Friday, February 22, 2013

Breed Confusion

Redtick Coonhounds are not a common breed in Northern Virginia. I can count on one hand the number of times someone has looked at Ray and exclaimed "Oh, a Redtick Coonhound!" Only one person has ever said, "Where I come from, we call them English Coonhounds." But, like me when I meet a new dog, people like to take a stab at guessing what kind of dog Ray is.
I've noticed that, depending on their depth of knowledge of dogs, most people will zero in one of the following characteristics:
  1. spots
  2. long legs
  3. svelte appearance
  4. ears
Which brings me to the top guesses for Ray's breed based on the above criteria:
  1. German Shorthair Pointer, Dalmatian, Bluetick Coonhound, Spaniel mix
  2. Great Dane (I can actually see the resemblance here - click on the link to see why)
  3. Greyhound (at least the coloring is right on this one)
  4. Some kind of hound (usually this is as close as people can get, although Redbone Coonhound has been named on more than one occasion. Apparently people know about Redbones because of their appearance in the book Where the Red Fern Grows. And, if the linked photo is fairly representative, at least the Redbone has Ray's head-tilt, forehead wrinkles, and mobile eyebrows.)
People who know NOTHING about dogs think that Ray is a mixed breed. They don't realize that he is the PERFECT EXAMPLE of a Redtick Coonhound. 
And then there was the woman who thought Ray was a Redneck Coonhound. But that was just a miscommunication.


  1. Those redneck coonhounds make me smile (but I dont have so many gaps ;-) )

  2. Lol - that's hilarious that someone actually thought you said "Redneck Coonhound"!!

    I love hounds and usually can determine what kind they are - but there are still times when I just don't know so I will ask.

    I still have people that are convinced I don't know what I'm talking about when I tell them Blueberry is a blue heeler mix - they are convinced she is a Dalmation because of the spots.

  3. I agree with Blueberry39's Human - "Redneck Coonhound" is hilarious. Probably because it's true in many cases. When we adopted Elvis Beagle, he was billed as a "Tree Walking" Coonhound by the rescue folks. We love him to pieces regardless. "Tennessee Walker" is an especially graceful breed of horse, in case anyone wondered where that name came from.

    Thanks for the wildly entertaining post, Jean!

    1. Well, there is a Majestic Tree Hound, and a Treeing Walker Coonhound - just too confusing!

    2. Well, I had to look up the Majestic Tree Hound. That is one BIG dog. The description, though, sounds very similar to the Redtick. I think stubborn, friendly, needs lots of exercise, good with kids, takes a lot of training were all mentioned. Some of them looked like Bloodhounds crossed with Redticks; a whole lot of extra flesh going on there. Thanks for the mentioning it. I love to learn new dog breeds!

    3. I love the "Tree Walking" Coonhound descriptor. Does Elvis climb trees?

  4. Bwahahaha - maybe she knew he came from some rural folk down here in good ole' SC...

  5. I too had a good laugh at the redneck coonhound!

    There were many times that I was asked, "What kind of a mix is that?" when I was out with Cairo. People were surprised when I told them she was an Australian Cattle Dog. A purebred show dog, not a mix. "Really?" Ya, really.

    The flip side of that, I've had people look at Hiker and say, "Hey, that's a Cattle Dog, isn't it?" (Surprising since she has so much white) Oh well, regardless what others think, I know that the ones I have are the best, regardless of the breed!

  6. Elvis prefers digging over climbing. He has been known to chew on the apple tree, though. My dog is a mess :)