Buying or Adopting a Coonhound
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Is a DOG really the right pet for you?
I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.
Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?
Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:
Is a Coonhound the right breed for you?
The most common coonhound breeds are the American Leopard Hound, Black and Tan Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, English Coonhound, and Plott Hound.
Each coonhound breed has a somewhat different style of hunting and a dedicated fan base eager to extol the virtues of their favorite breed. But my focus is on these dogs more as family companions. In that role, they are much the same as each other.
Are YOU right for a Coonhound?
Can you provide what this breed needs?
- Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
- No very small dogs in the household
- No cats in the household
- Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
- Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Coonhound stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief; obviously these dogs would prefer their exercise to include hunting
- A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
- An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Coonhounds are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
- Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Coonhound to lots of people and other animals
- Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Coonhound, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say
Should you get a male or female Coonhound?
Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?
Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Coonhound be?
Where can you buy or adopt a Coonhound?
For obvious reasons, Coonhounds are common in rural (hunting) areas of the United States, but not in cities.
Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Coonhounds (and Coonhound crosses and mixes) are often available from Dog Rescue groups. Coonhounds may be turned over to Rescue because the owner found out they needed too much exercise. These are hunting dogs. If you try to shoe-horn them into a sedentary lifestyle, you can expect an unhappy Coonhound with a perfect right to vent his frustrations through rambunctiousness and destructive chewing.
Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Coonhounds can be found here, although shelter personnel may mislabel any small hound as a beagle, and any medium to large hound as a foxhound or coonhound.
Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Coonhound from a show breeder, who breeds Coonhounds to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring.
Or you can buy a Coonhound from a performance breeder, who emphasizes an energetic temperament and strong "prey (chasing) drives" for hunting. Some breeders are a combination of show/performance, though how they prioritize those two goals can vary greatly.
You might also be able to buy a Coonhound from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.
Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Coonhound puppy should have:
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Coonhound ends up crippled from hip dysplasia.
Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
In rural areas, a Coonhound might occasionally show up in a pet shop. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!
How To Choose a Good Coonhound Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Coonhound puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.
AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Coonhound puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.