Easiest Coon Dog Breeds to Train for Beginners

Easiest Coon Dog to Train: A Guide for Beginners

Coon hunting has been a popular sport for centuries, and having a well-trained coon dog is essential for success. However, training a coon dog takes time, patience and consistency. Some breeds are naturally more eager to please and better suited for novice owners. If you're new to coon hunting, consider one of these breeds as the easiest coon dogs to train.

What Makes a Good Coon Dog?

Before exploring specific breeds, it helps to understand the key traits of an effective coon dog:

  • Strong hunting drive and prey instinct- They should be intensely focused on tracking and treeing prey.

  • Stamina - They need energy to work long hours and range far while hunting.

  • Intelligence - They must be trainable and respond well to commands.

  • Keen sense of smell - To detect and follow a coon's scent trail.

  • Athleticism - To traverse all types of difficult terrain in pursuit of prey.

  • Trainability - They should be eager to please and respond readily to training.

  • Voice - Loud, baying barks to alert the hunter when a coon is treed.

Breeds that naturally excel in these traits make the best coon dogs and are easier to train for beginners.

Black and Tan Coonhound

Known for its speed, athleticism and distinctive vocalizations, the Black and Tan Coonhound is often cited as the easiest coon dog for novice owners.

Origins

This American breed descended from Bloodhounds and Foxhounds imported from Europe. Hunters selectively bred them over generations for their prowess at raccoon hunting. Their super senses, energy and vocal nature make them ideal coon dogs.

Temperament

Despite their hunting intensity, Black and Tans have an amiable, people-pleasing temperament. They bond closely with their owners and aim to please. This responsive demeanor makes them highly trainable.

Physical Attributes

With their muscular but agile frame, lean legs and broad chest, these dogs are built for speed, endurance and athleticism. Their long ears enhance their acute sense of hearing. Their expressive, drawn out bays help hunters locate treed prey.

Training Tips

Start obedience training early and use positive reinforcement. Motivate them with praise and treats. Avoid punishment-based methods that could diminish their exuberance. Teach basic commands like "sit", "stay" and "quiet." Introduce them to tracking/trailing drills and reward them for picking up scents. Channel their energy into productive coon hunting.

With their high trainability, Black and Tan Coonhounds are responsive even to first-time handlers. Their loyalty and desire to work make training them a delight.

Redbone Coonhound

The Redbone Coonhound is another excellent choice as an easy to train coon dog.

Origins

This breed originated in the southern United States as a cross between Bloodhounds, Foxhounds and Irish Hounds. They were developed to create an agile, relentless coon hunter with a tenacious nose.

Temperament

Redbones form extremely close bonds with their handler. They are eager to please, affectionate and obedient. Unlike other hounds, they actively seek to understand and obey commands. This tractable nature makes them highly trainable.

Physical Attributes

Lean and muscular, Redbones have tireless energy and speed for the hunt. Their short, dense coat sheds dirt easily. Their pleading expression and pleading yodel touch a hunter's heart. Their scenting power is second to none.

Training Tips

Redbones appreciate affectionate, patient training. Use positive methods and stimulating, varied activities. Stage mock hunts to build their tracking, trailing and treeing skills. Channel their dependence on you into a strong working relationship. Obedience training will satisfy their aim to please.

With their people-oriented personality and responsiveness, Redbone Coonhounds are one of the simplest coon dogs for new hunters to train.

Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is a tenacious hunter known for versatility and trainability.

Origins

This old breed originated in North Carolina, created by the Plott family for bear hunting. Their aggressive hunting style translated well to raccoon hunting. Today, they're prized as all-purpose coon dogs.

Temperament

Fiercely loyal with an innate eagerness to work, Plotts form close bonds with their handler. They're highly driven to please and respond readily to instruction. With patience and motivation, they excel at obedience.

Physical Attributes

The Plott has incredible stamina and athleticism to track prey over rough terrain. They use their superior sense of smell to overcome obstacles. Their loud bawl allows hunters to follow along during the chase. A bold, confident demeanor makes them ready for a fight with aggressive raccoons.

Training Tips

Start training early using rewards like food and praise. Avoid harsh corrections. Stage training sessions to build skill and confidence. Plotts love having a job to do - be it obedience work, tracking drills or hunting practice. Challenge them mentally and physically.

Plotts aren't quite as laidback as other coonhound breeds but respond eagerly to patient training.

Treeing Walker Coonhound

With its upbeat nature, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is a great pick as an easy to train coon dog.

Origins

Developed from Virginia hounds, Walkers were bred for their speed, energy and uncanny knack for treeing raccoons. Their heritage as hunting partners makes them highly trainable.

Temperament

Despite their hunting prowess, Walkers have a sweet, people-loving temperament. They form close bonds and aim to please their handler. With positive reinforcement training, they respond wonderfully.

Physical Attributes

With lean muscles and a streamlined frame, Treeing Walkers have unmatched stamina and athleticism. Their fluid movement helps them traverse rough terrain. They use their keen nose to pinpoint faint scents. Their melodic bawl carries through the woods.

Training Tips

Train Walkers with constant encouragement, never punishment. Teach the basics like sit, stay and come. Do scenting drills to sharpen their nose. Practice tracking and trailing exercises. Stimulate their mind and body. Treeing and retrieval games will satisfy their instincts.

Walkers love interacting with their owner. With motivation and repetition, they excel in training.

Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound is a gorgeous breed known for its trainability.

Origins

Bred from French hounds, Blueticks were refined in the U.S. for their hunting abilities and cold nose. Their talents were nurtured through selective breeding over generations. Today they're highly-skilled coon dogs.

Temperament

Despite being dedicated hunters, Blueticks have a lovable, people-focused temperament. They form close bonds with their handler. They respond wonderfully to training and seek to please their owner.

Physical Attributes

Blueticks have a strong cold nose prized for its scenting capabilities. Their sturdy legs allow them to track over vast territory. Their muscular build gives them speed and agility. Their loud bawl helps hunters keep track during the chase.

Training Tips

Use positive reinforcement like treats and praise in training. Stage mock hunts and practice tracking exercises to build skills. Work on commands like "hush" to control barking. Blueticks love bonding with their owner during training sessions.

The Bluetick Coonhound's agreeable nature makes them highly responsive even to first-time handlers.

Key Takeaways

Here are the key points to remember about picking the easiest coon dog to train:

  • Seek breeds like Black and Tan Coonhounds that have an innate desire to please their handler. This makes them highly trainable.

  • Look for breeds with traits like stamina, speed, scenting ability and voice that translate well to coon hunting.

  • Motivate them with positive reinforcement and varied activities rather than punishment.

  • Start training them young and develop skills through tracking drills, mock hunts and repetition.

  • Channel their energy into productive hunt training to prevent destructive behavior.

  • Bond closely with your dog through training time and affection to enhance responsiveness.

Picking a breed already inclined to follow commands and please their owner sets novice handlers up for training success. Do your research to choose the right coon dog, then employ patience and consistency when training.

Additional Tips for Training a Coon Dog

Beyond choosing a trainable breed, there are additional methods new coon dog owners can employ to ensure training success:

Start Young

It's ideal to begin training coon dogs when they're still puppies. Early socialization and obedience training get them off on the right paw. Introduce them to tracking and trailing drills once they have basic commands mastered. Starting young allows plenty of time to develop their hunting skills.

Use Rewards

Coon dogs respond best to positive reinforcement like praise, affection and food rewards. Avoid punishment-based methods. When they perform well, reward them immediately so they associate the behavior with something good. This motivates them to repeat it.

Prioritize Obedience

Even with their natural hunting abilities, coon dogs need obedience training. A dog that ignores commands can ruin a hunt. Master basic training like sit, stay, come, down and heel. Teach them to quiet on command when barking at prey. Obedience establishes you as the alpha and creates a trusting bond.

Provide Ample Exercise

High-energy coon dog breeds thrive when they get plenty of daily exercise. Long walks, jogs and vigorous play sessions help satisfy their needs. An exercised dog focuses better during training. Prevent problem behaviors by tiring them out.

Use Tracking Drills

Hold mock tracking sessions to build your dog's scenting skills. Drag decoy scents like rabbit hide and reward your dog when they follow the trail. Increase the difficulty by crossing trails. Tracking drills improve focus, stamina and trailing ability.

With smart training methods and the right breed, even novice handlers can turn out champion coon dogs.

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