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Posts Tagged ‘Walker foxhound’

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Dad’s on the left. My uncle’s on the right.

 This was just an informal foxhound show. 

There was no AKC-sanctioning it.

And the next day, there would almost always be a foxhunt.

 

 

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This is from KYAfield

This is a good intro to how the coonhounds work. I should point out here that “coon” is short for raccoon and is not meant to be the derogatory racial slur. The term is sometimes used in that way.

I have a hard time determining whether a Walker hound is a foxhound or a coonhound by looking at it. They both descend from the Walker strain of foxhound that was developed by Thomas Walker, who imported foxhounds to Virginia in 1742. He was the second person to import foxhounds to the New World.

My grandfather had Walker foxhounds, which are a very important strain of American foxhound. However,  in my part of the world, “fox chasing” is not nearly as a common as hunting raccoons, so the treeing Walker coonhound is now more common. They are derived from the same stock, but they’ve since diverged into these specialized breeds.

In Britain, there are two other derivatives of this basic type of large scenthound that have  also diverged into specialized strains. Everyone knows about the English foxhound, but not everyone knows about the trailhound. In the eighteenth century, different owners would argue about the speed of their foxhound packs. They began to breed dogs solely for their speed, and these strains evolved into the trailhound.

So out of this basic strain of English pack hound, four basic breeds developed, each for its different hunting style. The various strains of American foxhound were bred to hunt independently, and some also hunt at night. Some dogs also were used to hunt gray foxes, which climb trees, and certain foxhounds were able to “tree” gray foxes. From these treeing Walker foxhounds, came the treeing Walker coonhounds, which always hunt at night and always must tree their prey. In Britain, the dogs were bred to hunt in tightly controlled packs that were followed on horseback. The English foxhound is generally a more biddable dog than his American relatives. However, the trailhound dogs that evolved from English foxhound racing are much faster than the others.

We started out with one basic breed of large scenthound, and now we have four. Different hunting conditions molded these four breeds out of one.

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