Bloodhound or Coonhound?

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Breed Descriptions

  Side by Side

 We decided to create this section of our website to hopefully assist you in recognizing some of the differences in Bloodhounds and Coonhounds if you are unsure.  We receive a fair amount of mail from folks who have found an obvious “hound” but are not really certain what type of hound it is.  Most often this occurs when the hound is a Redbone Coonhound; they are most commonly confused with red Bloodhounds. 

There are all sorts of differences in Bloodhounds and Coonhounds, and within the Coonhound races themselves, this section will not go into detail other than to help you make a basic identification.  If you are not certain what breed of hound best suites you we encourage you to research the varieties and learn about their differences in temperament, working ability, and personality, not just their color and size. 

All hounds for the most part make wonderful companion animals and generally have a lovely temperament.  They adapt well to indoor life and being a social part of a family.  Hounds need something to do like many other busy working breeds and being left alone outdoors can create negative destructive behaviors.  Please be sure you have the time to devote to a companion hound and are ready to make him or her part or your family!

The Bloodhound

 The bloodhound breed standard calls for an average height between 25 and 27 inches at the shoulder, however you will see individuals as tall as 32 inches or more.   Females are slightly smaller.  The average weight is between 90 and 110 pounds, the larger bloodhounds can top 130 pounds or more. 

 The bloodhound comes in 3 colors, Black and Tan, Liver and Tan and Red (tawny).  A small amount of white is allowed on the chest, feet and the tip of the tail.  While there are variations to these colors, they still fall into one of the three color patterns.   “Predominately black” means the black saddle covers most of the body except for some tan on the legs, face and chest; it is often referred to as a black.  This pattern can go the other way also, where the saddle on the black and tan or liver and tan can be sprinkled on the back.  It can be solid or even just a few darker hairs.  Variations on the red can be anywhere from a very light tan to a deep red almost going into the mahogany tones.

 The ideal Bloodhound has a large head and wrinkled face with pronounced lips and throat giving him a very solemn expression; actually they have a quite dignified and regal appearance.  The eyes are deep and the lids form a diamond shape. 

The skin may pull the lower eyelids down for that "morning after” hangover look.  The ears hang low and are very long and soft, often extending a few inches beyond the nose when pulled forward against the muzzle.  The neck is long, allowing the hound to follow a trail with his nose to the ground without tiring.  The shoulder is muscular and sloped back with a good angulation front to rear. The chest is deep and ribs well sprung.  The feet are knuckled and the coat is short.  The profile of a bloodhound shows the exaggerated loose lips that hang down, often sporting ropes of drool.

 Coonhound Descriptions

 Redbone Coonhound--This breed is most often confused for a Bloodhound but there are some easily recognizable differences.  Redbones are generally a bit smaller than your average Bloodhound.  Height ranges from 21 to 27 inches and weight ranges generally from 50 to 70 pounds.  Redbones do share the rich red coloring of a Bloodhound but do not have the excess wrinkles, loose skin, their ears are a bit shorter and they do not have the exaggerated saggy lower eye lids which expose the "bloody" looking haw.  Most Redbones have a thin agile tail that curls up over their body.  This dog also seems to have a slicker appearance then a Bloodhound, its coat being a bit thinner and laying closer to the body.  Most of the time the smaller overall stature will confirm a Redbone versus a Bloodhound.  pic1   pic2

 American Black and Tan Coonhound--These dogs are the second easiest breed to confuse with a Bloodhound since they are a bit larger than other Coonhounds and favor a coat color that is seen but not common in Bloodhounds. They are always black and tan, marked in the same fashion as a Doberman Pincher.  The body is predominantly black with tan markings on the muzzle, legs and chest.  These are the most beautiful, sleek looking dogs, long ears and more lip gives them an appearance similar to a Bloodhound but they are usually thinner looking and a  bit smaller.  Since Bloodhounds do come in a coat color that can be confused with a Black and Tan Coonhound we must then rely on the size difference and lack of excess wrinkles to help with positive breed identification.  Black and Tan Coonhounds general weight range is 50 to 80 pounds and height is 23 to 27 inches. pic1  pic2

Bluetick Coonhound--This dog should be easy to distinguish from a Bloodhound by its coat color alone.  No need for a lengthy breed description here!  Blueticks have a wonderful spotted, flecked or ticked coat in shades of black, bluish-gray and silver- white.  They generally are also marked like a black and tan dog with tan points on the legs, eyebrows and muzzle.  Blueticks are about the same general size of a Redbone. pic1  pic2 

Redtick  Coonhound—The coat of this Coonhound is similar to that of the Bluetick except it is red rather than bluish-black.  Again it is a ticked, flecked or speckled coat in varying shades of red mixed with silver and white.  This Coonhound is also smaller in size than a Bloodhound but the coat color itself distinguishes it very clearly.  pic1  pic2 

Treeing Walker Coonhound--This is another breed that is easily identified by coat color alone.  It is marked in a tri-color or bi-color pattern like a Beagle.  A white base is blotched or patterned with black and/or black and brown.  The basic body color is predominantly white.  Treeing Walkers are again about the size of the Redbone or Bluetick Coonhound. pic1  pic2 

Plott Hound--Plott hounds again have a very distinct color or coat.  They are either brindle or black with brindle trim.  The brindle coat is striped pattern or effect.  No solid colors are acceptable.  Plott hounds come in a variety of shades ranging from yellow-red to brown black but it must always be the striped effect and never a solid color.  This dog is a bit larger than some of the other Coonhounds but not usually as stocky as a Bloodhound.  pic1  pic2