Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
Hounds are some of the most beloved dogs in the animal kingdom—and the Treeing Walker Coonhound is one of the most beloved of the hound breeds.
These working dogs are known for their intelligence, hunting abilities, and overall good-natured and loving spirit. But what else is there to know about the breed?
Let’s take a deep dive into the Treeing Walker Coonhound—and learn all there is to know about this lovable hound dog:
Also Known As...
American Treeing Walker Coonhound. TWC. Walker. "Not to be confused with the Walker Texas Ranger Coonhound."
The Treeing Walker Coonhound has its origins in—you guessed it—America. The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a somewhat long evolution; they were descended from Walker Foxhounds, who were descended from Virginia Hounds, who were descended from early English Foxhounds that were brought over to America from England. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are hunting dogs and were bred to hunt small game, like raccoons and deer.
While they were originally classified as an English Coonhound, breeders broke off in the mid-1940s and began breeding for certain traits and qualities, giving birth to the current American breed, which was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1945 and the American Kennel Club in 2012.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a medium-sized dogs. The average height for a male is between 22 and 27 inches—while the females are slightly smaller, with an average height of between 20 and 25 inches.
The average weight range for an Treeing Walker Coonhound is between 50 and 70 pounds.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound can have somewhat of a split personality. They’re hunting dogs, so when they’re on the hunt or tracking a scent, they’re extremely alert, focused, and intense. But when they’re not hunting, they’re much more mellow and relaxed—not to mention extremely loving and loyal to their humans.
Intelligence / Trainability
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are highly intelligent dogs who are both eager to learn and eager to please their owners—all of which add up to an extremely trainable breed. But, this breed is known to have a bit of a stubborn side—so if you want to successfully train them, you need the right strategy.
Want to get the most out of training your Treeing Walker Coonhound? Here are a few training tips to keep in mind:
- Use positive reinforcement. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are eager to please—and their much more likely to respond to positive reinforcement than harsher training methods. If you want to successfully train your Treeing Walker Coonhound, make sure to layer on the praise, treats, and other positive reinforcement.
- Make it fun. The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s stubborn streak is more likely to come out when they’re bored or disengaged—so make the training process fun! The more fun and entertaining the training process is, the more engaged the Treeing Walker Coonhound will be—and the easier it will be to train them (and avoid that stubborn streak!).
- Make it challenging. Again, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a smart breed—and they respond well to being challenged. If you want to get the most out of the training process, make sure you make it challenging enough to keep your dog engaged.
Ideally, your Treeing Walker Coonhound will have plenty of opportunities to get outside, exercise, and explore—so a home with a fenced-in yard or plenty of access to enclosed outdoor spaces is key. Just make sure that, in any area you take your Treeing Walker Coonhound off-leash, they’re fully enclosed and secure; if your dog catches a scent that piques their interest, they might not be able to resist going after it!
Good For Families And Kids?
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is loving, mellow (at least when they’re not on the hunt!), and difficult to annoy—making them a great breed for families with children.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds, on average, live long, healthy lives; the average lifespan for an Treeing Walker Coonhound is between 12 and 13 years.
Overall, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a healthy breed. But, just like all breeds, there are some health problems that you’ll want to be on the lookout for.
Some health issues associated with the Treeing Walker Coonhound include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye anomalies, and thyroid issues. Also, the breed’s big, floppy ears are prone to wax buildup, ear infections, and tick infestations—so pet owners should be prepared to check and clean the ears on a regular basis to avoid problems.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a working dog—and, as such, they can be very high energy dogs. This is a great breed if you live an active lifestyle and want a dog who will be happy to accompany you on long runs, hikes, and other outdoor activities.
Some hounds are less active than others—but even if your Treeing Walker Coonhound is more couch potato than outdoor adventure, they’ll still need daily exercise (like a long walk around the neighborhood and plenty of playtime in the backyard) to work off any excess energy.
Friendly with…(Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are extremely friendly and even-tempered—and are able to get along well with other dogs. Because they’re hunting dogs, cats can be a challenge—but with the right training, they can potentially learn to live peacefully with your feline friends.
Coat & Grooming
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog—at least when it comes to grooming—look no further than the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Because their short coat actually repels dirt and mud, they very rarely need a bath; a quick wipe down with a damp washcloth is all the Treeing Walker Coonhound needs to keep their coat in tip-top, shiny shape.
When it comes to Treeing Walker Coonhounds, you don’t need to bathe them often—but you do need to regularly clean their ears. As mentioned, their floppy ears are susceptible to wax and debris buildup (not to mention a great hiding place for ticks!), so make sure to check and clean them on a weekly basis.
Toys Treeing Walker Coonhounds Would Like Best
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are extremely intelligent and extremely energetic—both of which add up to a dog who loves to play!
In order to keep your Treeing Walker healthy, happy, and engaged, you need to play with them regularly—and you need the right toys to do it. Some toys you’ll want to consider getting for your Treeing Walker Coonhound include:
- Fetch Toys. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are hunting dogs—which means they love to chase. Engage their natural instinct to chase with a good, old-fashioned game of fetch—with a fetch toy, of course!
- Tug Toys. Treeing Walker Coonhounds also have a lot of energy—so they need toys that will help them work some of that energy off. Tug toys are a great way to physically tire out your dog—and have fun in the process!
- Super Chewer Toys. As mentioned, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is extremely smart—so they need mental play just as much as physical play. Treat-dispensing Super Chewer Toys are a great way to keep their brain engaged (and reward their intelligence with a yummy treat!) - plus they're extra-durable for those tough Treeing Walker teeth.
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
Like all dogs, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is going to feel their happiest and healthiest when fed a diet of high-quality dog food free from any unnatural ingredients—including fillers and preservatives. This breed is also prone to weight issues—especially if they’re not actively working or hunting—so portion control is important as well.
As your Treeing Walker Coonhound gets older, you may also want to supplement their diet with supplements to support their overall health and well-being.
These veterinarian-formulated supplements are made with all natural glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, all packed into a delicious soft chew. ($32.99.)
For Treeing Walkers with joint issues - or any dog who just loves to lie around! - a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues To Find The Treeing Walker Coonhound Of Your Dreams
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a beloved breed. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t dogs out there in need of a loving home! So, if you’re thinking about adding an Treeing Walker Coonhound to your family, don’t go to a breeder—go to a rescue.
There are a number of rescues in the US that specialize in Coonhounds—including the Treeing Walker Coonhound. If you’re looking for an Treeing Walker Coonhound to call your own, here are some notable rescues where you can find the perfect pet for your home:
- Northeast Coonhound Rescue, serving New England, New York, and New Jersey
- Houndsong Rescue, serving Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky
- Carolina Coonhound Rescue, serving the US and Canada (based in South Carolina)
- Adoptable Treeing Walkers on Petfinder
Notable Instagram Treeing Walker Coonhounds
If you’re a lover of all-things-Treeing Walker Coonhound, why not carry that love to your Instagram feed?
Here are the Instagram accounts you’ll want to follow if you want as many Treeing Walker Coonhounds on your social media feeds as possible (and, let’s be real—who doesn’t?):
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Featured image via Mr_Treeing_Walker/Instagram