If you are wondering whether treeing walker coonhounds run away, most likely you are considering adopting one and are wondering what to expect.
To better understand this breed and its associated behaviors, it helps taking a deeper look into this dog's history.
These dogs were selectively bred for hunting, and therefore their drive to hunt, deeply impacts their behavior.
What is a Treeing Walker Coonhound?
The Treeing Walker is a dog breed that is most common in the United States.
This breed descends from the English foxhound.
Treeing Walker coonhounds were first classified as an English coonhound until 1945, but they became recognized by the United Kennel Club in 2012 as a separate breed.
These dogs are renowned for their ability to hunt and find prey. They have an exceptional nose and are excellent at covering a lot of ground.
What Were Treeing Walker Coonhounds Bred For?
Treeing walker coonhounds were selectively bred to hunt raccoons and other animals.
What's the Origin of the Name Treeing Walker Coonhound?
Let's break this name down into several sections. Let's start with what treeing means, and then move on to why these dogs are walkers and coonhounds.
The word treeing derives from these dogs' hunting style.
Treeing is basically a hunting method where the dog's main task is chasing animals up a tree so that they can be easily spotted by hunters.
The task doesn't end here though. In order to make good treeing dogs, the dogs must be willing to bark, even after the animal has escaped up the tree.
The purpose of the distinctive barking (it's called baying) is to alert the hunters on foot.
Once the hunters could successfully locate the dogs they could then proceed to shoot the treed animal.
Walker may seem to refer to the fact that these dogs cover lots of ground and have a lot of stamina, but derives from Thomas Walker, of Virginia, who played a major role in the development of this breed.
Coonhounds are dogs specifically bred to hunt raccoons. Because they use their powerful nose to track animals, coonhounds are classified under the scent hound category.
Did you know? In hunting terminology, a trail of scent that is fresh is referred to as "hot" while an older trail of scent is referred to as "cold."
Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds Run Away?
The Walker's incredible nose, along with the ability to cover ground, as earned this breed the nickname as "the People's Choice."
However, these traits so much cherished by hunters, can pose challenges in a traditional family household.
One of the biggest challenges is this dog breeds' strong desire to hunt.
Being very prey-driven, these dogs may therefore just take off and wander away.
If you have a fence, you want to ensure that it's sturdy and high enough.
Do Treeing Walker Coonhounds Jump Over Fences?
As determined dogs, with a strong desire to hunt and romp around, jumping over a fence is a strong possibility, especially if your fence is low.
There are some strategies though to stop a treeing walker coonhound from jumping over fences and preventing them from escaping.
How to Stop Treeing Walker Coonhounds From Escaping?
Following are several tips to reduce the chances for escaping, although you need to consider that this dog breed has a reputation for being an escape artist, so you'll need to think things over very carefully.
Always Keep Your Coonhound on Leash
There are several conflicting opinions on the topic of whether or not Treeing Walker Coonhounds should be kept off leash.
Some believe that the dogs are "hunting dogs" and thus should be allowed to roam free, while others argue that all dogs need to be trained and socialized to prevent dangerous encounters.
It's always best to err on the side of caution. Use a leash to walk your coonhound, and if you want to grant him more freedom, you can always use a long line.
Provide Enough Exercise and Mental Stimulation
A lack of physical activity may also cause your Treeing Walker Coonhound to escape.
This is an active dog breed and therefore, you need to ensure these dogs' needs for exercise and mental stimulation are met.
Provide brain games, training, walks and food puzzles to keep them entertained and happy.
A bored walker is an unhappy walker, which can lead these dogs to find their own forms of entertainment (like digging, chewing and barking) which you won't certainly like!
Erect a Tall Enough Fence
If you're having trouble keeping your treeing walker coonhound from hopping over the fence, consider building a fence high enough to prevent your dog from jumping over it.
If you already have a fence, you may want to consider adding L-footers to make the fence more difficult for a dog to climb over.
The L-footers should be long enough to provide the additional height to the fence, and should bend in an L shape from the top.
Often dogs feel motivated to jump over a fence and escape because they see something on the other side that attracts them.
A wooden fence can be made to have slats installed to provide extra privacy.
Similarly, a chain link fence can be enhanced with screening.
Whether you choose to install a permanent fence or add an existing one, you can easily adapt it to meet your specific needs and preferences.
Take Advantage of Shrubs
You can also try planting shrubs or dense landscaping in front of the fence. The shrubs don't have to be tall, but they should be dog-friendly (not poisonous) and have substance.
They should be dense enough to push your dog back and make jumping over the fence harder.
Prevent Digging Under
A determined treeing walker coonhound who can't jump over a fence, may try digging under it.
In this case, an L-footer may help too, in this case bent at the base of the fence.
Watch For Climbing Aids
In other words, inspect your yard for anything that your Walker may use to gain leverage to climb over the fence.
This can be anything nearby the fence, like a car, wheelbarrow or even a tree.
While the main job of these dogs is to bay with their distinctive howl to inform the hunter that they have treed their prey, some of these guys take their career at a higher level, and manage to virtually climb up the tree!
Don't Forget About Gates!
You should also make sure that your Walker has an escape-proof gate.
Many dogs figure out how to get through the bars of a gate, especially the skinnier breeds.
Here are tips to prevent dogs from escaping through the bars of gates.