Redbone Coonhound Breed Information Guide: Photos, Traits, & Care

Written by: Casey Estorque

August 30, 2019

Meet the Redbone Coonhound, an all American breed! This breed was developed during America’s expansion into the south and west. This patriotic pup is adorned with a coat so strikingly red that it’s in the breed’s name! The Redbone Coonhound is mild-mannered, friendly, and athletic. The American Kennel Club describes the breed as “kindly at home but a tiger on the trail.”

Unsurprisingly, Redbone Coonhounds are members the Hound group. They carry hallmark hound features, such as dangly, flat ears, a houndlike head, and a gorgeous short coat. The American Kennel Club boasts that they appear as if a “master sculptor carved them from blocks of the finest mahogany.” Read on to learn more about this handsome hound!

Breed Overview

  • Height: 21–27 inches
  • Weight: 40–70 lbs
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Breed Size: Medium
  • Colors: Red, red & white
  • Good With: (Some) kids, other dogs, cats
  • Temperament: Sweet, devoted, affectionate

Also Known As…

Redbone. Coonhound. “The reddest, boniest Coonhound there ever was!”

What is the History of the Redbone Coonhound?

Redbone Coonhounds inherited their stunning red coats from their red foxhound ancestors. The Scottish immigrants introduced their foxhounds to America in the late 1700s while the Red Irish Foxhounds were brought prior to the Civil War. According to the AKC, Redbone breeders spent several years on developing a “solid-colored, flashy, red dog.” These efforts resulted in the stunning dog we know today. However, these hounds are more than their hair!

This all American breed is one of six hounds created by American settlers during the nation’s expansion to the west and south. Settlers developed this breed in hopes of obtaining a reliable source of raccoon meat and fur during the expansion. They were bred to be agile, hot-nosed, fast, and excellent at treeing game (forcing small animal prey to run up a tree).

How Big Do Redbone Coonhounds Get?

Height: 21-27 inches

Female Redbones typically stand 21 to 26 inches at the withers while male Redbones typically stand 22-27 inches at the withers.

This breed is considered medium-to-large in size.

Weight: 45-70 pounds

Redbone Coonhounds weigh 45 to 70 pounds on average.

How Long Do Redbone Coonhounds (Generally) Live?

When it comes to breed specific health concerns Redbone Coonhounds are very healthy, their average lifespan is 12-15 years. There have been some occurrences of hip dysplasia in this breed, yet it is not reported to be common.

Like with every dog, a Redbone’s floppy ears should be inspected regularly for signs of infection. They should also receive routine parasite control, nail trimmings, and teeth brushing.

Given good care and establishing a healthy routine, this dog breed doesn’t have any notable health concerns to be worried about.

What Is A Redbone Coonhound’s Temperament & Personality Like?

Redbone Coonhounds are not raccoons! They have mastered the art of balance. Redbones are very mellow, yet very active. This breed is loved for their sweet, even-tempered personality. Inside the home, they are laid back and easygoing. They are devoted, affectionate and eager-to-please, making them very loyal companions.

Their indoor gentleness is offset by the breed’s impressive stamina and energy. During playtime and outdoor activities, this breed is highly energetic, athletic, and alert. Once a Redbone Coonhound’s nose gets a whiff of something intriguing, she’s off to track it! They love engaging in vigorous activities, such as hiking and swimming, just as much as they love lounging on the couch with you.

Are Redbone Coonhounds Good With Kids? Cats? Dogs?

Redbone Coonhounds are friendly and love people. Because of this, they typically get along well with strangers. Despite the breed’s friendly nature, early socialization is still important in ensuring your pup is tolerant of strangers and other animals.

This breed is typically friendly towards other dogs, yet this can vary in each Redbone. Because of their history as hunters and their resulting prey drive, use great caution when these dogs are around small pets.

Are Redbone Coonhounds High Energy?

Bred to be quick and agile hunters, Redbone Coonhounds are quite energetic. Therefore, this breed has substantial activity needs. A Redbone Coonhound needs plenty of exercise and physical activity to stay happy and healthy.

Redbone Coonhounds are excellent companions for active people! They love vigorous activities such as hiking, running, hunting, and swimming. If you’re not an extreme sports fanatic, no worries! This dog can also receive sufficient exercise with daily walks or jogs.

Despite their high energy needs, Coonhounds are also very mellow dogs. Between physical activities, Redbones love lounging around! In the home, they are very mellow and laid back. You get the best of both worlds!

Are Redbone Coonhounds Hard To Train?

Redbone Coonhounds are moderately intelligent. These devoted dogs are eager to please. This makes them good candidates for training! However, many struggle with “canine attention deficit disorder.” Thus, plenty of patience and rewards are required for successful training. Capture your Redbone’s attention with savory treats and loads of affection after she performs the desired behavior. Harsh training techniques should be avoided.

Fun fact: Redbones are versatile, known to excel in a range of dog sports such as coonhound trials and agility courses.

Ideal Environment for Redbone Coonhounds

Redbone Coonhounds thrive in homes with sprawling, fenced yards. However, you can create a home fit for this dog even if your outdoor space is limited. This breed can adapt to apartment living if sufficiently exercised daily. However, the breed’s barking may pose a barrier to apartment living (further discussed below). Their hardy, all-weather coat can withstand outdoor living. However, this devoted breed prefers to be surrounded by family, chilling on a couch indoors.

Like most hounds, Redbones are easily swayed by their noses. Their hunting dog origins instilled in them a drive to follow scents and pursue prey. Because of this, they should only be off leash in a securely fenced area. Securely fenced yards are necessary to keep your dog safe and contained. Once their noses tell them to go somewhere, there is little that will stop them!

Also like a typical hound, Redbone love to sing and howl. Though their bark is quite lovely, your neighbor may not agree at 2 AM. Pup parents who live in close quarters should be mindful of this breed’s barking tendency.

Do Redbone Coonhounds Have Health Issues?

Redbone Coonhounds are generally healthy and have a long lifespan, but a few have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. More likely, they may sustain injuries in the field while hunting. Even raccoons are capable of doing some damage to a dog. With their floppy ears they can be prone to ear infections.

Do Redbone Coonhounds Need to Be Groomed?

The most striking feature of this breed is in the name. That’s right, the Redbone Coonhound is adorned with an iconic red coat. This stunning feature was no accident; in the late 18th century, breeders spent many years developing the breed’s flashy, solid, red coat.

Their trademark coat consists of short, smooth hair that is very easy to maintain. Can you believe it – all that beauty and low maintenance! Brushing weekly with a shedding tool or grooming mitt can help minimize shedding. This also distributes skin oils throughout the hair to enhance their coat’s striking shine. In addition to regular nail trims and ear checks, Redbones should be bathed every four to six weeks.

How Much Does It Cost to Care for a Redbone Coonhound?

If you are looking to be the future dog parent to a coonhound the typical price range is between $450 and $1,200 however, the price can vary depending on the breeder.

If you are looking for a more budget friendly option, adopting from a shelter is typically around $300.

Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)

After the first year, you will likely pay less unless your dog develops a serious health condition.  Some health problems like hip dysplasia will require ongoing and considerable treatment. You can expect an average yearly price of $100 to $300 for your healthy, adult Redbone Coonhound.

Dog Food

The cost of the food depends mainly on what food you choose. We recommend high-quality food for your pup, as these can help prevent health problems. A varied diet is often best for your puppy, so you should switch between a few different foods. Redbones grow rapidly in their first year of life and need a nutritious diet to support their growth!

Puppies will usually eat less since they are smaller. You may spend less on their food. However, as an adult, you can plan on spending about $350 on food a year – more if your dog needs a special diet. 

Why not make mealtime simple with BARK Eats? With pre-portioned, customized dog food designed for the dietary needs of your dog , you’ll ensure your pup is benefiting from every bite. Enjoy the best of BARK delivered straight to your door and snag 50% off your first month!

These dogs will need quite a few toys. You should plan on them costing about $100 a year. 

Preventative Medications for Redbone Coonhounds

It typically costs a couple hundred for a year’s worth of various tick, heartworm, and parasite treatments for your Redbone Coonhound. Your vet may recommend additional vaccines based on your geographic region and your pup’s lifestyle, so prepare for another $100–$200 on the bill.

Toys Redbone Coonhounds Would Like Best

A hunting do through and through, Redbone Coonhounds naturally love a chase! Toys that can be used in games of long-distance fetch – like the “Lady Liberty Ball” – help ignite that instinct. This will not only entertain your Redbone Coonhound, but also help him be sufficiently exercised.

Redbone Coonhounds also love swimming! Toys that can be used in the water – like Super Chewer Toys – turn swimming into the ultimate playtime. You can even throw Fetch Toys into the pool and see if your pup will test the waters.

Recommended Products for Redbone Coonhounds

Running around all day can be exhausting. A comfy dog bed is a top choice for your canine companion, especially ones with hip dysplasia. The right support can help ease your pup’s tired joints and help them relax from a hard day of playing.

Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Bed

This dog bed is great for supporting your pup’s tired body. A high quality combination of ergonomic memory foam and gel foam helps ease body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia and arthritis. This bed offers the best therapeutic support for your hardworking pal. ($27.99-64.99.)

Redbone Coonhound Tips To Keep In Mind

Redbones do not require high maintenance but it is important to remember a few key tips when caring for this breed.

Exercise is a great outlet for coonhounds! Having a good exercise routine helps Redbones fight off boredom and keeps their mind simulated. They are less likely to have self-destructive habits if they are stimulated.

It’s also important to note that Redbones are known to have a distinctive odor. However, this hound odor can be minimized through having a consistent bath regime.

Notable Rescues To Find The Redbone Coonhound Of Your Dreams

Large dog with BarkBox

Featured image via RealDonnyJohnson/Instagram

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Written by: Casey Estorque

August 30, 2019


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.