The Breed History
Dating back to red foxhounds brought to the United States by Scottish immigrants in the late 1700s and red foxhounds imported from Ireland before the Civil War. By the late 18th century, some coon hunters began breeding for hotter-nosed, faster dogs that were swifter at locating and faster at treeing raccoons. They used the hot, swift Irish hounds in their breeding programs and the Redbone Coonhound evolved into a recognized, respected breed well before 1900. While other coonhound breeders selected only for function, Redbone breeders, for a period of several years, concentrated on breeding a nearly solid-colored, flashy, red dog, bred also for looks. As soon as the eye-catching color bred true, these serious hunters once again selected for performance. Today both attributes are well established in the breed. AKC recognition occurred in 2009.
Breeding for Function
The Redbone has been bred for the purpose of treeing raccoon and small game, and is acclaimed for its speed and agility from lowlands to steep, rocky hills. An excellent swimmer with a pleasant, if not constant voice.
Height at withers: Males - 22 to 27 inches (56-69 cm). Females - 21 to 26 inches (53-66 cm).
Weight: 50-70 pounds (23-32 kg).
Coat: Short, smooth, coarse enough to provide protection. Solid red preferred. Dark muzzle and small amount of white on brisket and feet permissible.
Longevity: 11-12 years.
Points of Conformation: Should be equal in height from highest point of the shoulder blade to the ground as long measured from sternum to the buttocks. Slightly taller at shoulder than at hips. Pleading. Eyes - Dark brown to hazel in color, dark preferred. Set well apart. No drooping eyelids. Eyes round in shape. Ears are set moderately low, and fine in texture. The muzzle is square, and nostrils wide. Nose is black. Deep broad chest with ribs well sprung. Shoulder angulation should have a perfect 90-degree angle or close. Legs are straight and well boned. Tail is medium length, very slight brush and saber-like. The gait should have good reach and drive.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
The breed is even-tempered and trainable in the home, and wants to please its owner. They tend to be excellent with children. The Redbone should be well socialized at an early age and taught simple obedience like walking on a leash. They may not do well with cats, as they have a strong treeing instinct. They should be kept in a well fenced yard. They do best with a firm, but calm and consistent owner.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. OFA reports 36.4% affected, but too few Redbone Coonhounds have been evaluated for statistical confidence.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. Too few Redbone Coonhounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Too few Redbone Coonhounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. Not enough samples have been submitted for thyroid auto-antibodies to Michigan State University to determine an accurate frequency. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Coonhound Paralysis (polyradiculoneuritis): Disorder of acute paralysis due to transient demyelination, similar to Guillain-BarrР№ syndrome. Caused by exposure to raccoon saliva in genetically susceptible dogs. Affected dogs can recover, but must be supported during remyelinization.
Inherited Ocular Disorders: Too few Redbone Coonhounds have been CERF examined by veterinary ophthalmologists to determine an accurate frequency of inherited ocular disorders.
Ectropion, Entropion, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy are reported.
Isolated Case Studies
Tests of Genotype: None
Tests of Phenotype: Recommend hip and elbow radiographs, CERF eye examination, thyroid profile including autoantibodies, cardiac examination, and patella evaluation.
- Breed name synonyms: Redbone
- Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, NKC (National Kennel Club)
- AKC rank: (none) AKC recognized in Dec. 2009. Entire stud book entered.
- Internet resources: Redbone Coonhound Association of America: www.redbonecaa.com
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