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The Treeing Walker was developed from certain strains of English Walker Foxhounds. The credit for the development of the Walker Foxhound goes to two men - George Washington Maupin and John W. Walker. Both men were from Kentucky.
Before that time, Thomas Walker of Albemarle County, Virginia, imported hounds from England in 1742. George Washington, who was an avid fox hunter, also imported several hounds from England in 1770. These dogs became the foundation strains of the 'Virginia Hounds, which were developed into the Walker hound.
At least one major outcross was made in the 19th century that was to forever influence the breed. Strangely, the outcross was with a stolen dog from Tennessee of unknown origin, known as Tennessee Lead.
Lead didn't look like the Virginia strain of English Foxhounds of that day. But he had an exceptional amount of game sense, plenty of drive and speed and a clear, short mouth. Walkers were first registered with U.K.C. as part of the English Coonhound breed. Then in 1945, at the request of Walker breeders, U.K.C. began registering them as a separate breed - first as Walkers (Treeing) and then later as Treeing Walkers.
"I had a coonhound once that was so well trained that all I had to do was show it a certain size fur stretching board and that hound would go out and tree a coon the exact size of that board.

Well, one day my wife happened to set the ironing board out on the porch to clean it and I ain't seen that hound since!"
"Zoey" is a Treeing Walker Coonhound originally from the Central Valley, CA
Coonhounds are the most highly-specialized, purely-American dog breeds found today. The group consists of six distinct, purebred breeds: the Black and Tan, Bluetick, English, Redbone, Walker and the Plott hound.

Treeing hounds were created out of necessity in the early days (1700's) of The United States. The early settlers were faced with a multitude of game species that, when driven, would simply climb a nearby tree to escape the danger of a trailing dog. Early foxhounds and a variety of other dogs were first used, but these dogs didn't have the treeing instinct or other necessary attributes required to produce reliable results.

The early settlers relied heavily on native game species for food and clothing. They needed a dog capable of tracking and treeing these animals: A dog that would stay at the tree and alert the hunter to its location. Because of the type of game found in Europe, a treeing-type of hound had not been developed. A brand new type of dog was needed: A rugged, intelligent, trailing hound that that could handle the physical torture of this varied terrain. A pack dog with the fighting ability, size and stamina to take on animals up to three times its size. A dog with a terrific nose and the determination to track an animal tirelessly in the daytime, but largely in the darkness of night. The American Coonhound was born.

Coonhound Links

Coonhound Central
The United Kennel Club
Treeing Walker Site
AKC Coonhounds Site
WyEast Kennels
(Black & Tans) - Oregon
American Black & Tan Coonhound Club
Animal Den (great gifts, t-shirts, etc.)
In addition to the Treeing Walker, there are five other American Coonhound breeds.
The Black and Tan is the only breed of Coonhound recognized by the American Kennel Club and was admitted to its registry in 1945.
The ancestry of this "grand old breed", like many of the other Coonhounds, is directly linked to the Foxhound group of dogs; specifically, the Black and Tan Foxhounds of the 19th century. It is likely that the Bloodhound also made a contribution to this breeds ancestry. The Black and Tan Coonhound is relatively slow on the trail, compared to some of the Foxhounds, and owing to his exquisite sense of smell, these dogs became very popular and widely used as treeing hounds.
The early Black and Tan Coonhounds had a heavy build, long ears, large heads and bodies, with powerful, stout legs. A wonderful, loud bawl voices made them unsurpassed in their cold-trailing ability
Originally a member of the English family of Coonhounds, it wasn't until the mid 1940's that the Bluetick was recognized as a separate and distinct breed by the United Kennel Club.
The American Bluetick origins can be traced back to Louisiana in the early 1900's. Selective breeding of the English Coonhound, Foxhound, Cur and most obviously, one of the French Gascony Hounds, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, produced a hound of relatively massive proportions. Today, we call these old timers "Big Blues".
Reaching the vicinity of one hundred pounds, the Big Blue is impressive. He's extremely large, reaching 27 inches or better at the shoulder. He is massive in the head, muscular and well set. His legs are well built and strong. His chest very wide. He is a tireless, fearless hunter used commonly for bear and big cat hunting
The sheer strength and endurance of this Coonhound make him a very competent hunter capable of handling difficult-to-negotiate, steep, rocky terrain. He is an excellent fence dog capable of handling 4-5 foot hurdles with relative ease. He is an excellent swimming hound. He is fast on the trail. He is intelligent, loyal and he is easily trained. Finally, the Redbone Coonhound is considered to be more gifted than many other Coonhounds in his natural ability and willingness to fight.
The origin of the Redbone Coonhound stems from the latter part of the 19th century when Redbone Foxhounds were used, but considered by many to be too slow and deliberate for the speedy game they pursued. Like the English and the Black and Tan, the Redbone Coonhound was admitted into the United Kennel Club in around 1900
The English Coonhound is forever in high demand. Originating in the 1800's, the English Coonhound was admitted into the United Kennel Club ranks in 1900. It was from the English that the modern-day Bluetick Coonhound originated.
Through the years, English breeders have accepted a wide variety of dogs into their breed. For this reason, it is difficult to make general statements about the English Coonhound. The most desirable Walkers, Blueticks, Redbones and grade (mixed) dogs of all these groups have been selected in the evolution process in an attempt to create a superior hunting hound. Uniform coloration has not been the goal, and as a result, more variations in color are found in the English breed than any other Coonhound. The most prevalent color found in the English breed today is redtick (red spots on a white background). A bluetick (black on lighter background) coloration is also common, but somewhat less prevalent than the redtick pattern. It's interesting to note that a single litter of English puppies may contain redticks, blueticks and/or a variety of other colors. And since we're on the subject, an expectant female in good health may produce litters of 12-14 pups
The Plott Hound is the only American hound without British ancestry. The breed's designated name honors its American founders and family tree. Seven generations of the Jonathan Plott family, beginning in the 1750's, bred their dogs exclusively within the family. A mix of bloodhounds and curs reportedly comprised the original stock. The dog's working claim to fame is coldtrailing bear and raccoons in the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Great Smoky Mountains of the Eastern United States. The Plott Hound is American through and through. The Plotts family have only rarely put these dogs on the market; so while the breed was officially recognized in 1946, it is still rare outside the southern states. Its is most efficient in the search for coyotes, wolves, and wildcats. They are extremely hardy and have superior hunting instincts. The breed has been carefully developed to be stronger and more persistent. They can make a good family companion but are seldom kept as one. Most people get these dogs for the hunt
South County Dogs is 2001-2007 by David Fluker
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