Treeing Walker Coonhound
A Treeing Walker Coonhound is a part of the hound dog breed family. These dogs are great hunters with delicate noses who love nothing more than to explore and follow exciting scents. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a popular hunting breed originating in the United States and was named after the breed’s unofficial “father.”
The “Treeing” part of the name describes the way these dogs used to hunt. They would run after prey and make it climb a tree where they would keep it until the hunter arrives. The “Walker” part of the name was given after a Kentucky hunter called John W. Walker, who played a massive role in the breed’s development. Owners of this breed describe them as being
- Can be stubborn
- Fairly intelligent
- Excellent hunter
20-27 in (51-69 cm)
50-70 lb (23-32 kg)
The history of the Treeing Walker Coonhound started in the middle of the 19th century when two Kentuckian cousins John W. Walker and George Washington Maupin, spotted a unique dog leading a deer hunt in Tennessee. They were mesmerized by the dog’s ability to follow prey at speed, and they decided they need to get that dog. The cousins were importing English Foxhounds that they used for fox hunting, and they were keen dog breeders.
Around 1850, the cousins managed to steal the dog that fascinated them so much, and the legend says that they took the dog back to Kentucky, where they crossbred it with dogs they imported from England. The legendary dog was named Tennessee Lead, and the puppies he produced were called Walker Coonhounds. Mr. Walker’s sons continued to breed dogs, and they produced some of the best-hunting dogs that quickly gained popularity all over the southern USA.
Dog Breed Characteristics
The characteristics of the Treeing Walker Coonhound are typical Coonhound traits. Male dogs can reach 22-27 inches, while females can reach 20-25 inches. Both sexes weigh around 50-70 pounds. They are fully registered by the American Kennel Club and are a part of the Hound Group.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a breed perfectly built for hunting. This breed has a muscled body and long limbs that allow them to move with ease and elegance that other breeds do not possess. The Treeing Walker Coonhound has short and glossy coats and medium-long ears reaching nearly to the tip of their noses. Their eyes are relatively large, round, and either brown or black. Yellow eyes are considered a severe fault.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is an energetic breed that loves to explore and follow interesting scents, no matter where it may lead them. They are independent thinkers capable of making the right decisions while on the hunt or following a trail. These dogs are considered intelligent, but like many other Coonhounds, they can be pretty stubborn at times, and training them can be a challenge.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound can make a good family dog, but they are primarily a hunting breed that needs to work. They have a powerful prey drive that will make them chase everything they consider prey, so if you already have small pets like gerbils, ferrets, or cats, your new Treeing Walker Coonhound might not be very accepting of them. The dog will see them as prey and will most likely go after them.
Training a Treeing Walker Coonhound
Treeing Walker Coonhounds were bred for hunting, and because of that, they will need proper training if you want that your dog develops into a well-behaved dog. Also, their high prey drive can be a problem that you will need to take care of. They can be challenging to train, especially for first-time owners. If you are not sure that you can properly train and socialize your dog, we advise you to seek professional help.
Keep in mind that these dogs don't respond well to harsh training methods. Be firm, fair, and consistent, but use only positive reinforcement! These dogs are eager to do whatever their people ask of them. The best way to train them is by using positive training methods. Involve as many treats as you can and keep the training sessions interesting.
When socializing a Treeing Walker Coonhound, you shouldn’t have too many problems because these dogs have been working with other dogs for years, and they generally get along great with them. They can be shy when it comes to strangers, but early socialization can teach them that strangers are nothing to be afraid of.
Socialization can even be done at home. Dress differently; wear glasses, hats, and baggy clothes so your puppy can’t recognize you right away. Teach your puppy to stay alone for a while and not make a fuss about it. It is the best way to make sure your puppy will grow up to be a stable, confident, and well-behaved dog.
Treeing Walker Coonhound as a pet
If you are looking for a hunting dog, the Treeing Walker Coonhound might be one of the strongest candidates. These dogs have performed numerous hunting tasks over the years, and they have excelled at all of them. If you are looking for an active family pet, these dogs will have some requirements. They will need an active owner that takes them regularly for hiking adventures, running, or playing in the park. They have endless energy and can run and play all day. However, if these requirements are not met, the Treeing Walker Coonhound can become problematic.
These dogs can be great playing partners for kids, especially if they grew up together. They are not the best choice for households with smaller pets like cats, guinea pigs, or ferrets. The high prey drive of this dog can easily make them see smaller pets as prey.
Coat and Care
The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a short, glossy coat that is relatively easy to maintain. These dogs should spend most of their time in the open, roaming, and snooping around a fenced area, so don’t be too surprised if they get dirty all the time. You should brush the Treeing Walker Coonhound at least once a week to help them get rid of dead hair and keep their coat shiny and nice.
They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them every 4-5 weeks (more if they live inside the house), and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
This is generally a very healthy breed, and the only major concern they might have is hip dysplasia (Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint). Their average lifespan is 12-13 years.
Their long ears can be prone to infections so make sure you take proper care of those. Ask your vet for advice if you are unsure how to take care of your dog’s ears.
Treeing Walker Coonhound breeders
When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Treeing Walker Coonhound breeder. These dogs are energetic and protective, and getting a poorly bred dog can have catastrophic results. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics.
If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.
Photo by: Jessica O'Connor
World Dog Finder team