If you love to hunt then it would make sense to invest in the “people’s choice” for hunting, the Treeing Walker Coonhound. Indeed, this breed is as versatile of a hunting hound as they come. Hunters laud them for their durability, incredible sense and athleticism.
And when the breed is done with a hard day’s work, the Treeing Walker is the ‘soulful’ companion you crave in a dog. Moreover, affectionate, silly, and faithful, it’s easy to see why the south loves this breed.
Yet, if you aren’t from the south, you may have never heard of the breed. That’s okay, this profile will catch you up to speed.
Where exactly do they come from and will they make sense for your family?
Here is what you need to know about the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
For the Treeing Walker Coonhound, their story isn’t going to blow you away, say like the Saint Bernard’s heroic past. Nonetheless, the breed has quite an interesting tale. Their legend derives thanks to a thief.
During the 18th century, as you can imagine, hunting wasn’t just a sport, it was survival. And to aid in that survival, it was necessary for Man to have a good dog. A dog with multiple skills. In the 18th century, people began bringing over Foxhounds to the south. One of those people receiving a Foxhound was Thomas Walker.
In the early to mid 1800’s, a horse drover by the name of Thomas Harris was on a deer hunt when he had stole a hunting hound. Nobody quite knew what this breed was. It didn’t have the same traits as the English Foxhound. Eventually, this hound would end up in the hands of George Washington Maupin. The dog’s name would be Tennessee Lead. George and his brother, Thomas Maupin would begin mating Lead with English imports, and various other hounds in the 1850’s. Out of this mating would come the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
By 1870’s, thanks to the influence John Walker and his family, a distinct breed was born. However, at that time there was a couple of types —Walking Coonhound and Running Foxhound. It wouldn’t be until 1945, when the United Kennel Club began registering the breed as the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
The American Kennel Club put the TWC in their Foundation Stock Service in 1995. Eventually, the breed would find itself in their hound designation and in 2012 would gain official recognition.
While the breed is still popular in the south as a outstanding hunter with versatile skills, the breed isn’t as popular around the world. According to the American Kennel Club, the breed is the 131st most popular breed in America.
While the breed isn’t heavy, they are taller, which puts them in the large class. According to the standard, a male should stand between 22 to 27 inches, and a female should be around 20 to 25 inches.
With regards to weight, both male and female Treeing Walker Coonhounds can weigh between 50 to 70 pounds.
Personality and Temperament
A ‘soulful’ companion, that hunters can appreciate for more than one reason. They know when you have something on your mind and are willing to cheer you up. As hunters, most people know how impressive the Treeing Walker Coonhound is. But what about as companions and how about personality wise?
They’ve been said to be very gentle with their people. Children adore them as they adore children. Dogs can live peacefully along the Treeing Walker Coonhound and not suspect any conflict. Overall, this is a friendly breed, that even gives strangers a chance. Loving and affectionate, the Treeing Walker Coonhound knows how to differentiate their job from their personal life. Some dog’s have a harder time with that, but the TWC is smart and considerate. Hence, why they’ve been given the soulful companion title.
Should never be shy or vicious, this breed will embrace just about anyone and any challenges. They love a role within the family and thrive when they have one. Exercise is fun and exercise is something they yearn to do. Although, they love to snuggle on the couch or nearby, just as long as you are in close proximity.
Eager to please and willing to learn, there’s no denying this breed’s aptitude for work. Nose down, sniffing for a scent, looking for their quarry, this versatile breed is capable of performing for long periods of time and with great endurance. Fearless, bold, and never to stand down from a challenge nor a threat. They can be protective and will be if they feel something isn’t right, which is why they’ll bark whenever it is necessary. They’ve been said to be uniquely vocal, producing a scale of noises from their pipes.
They love to jump, enjoy a long run and thrive off a cool brisk walk with their people. All in all, this all around friendly dog, that is great as a hunting hound and family companion. Confident and intelligent, you can throw many tasks at this country dog and get away with it. They enjoy larger spaces. The bigger the family, whether it be a cat or another dog, small or older children, the better for the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
Unfortunately, for most breeds, the ‘health’ section tends to be the longest in their profile. Luckily, for the Treeing Walker Coonhound, that is not the case. However, this isn’t to say that the Treeing Walker Coonhound can’t be sick, nor can’t come under duress from a disorder, complication or disease. They can. Yet, as far as general knowledge, the Treeing Walker Coonhound seems to have very few items to worry about, just as most Coonhounds do.
When you buy a Treeing Walker Coonhound from a breeder, do yourself a favor, and only purchase from someone who is credible. Someone with a good reputation. They shouldn’t mind showing you health clearances, nor providing you with any kind of documents helpful in completing a transaction.
You can read reviews, ask others, ask question and get all the information you need to make the best purchasing decision possible when considering the Treeing Walker Coonhound.
Additionally, you’ll want to schedule regular veterinarian visits to ensure your Treeing Walker Coonhound stays healthy. If you do those things, then there is no reason your Treeing Walker Coonhound can’t live between 12 to 13 years.
Hip Dysplasia may be found in the breed. This is found with many breeds. The Bulldog and Pug have a higher occurrence rate for Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is the malformation of the hip joint, which will cause a great deal of discomfort for your Treeing Walker Coonhound. It may also result in other orthopedic nightmares such as osteoarthritis, pain, and lameness.
If Hip Dysplasia is within the possibilities, then it won’t be surprising to find the breed suffer from Elbow Dysplasia and Patella Luxation. Both of the conditions affect the joints of the respective body parts and both can be painful, with a crippling feeling to them.
Another problem the breed may encounter is Degenerative Myelopathy. Typically, your Treeing Walker Coonhound won’t battle this until 8 years or so as it affects breeds between 8 to 14 years. This is a progressive spinal cord disease that will result in a lack of coordination, muscle weakness, wobbling and other issues impairing their mobility. Testing is available and contact a veterinarian about treatment.
The breed seems to have a propensity for ear infections, so that’s another item to be wary of. If you dog continue to pay special attention to their ears, make sure you bring them in for a vet visit. Also, consider that this breed spends a lot of time outdoors. And if you plan on having the Treeing Walker Coonhound engage in hunting practices, then there’s a real chance that they encounter unfavorable interactions with raccoons and other quarry. This can invite bites, scratches, and infections. Always do a thorough search of your Treeing Walker Coonhound after a day at the office.
A Treeing Walker Coonhound can be a medium energy to high energy breed. This all depends on what you train and function them for. Regardless, this is a breed that’ll require some extensive exercise outside. A good walk, around 60 minutes a day, and the ability to stretch their legs and run around is necessary. The Treeing Walker Coonhound will appreciate some fetch, agility and other outdoor activities. Also, the Treeing Walker Coonhound needs to be around their people and should a role within the family. Never leave them for long periods of time, and never keep them outdoors in a crate. This will not bode well for a breed of this magnitude.
Like any other breed, the TWC should get early training and socialization. This will help with their personality and temperament. The breed may require a person with experience, but just as long as you are fair, firm, and consistent, the Treeing Walker Coonhound should do just fine.
A fence and a leash will be a must if you plan on allowing them to be active. If you take them for a walk, then always put a leash on the TWC. This breed has a strong prey drive and may chase anything they deem worthy of a catch. This could result in a tragic situation. The breed does have a propensity for wandering off as well.
This isn’t a breed for a small apartment, and will thrive in a large space. They should be getting plenty of mental and physical stimulation. By routine, you should check their ears and do a thorough inspection after the breed has been out on the trails. Infections can lead to much more dire consequences in the end. It is best to take precautionary measures. Also, trim their nails monthly to avoid splits, crack, and overgrowth. Bathe as you deem necessary.
A Treeing Walker Coonhound should be fed a high quality diet, with meat as the first ingredient. How much they eat will depend on a few variables. Their age, their role or job, metabolism, and energy requirement. Spaying and neutering can also have an affect on how much a dog eats.
Most owners seem content on feeding their Treeing Walker Coonhound between 2.5 to 3.5 cups per day. Most will break that up into two meals. Breaking up the meals also helps reducing a dead condition affecting the stomach, Gastric Torsion.
A healthy balance and blend of quality crude fat, protein and calories will keep the Treeing Walker in its best shape.
As always, you should provide your Treeing Walker Coonhound with fresh drinking water.
There isn’t much maintenance to go along with the breed. They are rather easy to care for. Once a week, a simple brush over will tend to their dead hairs and keep the coat looking its natural glossiness. The breed is a seasonal shedder and likely will shed heavily twice a year.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a short coat. It should be glossy looking and have a moderate harshness in texture. The fur should lye close to the body and should be dense.
According to the American Kennel Club, there are three acceptable coat color options: Black, white, and tri-color.
There are six acceptable markings for their coat: Black spots, black spots — tan trim, blanket back, tan spots, saddle back, white markings — tan trim.
Fun Treeing Walker Coonhound Facts
- While the breed has slid back recently in popularity, many consider them one of the top choices for hunting and the breed did reach as high as 101st most popular breed in America several years ago.
- After receiving recognition by the AKC, the Treeing Walker Coonhound became the 174th to do so.
- Although the breed is famous for treeing raccoons, keeping them at bay until their owners arrive, they have a record for hunting everything from rats, cougars to as big as bears.
Let’s just call the Treeing Walker Coonhound, “The South’s Little Secret.” A hound’s hound, this long enduring and versatile hunter will always be a staple of southern United States culture.
For reasons only a Treeing Walker enthusiast will know. From treeing raccoon, to picking up a hot lead of bigger quarry, the TWC can do it all and much more.