. It’s important to brush their teeth daily to keep them healthy, and give them a nail trim every couple weeks to prevent injury.

Diet and nutrition

What and how much to feed your dog depends largely on their life stage and individual health. Your vet can guide you towards a healthy, well-balanced diet, and advise you on how much to feed them. In general, though, medium-sized adult dogs like the treeing walker coonhound require around 3 cups of dry food. The exact amount depends on their individual needs and the type of food you choose. Generally, inexpensive dry food isn’t as nutritionally dense as a higher quality kibble, so you may have to feed them more in order for them to receive what they need.

Training your Treeing Walker coonhound

The Treeing Walker coonhound is an intelligent hunter. They intuitively know how to drop an old scent on the trail in favor of a fresher find. They know to change their tune once they tree their prey so they can alert the hunter that their coveted prize has been trapped. However, you might as well be talking to a stump if you tell them to sit when they have other things on their mind.

Walkers do possess a stubborn streak and are likely to become distracted when confronted with tempting sights, sounds, and smells. Train them in brief sessions, restricting them to a confined area at first in order to limit opportunities for their attention to drift.  The Treeing Walker coonhound is eager to please their people, so you’ll achieve success with patience and persistence.

Treeing Walker coonhound outside

Breeds similar to the Treeing Walker coonhound

Are you still wondering if a Treeing Walker coonhound is right for you? Even if you’ve made your decision, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds before you sign the adoption papers. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Beagle. The beagle has been a popular hound for years. Their adorable smaller size and multi-colored coats have made them an endearing choice.
  • Bloodhound. Tipping the scales at 80 to 110 pounds, the Bloodhound is a larger member of the Hound Group with an impressive reputation for tracking. While they bark and bay like any hound, they’re more likely to spend more time watching your front porch than the restless Walker who always wants to go exploring.
  • English foxhound. As their immediate ancestor, the English foxhound shares many similarities with the Walker. Since their physical needs aren’t as intense, the English foxhound is a better fit if you don’t want to commit two or more hours of your day exercising your dog.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Treeing Walker coonhound a good apartment dog?

You can definitely take care of a Walker in a small space as long as they receive at least a couple hours of exercise outside every day. They’re lively creatures who thrive on human companionship, so they won’t tolerate being left alone for long stretches with infrequent or minimal physical activity.

Does the Treeing Walker coonhound get along with other pets?

Hunting dogs are usually trained to work in groups, so it makes sense that the Treeing Walker is usually friendly to other dogs. Cats aren’t always a great idea, however, since they may be mistaken for small prey. If you train them from a young age, the Walker may be able to coexist with a cat, but it can be tricky if they’re already an adult with habits stubbornly in place.

Is the Treeing Walker coonhound a good family pet?

As long as your family has the time and capacity to give them the care they need, the Treeing Walker coonhound can make a great family pet. It’s important to make sure they get enough exercise, however, to curtail negative habits that can develop from boredom or too much energy. This breed generally loves being around people. They may bark at strangers, but aren’t usually aggressive, especially once you tell them it’s okay.

Is the Treeing Walker coonhound hypoallergenic?

No. Their short smooth fur does shed, but only moderately. Brushing them weekly with a glove brush helps to collect the loose fur that spreads dander. The Walker may or may not be a good choice for you, depending on the severity of your allergy symptoms.

How many types of coonhounds are there?

The Treeing Walker coonhound is one of six different coonhound breeds currently recognized by the American Kennel Club. The others are the American English coonhound, bluetick coonhound, black and tan coonhound, redbone coonhound, and Plott hound.