Ranked as 137thout of 197 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a skilled hunter, high-stamina runner, and devoted companion.
This ultimate dog breed guide will review the breed’s history, personality, lifestyle requirements, health problems, needs, and more.
Read on to learn what makes this brave, smart and sensible, southern hunter worthy of its “the people’s choice of coonhounds” nickname.
Native to America, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a bright, amusing, and friendly dog from the Hound Group (according to AKC Classification) or the Scent Hounds Group (according to UKC Classification).
The breed’s hallmarks are the bi or tri-colored fur, long and muscular legs, and sweet, gentle facial expression.
The Treeing Walker Coonhoundwasconsidered to be the most skilled of the raccoon hunting breeds. However, the breed was not officially recognized until 2012.
Even the modern Treeing Walker Coonhound is highly praised for its unmatched skills on the hunting field.
Real name: Treeing Walker Coonhound
Other names: TWC, Walker
Origin: United States
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 50-70 pounds
Height: 22-27 inches (male), 20-25 inches (female)
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Litter Size: Average of 6 puppies
Color: Tricolor, bicolor
Coat: Short and dense
The History of the Treeing Walker Coonhound
Let us start by explaining the name. The term “treeing” refers to the dog’s hunting technique, which consists of chasing the prey up a tree and then signaling the hunter so he can have a clear shot.
The term “Walker” refers to the breed’s forefather. Namely, the breed was developed by mixing a dog with unknown ancestry called Tennessee Lead and a Walker Foxhound whose name was praising its breeder – Thomas Walker, from Virginia. Finally, the term “coonhound” refers to this hound’s prey – raccoons.
Although originally bred for “raccoon treeing” these dogs make versatile hunters. Treeing Walker Coonhounds can also hunt game because they are fast enough and hunt bobcats, wild cougars, and smaller bears because they are brave enough.
According to records, the breed was born sometime during the 1940s. However, the Treeing Walker Coonhound received its official AKC recognition much later – in 2012.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is still highly-respected for its “hot nose” and “vocal skills”. However, its modern popularity is mainly due to its companionship skills.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Physical Appearance
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is an athletically built dog with a sturdy and powerful frame yet without a trace of stockiness.
The head is broad with dark and large eyes; a long and narrow muzzle and big, floppy ears. The legs are long, lean, and muscular and the feet have a well-padded, almost cat-like appearance.
The tail is high-set and moderately long. The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s face radiates alertness and gentleness while the overall physical appearance makes it look like a giant Beagle.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Size
Treeing Walker Coonhoundmales are 22-27 inches tall (55.8-68.5 centimeters) and weigh around 60-70 pounds (27.2-31.7 kilograms).
Females Treeing Walker Coonhounds are slightly smaller – they are around 20-25 inches tall (50.8-63.5 centimeters) and weigh around 50-60 pounds (22.6-27.2 kilograms).
Treeing Walker Coonhound Coat & Color
The Treeing Walker Coonhound has a short, dense, and strikingly glossy coat. As in all hounds, true to its protective purpose, the coat is somewhat harsh.
Accepted coat colors include black, tan, and white or any bi-color or tri-color pattern including these shades.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Grooming And Maintenance
When it comes to grooming, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is relatively low-maintenance – it needs basic, weekly brushing and an occasional bath.
However, contrary to popular belief, its short hair can make big messes since this dog is prone to higher than average shedding.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is at high risk of developing ear infections. Because of the ear shape, debris tends to accumulate inside the canal, and unless regularly cleaned it causes infections.
It is advisable to clean a Treeing Walker Coonhound’s ears at least once a week and check them few times a week.
When checking the ears pay attention to ticks as they often burrow themselves under the ears.
Finally, it should be mentioned that Treeing Walker Coonhounds have a strong, doggy odor sometimes referred to as “hound’s odor”.
This is their natural smell and no amount of bathing can get rid of their distinctive smell.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Temperament And Personality
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a brave, courteous, and smart dog that craves human companionship.
If left alone, it quickly gets bored and becomes anxious or turns to destructiveness.
Members of this breed are exceptionally good with children – they are both patient and playful. However, given their size and muscular body, it is advisable to supervise all close interactions.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is energetic, skillful, and focused on the field, but easy-going and laid-back when not working.
They are generally good-natured and get along well with people and other dogs. However, cats and smaller critters are not so lucky – they will probably be chased and bayed.
When working on the field, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are highly alert and competitive.
However, they are not territorial and make poor guard dogs at home. The only intruder they are willing to chase off is a raccoon going through your garbage.
Training the Treeing Walker Coonhound
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is an intelligent dog with excellent learning skills, but it has a stubborn streak, making it hard to train.
The first goal is to establish a good pack leader status. This dog was initially bred to outwit its prey, and if it sees you as weak, chances are it will always be looking for ways to outsmart you and challenge you.
Blindly obeying commands is not part of the Treeing Walker Coonhound’s genetic makeup. Therefore, it is advisable to organize the training sessions in an entertaining and mentally stimulating way.
Plus, throwing a treat biscuit now and then is a good motivator. Simply put, training a Treeing Walker Coonhound requires consistent leadership, patience, and positive reinforcement techniques.
There are two fundamental training aspects for raising a well-behaved Treeing Walker Coonhound – obedience training and extensive socialization.
Obedience training is vital because Treeing Walker Coonhounds are said to have so-called “selective deafness” – when their noses are tickled and exploratory instincts triggered, they will disregard your “come back” commands and run into an adventure.
Socialization is important because they are genetically wired to chase smaller animals like cats and rodent pets.
So, if you have another pet belonging to one of these groups, early socialization is your best way of ensuring harmony in your home.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Exercise Needs And Energy Levels
Treeing Walker Coonhounds were never meant to be regular household pets – they are hardworking dogs that enjoy exploring, chasing running animals, following scents, and baying.
Expecting them to be calm and even-tempered without providing suitable energy outlets is unfair. Therefore, they need vigorous exercise regimens.
The good news is they are not picky – they enjoy all sorts of activities from hunting and mountain jogging to hiking and swimming.
Bored Treeing Walker Coonhounds are destructive, and considering their “hardworking” genetic makeup; they are thorough in their destructiveness.
Unless you provide enough exercise, it is advisable to expect holes in the drywall, demolished sofas, and moonscape craters in the backyard.
Keep in mind that Treeing Walker Coonhounds also need mental stimulation.
Bred to outwit the prey, they are creative thinkers, and if not mentally challenged, they will focus their thinking on creative shenanigans and destructive acts.
Treeing Walker Coonhound Health
With an average lifespan of 13 to 14 years, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a long-lived and generally healthy dog breed.
The only frequently reported health issues are hip dysplasia, eye conditions, and thyroid problems.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are more prone to work-related hazards – field injuries and raccoon bites and scratches. They are also prone to picking up ticks which usually hide beneath the ears.
Diet & Nutrition Needs for the Treeing Walker Coonhound
When preparing the Treeing Walker Coonhound’s diet plan, the most important factor is the level of physical activity.
Active hunters need more calorie-dense foods than Walkers with more sedentary lifestyles.
All in all, they should be fed a high-quality diet rich in proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are prone to overeating and unless physically active can become overweight.
Tips for Raising a Healthy Treeing Walker Coonhound
Being a responsible Treeing Walker Coonhound parent is a full-time job. Raising a happy and healthy Treeing Walker Coonhoundrequires time, patience, and devotion.
When parenting a Treeing Walker Coonhound, consider the following factors:
- If left alone without entertainment, Treeing Walker Coonhound bay and bark in protest and usually continue doing so until you return
- Treeing Walker Coonhounds are exceptionally skilled escape artists, they can climb high trees and fences if necessary
- Treeing Walker Coonhounds are true hunters and given the opportunity will go wherever their nose leads them which is why unless in an enclosed area, they should not be let off-leash
- Because of the ear shape and size, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are prone to ear infections and require weekly ear cleaning
- Treeing Walker Coonhounds benefit from all year round tick preventatives as they are frequently exposed to external parasites while hunting
The Cost of Parenting a Treeing Walker Coonhound
Purebred Treeing Walker Coonhoundsusually cost between $600 and $6000.
Adopting through rescue organizations or from a shelter is much more budget-friendly – it usually costs between $150 and $300.
This is just the initial purchase cost. Once the pup is home, there will be additional expenses for food, treats, bowls, toys, harness and leash, beds, and last but not least – vet bills.
In general, the annual cost of parenting a Treeing Walker Coonhoundis around $2000.
Six Fun Facts About Treeing Walker Coonhounds
To understand any dog breed adequately, you need as much information as possible. To understand Treeing Walker Coonhounds truly, you may enjoy below more information on the breed that isn’t widespread.
1. The Treeing Walker Coonhound Is True To Its Southern Origin
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is the product of mixing a dog named Tennessee Lead whose origin is unknown and a Walker Foxhound, named after the Virginian breeder – Thomas Walker.
When imagining the South, there are several things that come to mind – magnolia trees, biscuits and gravy, William Faulkner, and Treeing Walker Coonhounds.
2. Treeing Walker Coonhounds Are Exceptionally Vocal Dogs
The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s task was to chase its prey on a tree and then inform the owner of the prey’s location. To achieve this, and signal the owner who is well-distanced in the field, the Treeing Walker Coonhound needed a strong and piercing voice.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound uses different vocal cues for different purposes. For example, while tracking it makes a bugle-like sound and when giving away the location of its prey it uses a choppy, short bark.
3. Treeing Walker Coonhounds And “Barking Up The Wrong Tree”
Perhaps we have the Treeing Walker Coonhound to thank for this old proverb. However, in practice, in this hunter’s case, the proverb is not true – Treeing Walker Coonhounds are tremendous hunters with impeccable skills, and they almost never “bark up the wrong tree”.
4. The Treeing Walker Coonhound Is The “people’s Choice” Of The Coonhounds
Out of the several Coonhound breeds, the Treeing Walker is most popular and highly praised as a hunter. This is perhaps because it has a so-called “hot nose”.
The term refers to the ability to abandon and forget an older scent as soon as a newer and fresher one appears.
5. Treeing Walker Coonhounds Are Versatile Hunters
Although originally used for hunting raccoons, Treeing Walker Coonhounds can be used for hunting other prey such as foxes, game, or even small bears, wild cougars and bobcats.
Basically, they can track and hunt and prey that hides in trees. Depending on the prey type, they can be used alone or in a pack.
6. Treeing Walker Coonhound + Labrador Retriever = Labrador Treeing Walker
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are often mixed with Labrador Retrievers and the result is a cute and highly energetic dog, called a Labrador Treeing Walker.
Labrador Treeing Walkers have cheerful and playful personalities and go-all-day stamina.
Treeing Walker Coonhound FAQs
Are Treeing Walker Coonhounds Aggressive?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are hunting dogs which means they are allowed to show a certain degree of aggression on their prey.
When not working on the field, members of this breed are particularly gentle dogs with an extremely low biting tendency.
Are Treeing Walker Coonhounds Good Pets?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds make amazing pets for active families.
As long as they are well-exercised, members of this breed are easy-going and laid-back. Plus, they are very fond of children and enjoy playing with them.
How Much Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds Bark?
Treeing Walker Coonhounds were specifically bred to use their voice as a raccoon-spotting alarm.
All Treeing Walker Coonhounds are extremely fond of their vocal skills and do not hesitate to display them whenever possible. However, good training can decrease their barking tendency and save your eardrums a lot of unnecessary noise.
Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds Like To Cuddle?
Yes. Contrary to popular belief, Treeing Walker Coonhounds do like to cuddle. However, do not expect them to show affection while hunting on the field.
At home, after a long working day, there is nothing a Treeing Walker Coonhound does not enjoy more than cuddling with its human family.
How Many Types of Treeing Walker Coonhounds Are There?
According to the AKC, there are four Coonhounds: the Treeing Walker Coonhound, the American-English Coonhound, the Black and Tan Coonhound and the Bluetick Coonhound. The Treeing Walker Coonhound is the most popular out of the four and often referred to as “the people’s choice”.