Tree Walker Climbing stand
Scenthounds such as the Treeing Walker can have what is often described as a musty scent. Regular baths can help keep the odor under control, but it’s something you should be prepared to live with.
Always walk your Treeing Walker on leash to ensure that he doesn’t run off after an interesting scent. He also needs a securely fenced yard to keep him contained when you’re not home. Treeing Walkers can adapt to living indoors or outdoors, but the most important thing to know about them is that they need human companionship. There’s no point in having a Coonhound if you’re just going to stick him out in the backyard all by his lonesome.
A Treeing Walker needs plenty of companionship and activity to be happy. Even if you don’t hunt him, consider (overall health permitting, of course - your vet can help determine that) getting involved in tracking or search and rescue. He can also be a great hiking companion with a high level of endurance. You’ll be ready to stop before he is.
Depending on gender, with females being smaller, the Treeing Walker stands 20 to 27 inches tall and weighs 45 to 70 pounds, although some breeders are selecting for larger dogs that weigh 75 or even 80 pounds.
The drawbacks? Treeing Walkers can be loud and stubborn. Unless you live about five miles from your nearest neighbors, they’re going to hear your Treeing Walker’s deep, carrying voice — described as a clear, ringing bugle or a steady, clear chop — when he gets excited about finding a good scent.
The Treeing Walker is an indoor/outdoor dog. He should have a yard, but it’s important for him to spend time with his people, too.
Other Quick Facts
- Treeing Walkers have the classic tricolor pattern — black and white with reddish markings — but in their own inimitable way. Most of them are what’s known as “black blanketbacks, ” meaning they are brown with what looks like a black saddle over the back and a red head.
- Walkers are hustlers. They are fast and have a strong desire to hunt and tree their prey. They dominate at Coonhound field events.
The History of the Treeing Walker
The Treeing Walker Coonhound descends from the early English Foxhounds brought to America in colonial times. From those dogs evolved the Virginia hounds and Walker Foxhounds, which in turn were the progenitors of the Treeing Walker. One dog who had a huge influence on the breed in the 19 th century was Tennessee Lead. His looks weren’t typical, but he contributed game sense, drive, speed, and a clear, short voice.
Treeing Walkers were originally called English Coonhounds, but some breeders had a different kind of dog in mind. They began breeding for the qualities that were most important to them and called their new breed the Treeing Walker. The United Kennel Club began registering the dogs as Walkers (Treeing) in 1945, and later changed the name to Treeing Walker. The TW is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but is part of the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, the first step toward AKC recognition.
Treeing Walker Temperament and Personality
Temperament varies in Walkers. Some are outgoing, some can be a little bashful, some make friends with one and all, and some tend to be protective. There are many different lines in this breed, and each breeder selects for different characteristics. Study the breeder’s other dogs to get an idea of what your Walker pup may grow up to be like. The amount of socialization a pup receives makes a difference as well. In general, however, this is a happy, smart, outgoing dog.
Treeing Walkers make nice companions and family dogs, assuming you don’t expect them to be content to just lie around on the front porch. They have a strong desire to hunt, and if you don’t help them fulfill that need, they’ll go off on their own to see what they can find. On the trail, this is a dog that hustles. He’ll find a track, push it and get to the tree before all the other dogs. Not surprisingly, he does well in coonhunting competitions.
The Treeing Walker generally gets along well with children — although a puppy can be too rambunctious around toddlers — and other dogs. If you have cats, rabbits or other small, furry pets, beware. The TW may view them as prey. Supervise his interactions with them in the home, don’t leave them alone together, and don’t let them out in the yard together.
Bear in mind that the Treeing Walker is more gung-ho than some other Coonhound breeds. Health permitting, he’ll enjoy a couple of long walks or runs daily. He’ll also appreciate the opportunity to run off leash in a safely enclosed area once or twice a week.
As far as training, hounds tend to be independent thinkers who like to do things their own way. They have a short attention span because their interest is always being captured by a scent they’d like to check out. Assume that if your Walker’s nose is down, his ears are closed. He is more sensitive, tractable and amenable to training than many hounds, however. For best results, begin training early, keep training sessions short, and use positive reinforcement techniques, never force. The Walker especially appreciates food rewards.
Start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Even at eight weeks old, he is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.
Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Whatever you want from an Treeing Walker, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.
What You Need To Know About Treeing Walker Coonhound Health
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
Walkers are generally healthy, but a few have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. More likely, they may sustain injuries in the field while hunting. Raccoons are capable of doing damage to a dog, so be on the lookout for wounds. Treeing Walkers can be prone to ear infections. Check the ears weekly, clean them if necessary, and keep them dry to help eliminate the warm, moist environment in which yeast and bacteria thrive.