What Is A Coonhound Mix?
A coonhound mix is a cross between a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and a Labrador Retriever (Lab). They are commonly known as Labradors or German Shepherds because they were originally bred to guard sheep. These dogs have been used in police work since their inception. However, these breeds have evolved into other uses such as search and rescue, military service, and even show ring animals.
The breed name “Coonhound” comes from the fact that they look like raccoons. Other names include: Black Lab, Brown Lab, Red Lab, White Lab, Silver Fox, and others. There are many different types of coonhounds but all share some common traits such as being small with short legs and long bodies. They tend to be very energetic and playful.
They are usually a bit reserved around strangers due to their docile nature. They love attention and will often beg for it.
Why Choose A Coonhound Mix For Your Pet?
There are several reasons why one might choose a coonhound mix over another type of dog. Some of them include:
They are smaller than most dogs. They are generally quieter than most dogs. Their energy level is lower than other dogs. They tend to be more laid back and less aggressive than other dogs.
They are less likely to fight with other dogs. They are very easy to train.
How Much Do Coonhound Mixes Cost?
The cost of a coonhound mix varies from place to place. It is determined by several factors such as location, reputation, and supply and demand. On average you can expect to pay at least $250 for a purebred dog. However, this price can go up significantly if you want a specific breed.
How To Take Care Of A Coonhound Mix?
These dogs are relatively easy to take care of. They don’t need too much exercise and they don’t need to be cleaned too often. Just brush their fur regularly and take them for walks and they will be fine. Be careful when walking them in hot weather, particularly when it comes to direct sunlight. Their coats can handle cold temperatures but not hot ones. Many have experienced dogs who unexpectedly died by being left in the car on a sunny day. If you live in an apartment or some place where there isn’t grass, don’t worry because they can easily survive without it. You can also save money on dog food by simply buying large bags of human grade meats and giving them that instead.
Coonhound GSD Mix As A Watchdog
The most common reason people get a dog is for protection. This is true even if they don’t need it and don’t intend to use it for that purpose. Coonhound GSD mix dogs make for excellent watchdogs mainly because of their loud bark and intimidating size. They can easily scare those unaware of their friendly nature.
Coonhound GSD Mix As A Hunting Dog
Hunting dogs primarily rely on their sense of smell rather than sight. This is perfect for a dog that is intended to hunt mammals primarily. These dogs have natural instincts to hunt and track, all that is needed is the proper training from an early age.
Coonhound GSD Mix As A Guard Dog
These dogs have a protective instinct for their owners and the area that they are guarding. While they may be friendly to those they know, any stranger that they see as a possible threat will be given a warning through barking. These dogs will not hesitate to attack if necessary. They are usually large in size, which makes them more intimidating than most other dogs.
Coonhound GSD Mix Health Problems
All dogs are prone to certain health problems. Many of them are simple to treat and some are preventable. This is why responsible dog owners make sure that their pet’s shots are up to date. They also have their dog see a veterinarian every once in awhile.
This is not only good for catching any potential problems early, but it also lets the owner build a bond with the dog. Here are some common health problems that Coonhound GSD mix dogs may suffer from:
Gastric Torsion (Bloat) is a condition that affects the stomach and can quickly become life-threatening. The stomach is filled with gas and then twists. This prevents the gas from escaping and causes pressure on the other organs. It is a common problem among deep chested dogs like the Coonhound.
It can be treated by opening the dog’s stomach and releasing the gas, but if treatment is not given quickly then the dog will die.
Coonhounds are prone to becoming deaf. In fact, most of them will suffer from this condition at some point in their life. While it isn’t a serious condition, it does make the dog more vulnerable when they can’t hear potential threats.
This is a nervous system disorder that causes seizures. This can be caused by a head injury, but in the Coonhound GSD mix breed most are born with the condition and it develops when they get older. Owners will typically notice signs like paddling, frothing from the mouth, and losing consciousness. The condition can be treated with medication.
This is a condition that affects the eyes and causes a lot of pain. It is typically found in older dogs and occurs when the pressure inside the eye is too high. The only way to treat this condition is to remove the eye, but there are medicines to help treat the pain until then.
The thyroid gland produces hormones that control the body’s metabolism. When it doesn’t produce enough of these, symptoms begin to show such as gaining weight, excessive sleeping, and a slow heart rate. Some Coonhound GSD mixes are born with the condition, while others develop it when they get older. If your dog is diagnosed with hypothyroidism then they will need to take medicine for the rest of their life.
Intervertebral Disk Dise ase (IVDD)
Almost every Coonhound GSD mix will suffer from this particular back disorder at some point in their life. The intervertebral disk is responsible for keeping the spine flexible and able to handle motion. With IVDD, the disk becomes damaged and the fibers weaken until the disk can no longer support the spine. The dog will experience pain along their back and will be unable to walk.
In severe cases, paralysis can occur. This condition is often treated by removing the disk and the dog will make a full recovery.
Just like with humans, obesity can shorten a dog’s life span and cause a multitude of other medical problems. While obesity is always caused by eating too much and moving too little, there are some breeds that are more prone to it than others. The Coonhound GSD mix is one of these breeds. Obesity can lead to a host of other conditions including diabetes, cancer, joint problems, and heart disease.
It can also reduce the effectiveness of vaccinations and increase the chances of IVDD.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Coonhounds are prone to this eye disorder that causes a gradual loss of vision. The Coonhound GSD’s eyesight deteriorates slowly, but the dog will become unable to see within six months of first developing the condition. There is no treatment or procedure that can slow down this degeneration.
Just like with IVDD, the spinal cord is another area that suffers damage and can cause pain in most Coonhound GSD mixes. It occurs when the space surrounding the spinal cord, known as the spinal canal, begins to narrow. This can be caused by a abundance of things such as an infection, tumor, or even arthritis. When this happens, the bones around the spinal cord also begin to fuse together.
The dog will experience loss of bladder control, weakness in their legs, and an inability to sit. Sometimes the condition can be treated with surgery. Unfortunately, most dogs are unable to walk once the condition has progressed too far.
This is a condition that affects the joint between the upper arm and the forearm. It is one of the most common orthopedic diseases found in dogs. It occurs most often in large breed dogs, particularly those that are still growing. Like with humans, it is caused by a mismatch in the growth rates of the bones and joints, which results in an irregular growth of the bone and a degeneration of the joint’s cartilage.
The severity can differ from dog to dog, but in the worst cases the joint will be completely destroyed and the dog will be unable to use its legs.
It is possible for a dog to still have elbow dysplasia even after surgery. It can reoccur after future surgeries as well. It is often misdiagnosed because there are very few symptoms in the beginning. The first symptom is usually a mild lameness, but by that time the joint has usually already been damaged beyond repair.
Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs and limited activity. Surgery is an option for treatment, but there is no guarantee it will work.
Caring for a Coonhound GSD is not a simple task. It requires commitment and attention on a regular basis. Failure to provide the proper care can result in serious medical problems. With this in mind, you need to decide if you are ready to make this commitment.
Coonhounds GSDs are fairly active indoors and will require a moderate amount of exercise each day. They should be taken on daily walks and allowed to play in the yard periodically throughout the day. If your version of housebreaking is taking them out once in the morning and once at night, then you will need to reexamine your training techniques. Coonhounds will usually need to go out every two hours or so, especially as puppies.
Set your alarm for every couple of hours during the night so you can take the dog out.
You will also want to provide a play area where the dog can romp around and run to its heart’s content. If you live in a house with a yard, then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Just set aside a particular area that will be the dog’s play zone and make sure the fence is strong enough to keep the dog inside. If you live in an apartment, then you can either take the dog to a nearby park or purchase or build a doggy gate.
These are fences that can be opened and closed to keep the dog in or out of a particular area.
Grooming is an important part of taking care of a dog. It not only keeps their fur clean and healthy, but it also helps you get to know the dog on a more personal level. As with most hounds, the Coonhound GSD enjoys being brushed and petted. It is recommended that you brush the dog at least once per week to keep their coats healthy.
Since they have so much hair, they will also shed a great deal. You can expect to be vacuuming every day during shedding season.
The breed is prone to a few different types of tumors, some of which are found underneath the hair. It is recommended that you carefully examine the dog for lumps on a regular basis. You should also check their ears on a regular basis. The long ears of the Coonhound GSD can easily become infected.
It is also a good idea to keep their teeth clean and free of tartar.
Paws and nails should be kept in good condition as well. Long toenails can become caught in floorboards or doorways and the dog can hurt itself. Dewclaws should be kept trimmed as well.
Exercising Your Dog
Coonhounds GSDs need a lot of exercise to stay healthy both physically and mentally. They are bred to hunt large game and they will get bored and restless if they aren’t given a way to use up all that energy.
These dogs were originally bred to hunt independently all day until the dog would eventually return to the hunter with some sort of prey or game. They have excellent tracking abilities and can cover a lot of ground in a single day. These days, most Coonhounds GSDs no longer have the skills necessary to hunt on their own.
A typical Coonhounds GSD will require several long walks per day. They will also benefit from a large yard where they can run around to their hearts content. With the right amount of exercise, these dogs are relatively calm when inside. They are certainly not hyperactive and loud like the smaller Terriers.
These dogs are something like Beagles in that they have a great instinct for tracking, but unlike the Beagle, they have a lot of energy and stamina. These traits make them excellent candidates for Tracking Dogs. If you are interested in Tracking, you will want to start training the dog in this ability right away. The instinctive nature of this characteristic means that it is relatively easy to train a Coonhound GSD to follow a scent left behind by an animal or human.
They are particularly skilled at finding wounded game, so they are commonly used on hunts.
Obedience training is also relatively easy. As mentioned above, these dogs are intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement. They also tend to take correction well. These factors make them quick to learn and responsive to the commands that they learn.
It is always a good idea to start training your dog as soon as possible, but this is especially true of Coonhounds GSDs. These dogs have a very strong instinct to follow a scent. If they are not properly trained, they will take off after a scent and never return.
If you have your heart set on the Tracking aspect of this breed, you should definitely enroll in a Tracking class with your dog as soon as you get it. Whether or not you plan on competing in Tracking events, these classes will teach you both how to track and let you learn about different scents and how to read them. These classes are also a great way to socialize your Coonhound GSD.
As mentioned, these dogs have a high energy level and will need at least a couple of long walks or jogs per day along with some play time. If you can run behind them as they follow a scent, all the better. These dogs are natural hunters. If they don’t have enough to do, they are going to find something to do on their own.
If you aren’t careful, this “something” might be destructive. It is much easier to give them their needed exercise and prevent them from getting bored in the first place.
The short coat of the Coonhound GSD requires very little in the way of grooming. Be sure to brush the coat consistently in order to keep lose hairs at bay and keep the coat glossy. These dogs will also benefit from being bathed regularly, but their scent is not as strong as with other hound breeds.
Common Health Problems
Coonhound GSDs are generally a healthy breed. They don’t suffer from a large number of genetic disorders and illnesses. That said, they can be prone to certain health issues like any other breed. Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, blood disorders, and ear infections are all potential issues for this breed.
If you are buying a Coonhound GSD from a breeder, make sure to find a good one that has had the parents of your puppy tested for health issues and free of any genetic disorders. Buyers in the USA can look up whether or not a breeder is a member of the National Kennel Club. This is no guarantee that the breeder is reputable, but it is at least a start.
These dogs will do okay in an apartment if they are given plenty of exercise. If you live in an apartment, you will need to take your dog for extended walks or runs at least a few times per day.
Coonhounds GSDs and Children
These are gentle and affectionate dogs. They get along well with children and tend to be very patient. However, as with any dog, they may not react well if the child is abusive in any way.
Coonhounds GSDs and other Pets
These dogs tend to like other pets if they are raised with them from a young age. It is important to always make sure that they are well socialized with other animals.
Coonhounds GSDs and strangers
These dogs have strong senses of smell and will not be shy about approaching a stranger. However, they tend to be friendly and approachable themselves. They are quite good at meeting new people.
Coonhounds GSDs as Guard Dogs
These dogs have a loud bark and will sound the alarm when a stranger comes around, but they are not likely to be of much protection beyond that. They are generally too friendly and happy to see anyone approaching to make good guard dogs.
Coonhounds GSDs are Family Dogs
These dogs are very good family dogs. They are loving and affectionate with their families and want to be included in all the activities that the family is enjoying.
Coonhounds GSD Trivia
These dogs are also known as American Black and Tans, Black and Tans, and sometimes just Hounds. There is a famous one from the movies named “Beethoven”. They have been used in Louisiana to hunt Black Bears and in the Eastern United States to hunt Black Bears and Coyotes. These dogs have webbed feet, which helps when swimming.
This is a holdover from their previous lives as water dogs for hunting.
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Autism and the serotonin transporter: the long and short of it by S Ozonoff, I Cook, H Coon, G Dawson… – Journal of autism and …, 2004 – Springer
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