Treeing Walker Coonhound

AKC Hound Group


UKC registered Purple Ribbon Bred; O'Brien's Thunder Mnt. Chief. Owned by, bred by and photo copyright © Mic O©Brien, Thunder Mountain Kennels. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © All rights reserved.

As the story goes, the first Treeing Walker Coonhound was a cross between a stolen English Foxhound named “Tennessee Lead” and an English Coonhound in the late 1800s. Fast, powerful, and agile, the dogs were bred specifically for coon-treeing competitions, in which farmers would bet on whose dogs would tree the first raccoon. Today, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is one of the most popular hounds in the country—both for competitive and recreational hunting—due to its sharp nose, incredible speed, and endurance. Treeing Walkers are not just used for coonhunting; they will trail bears and cougars, and are considered the top choice for hunting bobcats. These dogs were called English Coonhounds until 1945, when Treeing Walker Coonhound breeders broke away from that group to further develop their own breed.


The consummate hunting dog, the Treeing Walker Coonhound should convey an air of power, agility, and extreme endurance. The head should be of medium length, with a prominent squared muzzle, black nostrils, and a broad cranium. The ears should be set moderately low; the oval or round tips should just reach the tip of the nose. The large, dark eyes should be wide- set and convey the classic soft, pleading hound expression.

Look for a neck that rises cleanly and smoothly from the shoulders and a back that is strong and muscular with a top line that is level or that slopes slightly from shoulder to rear. The front legs are parallel and straight, with thickly padded cat feet and well-arched toes. The hind legs should be long, parallel, and powerful, with clean hocks. The tapered tail should be carried up, with a graceful curve and no excess fur.

The coat is short, dense, smooth, and glossy. A tricolor pattern of white, black, and tan is preferred. Either white or black can be the predominant color, with the other colors appearing as trim, spots, or saddles.

Key Facts

  • Height:  22 to 27 in. (male); 20 to 25 in. (female)
  • Size:  Large
  • Weight:  50 to 70 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility, and obedience


Extremely hardy breed. These dogs need to be kept in fenced yards, as they love to hunt so much they’re prone to roaming. As they’re fully capable of scaling fences up to 6 feet high, your fence needs to be really tall. Treeing Walkers tend to bark a lot on their own property, unless trained as puppies not to do so. When following a scent, they make loud baying and bawling sounds.


Often mistaken for large Beagles, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are affectionate, even cuddly, dogs that love children, adults, and naps—especially on beds and couches. They tend to get along well with other dogs and are generally easy to train. These are no couch potatoes. Bred to be hunting dogs that can run through the woods for hours at a time, Treeing Walker Coonhounds need lots of outdoor activity to stay happy. (That means vigorous exercise, not just a daily stroll through the neighborhood.) They are not well suited to situations where they are cooped up most of the day. Their affectionate natures should not be mistaken for a lack of intelligence. While easy to train, Treeing Walker Coonhounds are quick to see where their trainers aren’t being consistent, as well as quick to figure out ways to get what they want. Stories abound of these hounds using household objects to achieve a goal—moving chairs to make it easier to climb over a gate, for instance, or using objects to jigger a kennel latch. Like other hounds, Treeing Walker Coonhounds tend to have a strong prey drive and often will catch small rodents, including rats, skunks, and squirrels.


  • Children:  Good with children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Easy to train
  • Independence:  Fairly independent
  • Dominance:  Moderate (not particularly dominant or submissive)
  • Other Pets:  Good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Likes to bark
  • Indoors:  Relatively inactive indoors
  • Owner:  Not suitable for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Exercise:  Needs lots of exercise
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Not recommended for apartments
  • Outdoor Space:  Best with a large yard
  • Climate:  Does well in most climates
  • Longevity:  10 to 12 years

Useful Links

AKC® Treeing Walker Coonhound Breed Standard

Treeing Walker Coonhound Breed Club

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Rescue Organizations

Books about the Treeing Walker Coonhound

Treeing Walker Coonhound Gifts