Brave, intelligent, and tenacious, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a working breed renowned for its unmatched hunting skills. On the field, he uses his incredible speed, great stamina, and sharp nose to track, chase, and tree raccoons and other small woodland animals. Between hunts, he transforms into a loving companion, with his owners appreciating his laidback, happy-go-lucky demeanor. Don’t be surprised to see him resting on the couch or lying on his warm bed inside the home, then become a different dog again once in action.
Origins of the Treeing Walker Coonhound
Let’s tackle the breed’s name per each word to know its ancestry further. First, “treeing” is the term used to describe hounds that track quarries, mostly raccoons, with his excellent scenting skills, forcing the small game to climb up the tree while the hound barks and bays loudly to alert his owner. Next, “Walker” was derived from Thomas Walker, a key person credited for the TWC’s early development. Lastly, the word “Coonhound” refers to dogs bred and refined to treeing animals.
The breed traces its roots from the Walker Foxhound that came from the Virginia Hounds, the descendants of the English Foxhounds brought to the United States during the colonial era. The TWC is said to have been developed through a cross between the Walker Foxhound and a Tennessee Lead in the 1800s.
An original part of the English Coonhound breed group, the Treeing Walker was recognized as a distinct breed in 1945 and were bred to retain its outstanding qualities.
In 2012, the American Kennel Club recognized the Treeing Walker Coonhound and became the sixth Coonhound to receive AKC recognition. Today, it is often dubbed as “The People’s Choice” for being one of the most popular among all Coonhound varieties.
Characteristics of the Treeing Walker Coonhound
Weight: 50-70 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a prized hunter characterized by a broad skull, robust, mobile shoulders, and a well-proportioned body, exhibiting endurance. He has large “drop ears” and large, brown eyes that give him a gentle expression.
As a breed that can hike challenging terrain, his legs are strong, straight, lean, but muscular. The feet are well-padded and compact, seemingly like a cat’s. Brimming with elegance, his gait is seamless, ground-covering, with remarkable reach and drive.
Meanwhile, the TWC’s coat is short, hard, tight-lying, and comes in a bicolor or tricolor pattern. While it comes in white tan, his coat is not regarded as red to separate them from the Redbone Coonhound. However, with his overall appearance, the TWC is also often confused as a large Beagle.
The Treeing Walker Coonhound is a well-loved coonhound for many reasons. The best of which is his incredible temperament. Admired by hunters for his enthusiasm and his fearless and competitive demeanor in the field, the TWC can swiftly switch to an adorable family pet at home.
Gentle and loving, he enjoys spending time with his beloved humans and being part of the family dynamics. He makes a nice playmate to children and also a great companion to other dogs. They may not do well with smaller pets, such as cats, rabbits, and hamsters, due to high chase drive. However, he can be taught to co-exist with them with proper socialization and supervision.
Not to worry, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is an intelligent breed and is very trainable. Just make sure to treat him fairly as he has a sensitive soul, and he will respond accordingly. With his sharp nose, his attention might sometimes wander towards scents he will be enticed to check out. Fortunately, his affectionate nature mostly wins and allows his obedience.
In general, the TWC is an even-tempered, mellow, and warm-hearted breed when not on the hunt or in action. As long as his exercise requirements are fulfilled, he’ll be happy to please his owners and provide them his amazing companionship.
Caring for the Treeing Walker Coonhound
The Treeing Walker Coonhound’s short coat is relatively easy to care for. While he sheds moderately, lightly brushing him once a week often suffices in removing dead hair and distributing skin oils to keep his coat healthy. After a long walk or a hunt outdoors, check his paws and ears for any debris or dirt.
Bathing is rarely a necessity and is only needed if his “doggy odor” is already noticeable. Then, clip his nails once a month to avoid splitting and cracking and occasionally brush his teeth for optimum dental health.
In terms of feeding, the TWC should get at least two meals a day. The proportion may vary depending on the activity level of the dog. If he is used for hunting, he may need more high-quality dog food to keep up. Consult your veterinarian for a proper diet routine that will fit the dog’s needs and activity level.
All in all, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is considered a robust and healthy breed. However, like all other breeds, he can be prone to specific health issues, such as hip dysplasia and ear issues. Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder who performs health screens on his stock will increase your chances of having a healthy, long-time pet.