Treeing Walker Coonhound

Country of origin:
USA
Height (cm):
51-69
Weight (kg):
23-32
Life span (years):
12-13
Colour:
tri-color (white, black & tan)
Size:
average
Hair length:
short
Recognized by:
CKC, UKC, NKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, AKC, NAPR
FCI code:
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • wonderful companion                     
  • friendly
  • calm
  • independent-minded
  • breed members can vary in temperaments
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment

Overview
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a robust, hardy and even-tempered dog, which was developed to locate and tree wild racoons in their natural habitat. Praised for its unparalleled prey drive this dog usually demonstrates nice and even demeanour in a home environment and can make a great family dog.

History
The progenitors of the Treeing Walker Coonhound were brought to Virginia by Thomas Walker in 1742. These dogs represented the early varieties of the English Foxhounds and consequently they were widely used in the breeding of the Virginia Hound and the Walker Foxhound. Although the exact lineage of the Treeing Walker Coonhound can’t be traced with reliable precision these above-mentioned breeds most likely contributed the most in its invention. The breed’s exterior and prominent characteristics were greatly influenced by an individual dog called «Tennessee Lead», which lived in XIX century. It was a sturdy dog with exceptional hunting talents, which included powerful prey drive, sharp nose and distinctive, short-chop bark.

For some time the Treeing Walker Coonhound was strongly associated with the English Coonhound but its breeders concentrated on totally different qualities and eventually it separated in a completely new type. It specializes in hunting racoons, squirrels and opossums. To catch up with such quick and nimble animals it was bred to be fast, tough and single-minded. This dog is supposed to «tree» its quarry but it’s actually quite able to climb the tree to reach it. It requires minimum training to learn simply wait the arrival of the hunter while signalling the location of the prey with its sonorous voice.

The first specimen of the Treeing Walker Coonhound was registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1945. The breed hasn’t yet been recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) but it’s a member of the AKC’ Foundation Stock Service.

Temperament
The temperament of the Treeing Walker Coonhound ranges from easy-going and welcoming to the timid, reserved and even fearful. Its major characteristics depend mostly on the preferences of the breeders so one should observe the breeder’s other dogs in order to get a full picture. Generally speaking it’s a loyal, sweet-natured and sociable dog with stable and calm disposition. It will become an active and fatigueless participant of the children’s games and will always treat them with due caution.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound is polite with unknown people and some specimens can actually grow up in inappropriate greeters. However this problem can be easily corrected with timely training and socialisation. The breed is very alert and constantly observes its surroundings. That’s why it can be turned into a rather effective watch dog. It varies in relation to the power of its protective instinct but majority of dogs will make wonderful guardians.

As far as other canines concern the well-socialised Treeing Walker Coonhound interacts with them heartily. It definitely doesn’t strive for permanent companionship of other dog but it will be quite content with it. This dog has hunting instincts deeply ingrained in its nature so no amount of training will guarantee its respectful attitude towards small species of animals. It’s safe to assume though that the Treeing Walker Coonhound will make friends with a home cat with which it has been raised together. At the same time some members will never get over their tremendously strong hunting instinct and won’t be able to co-exist peacefully with non-canine animals.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• ear infections;
• eye problems;
• hypothyroidism.

Grooming
The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s maintenance will consume insignificant amount of your precious time. Its smooth, short hair requires only brushing on a weekly basis. The dog sheds moderately.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s floppy ears have tendency to get dirty really easy and this creates favourable conditions for development of various infections and irritation. So it’s essential to inspect and clean them consistently and carefully. Its owner shouldn’t also forget to trim the dogs’ nails every two months and brush its teeth once or twice a week.

Training

The excellent trainability of the Treeing Walker Coonhound can be attributed to its desire to please and quick-wittedness. Thanks to these traits it usually shows impressive results at advanced obedience and agility competitions. Nonetheless most breed members are independent thinkers and can completely ignore your command if they perceive it unsuitable in this particular circumstance.

Moreover nothing can turn the dogs’ attention back to training if it’s captivated with some enticing smell. So it’s wise to make sure that your training regimen is based on principals of consistency and repetitiveness. The best motivational factors for the Treeing Walker Coonhound are food treats as well as a kind, encouraging word.

Exercise
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is notable for its vigour and exceptional endurance and it won’t be satisfied only with a daily brisk walk of an hour long. Your dog will actually enjoy any strenuous activity you can offer to it (preferable 1-2 two hours daily vigorous exercise). This breed is capable of running for endless hours alongside you or your bike or tirelessly playing with kids in your backyard.

The Treeing Walker Coonhound undoubtedly requires some meaningful way to channel its buoyant energy if it isn’t engaged in hunting. Otherwise it’s apt to become over-strained, nervous and ill-behaved. The breed should be provided with a room to play and run and therefore it’s not really suited for apartment or city life.
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