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Though both are known for their prowess as trackers and are the loyal companions of hunters, redbone coonhounds and Bavarian mountain hounds are remarkably different. From their countries of origin to the subtle differences in their appearances, these talented dogs were created for different purposes while in the field. Though they are not the same, their loyal demeanor and tenacious tracking skills ensure that these breeds will continue to be hunting favorites.
History and Origin
Redbone coonhounds, an American breed, were descended from red Scottish hounds that crossed the Atlantic with their immigrant masters. Before the American Civil War, these hounds were crossed with red Irish foxhounds, which were valued for their swiftness over land and expediency in treeing raccoons. The redbone coonhound was a well-established breed by the year 1900. Bavarian mountain hounds were bred for a slightly different purpose. The Bavarian mountain hound probably descended from the Tyrolean hound and the Hanoverian hound. These talented scent hounds helped their huntsmen masters track wounded game through the dense forests and mountains of Bavaria. The dogs were purposefully bred to be smaller than their ancestors, which enabled them to travel quickly over rough terrain.
Redbone coonhounds are medium-sized dogs which stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder. Smaller female dogs may be 21 inches, with weight in proportion to their height. The American Kennel Club states that working coonhounds should not be penalized in the show ring if they appear slightly underweight. Coonhounds should also be well-proportioned in height and length. The slightly smaller Bavarian mountain hound stands 20.5 inches tall, although smaller females may only reach 17 inches. These hounds are longer than tall, and their back end stands higher than their shoulders.
The redbone coonhound is a slightly older breed than the Bavarian mountain hound, and the breeds developed half a world apart. The redbone coonhound became an officially recognized breed by the American Kennel Club in 2009, while the Bavarian Mountain hound was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996. The lesser-known Bavarian mountain hound remains a popular hunter's companion in his native Bavaria, and due to his localized development is not particularly well-known outside of Germany.
Color and Disposition Differences
Bavarian mountain hounds can appear in the colors biscuit, fawn, clear tan, deep red and reddish grey. Other recognized colors include brindle, and the dog's coat can be interspersed with black hair. Hair on the Bavarian mountain hound's back tends to be a deeper color, and his muzzle and ears are dark. Small white markings on the dog's chest, called "stars," are allowed, according to the United Kennel Club. The redbone coonhound, however, should appear only in a coat of solid red. His muzzle can be dark, and tiny amounts of white are allowed on his chest or feet. Bavarian mountain hounds are confident and calm, affectionate to their masters but reserved when meeting new people. Redbone coonhounds are extremely sociable, and meeting strange people or dogs is no obstacle for them. Both breeds are energetic and require plenty of daily exercise.