Treeing Walker Coonhound
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is phenomenal hunter and working dog. These hardy hounds were built with unmatched speed and stamina in their respective category. This American breed is mainly used today as a working/hunting dog, but can still make a wonderful companion.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are a hound breed developed in the United States during the Colonial Period. They are the ancestors of English Foxhounds, brought over to the Americas by English settlers, and American Foxhounds. Treeing Walker Coonhounds derive their name from the action they perform while hunting raccoons—they chase raccoons up trees and wait for their owner, the hunter, to take care of the rest. This form of hunting is referred to as “treeing.”
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are mostly used to hunt small game, particularly raccoons, but they are sometimes used for larger game such as bear or wild boar. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are likely a mix of various Foxhounds and Coonhounds that existed in the Southern part of the United States. They were fully recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club in 1945, but the American Kennel Club waited until 2012—unusual, as they are an American breed! While it is unknown exactly which qualities breeders were looking for when they created Treeing Walker Coonhounds, it is likely that they were mixed to produce a superior hunting dog that was well suited to hunting raccoons. Even today, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are most commonly found in the Southern United States.
While they are occasionally kept as pets, they retain their original use as exceptional hunting dogs. They make very good pets for people who understand that the breed will always aspire to hunt—and they have the energy, personality, and exercise needs to match. They require a great deal of physical activity, and, thus, they are really perfect for homes that will use them for hunting. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are best suited to rural and suburban living and will likely not be happy in an apartment or living in the city. They fare best when given a large yard where they can run or in a home where they will still be allowed to hunt. They are tireless, intense, and confident while hunting, but they are rather calm in the home.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds do very well with other dogs and most other pets. Given their high prey drive, they are not necessarily a good choice for families with small animals such as cats and rodents; however, if they are trained to recognize them from puppyhood, this can be avoided. They do, however, enjoy the company of children and are extremely patient and even-tempered.