What Is the Difference Between a Bloodhound and a Redbone Coonhound?

In the world of canines, diversity reigns supreme. There’s an array of breeds, each with its own unique characteristics and history. 

Two such breeds, the Bloodhound and the Redbone Coonhound, often find themselves in the spotlight due to their impressive abilities and distinctive appearances. 

If you’re curious about the differences between these two remarkable breeds, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Bloodhounds and Redbone Coonhounds, exploring their origins, physical attributes, temperaments, and the tasks they excel at. 

By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of what sets these two breeds apart and which one might be the perfect companion for your lifestyle.

Origins and History

To understand the differences between Bloodhounds and Redbone Coonhounds, we must first look into their histories.

Bloodhound: The Bloodhound, often referred to as the “Sleuth Hound” or “Chien de Saint-Hubert,” has an illustrious history dating back over a thousand years. 

Originating in medieval Belgium, these dogs were bred by monks at the Saint-Hubert Monastery to track game and later, scent out criminals. Their keen sense of smell and relentless tracking abilities made them legendary in the world of canine tracking.

Redbone Coonhound: In contrast, the Redbone Coonhound is a relatively newer breed with American roots. Bred in the 18th century, they were developed by crossbreeding various hounds, including Bloodhounds, to create an exceptional raccoon hunting dog. 

Redbone Coonhounds are renowned for their endurance and determination when pursuing their prey, making them a favorite among hunters.

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Physical Characteristics 

One of the most noticeable differences between these two breeds is their physical appearance.

Bloodhound: Bloodhounds are large, imposing dogs with loose, wrinkled skin that hangs from their frame. They have a distinctively long, droopy face with loose lips that help trap scents. Their ears are long and floppy, and their eyes are deep-set, giving them a melancholic expression.

Bloodhounds typically weigh between 80 to 110 pounds (36 to 50 kg) and stand 23 to 27 inches (58 to 68 cm) tall at the shoulder. Their coat is short and dense, usually black and tan or liver and tan.

Redbone Coonhound: Redbone Coonhounds are slightly smaller and more agile. They have a sleek, well-muscled body with a short, shiny coat that is uniformly red, hence the name. 

Their ears are long and pendulous but not as exaggerated as those of Bloodhounds. Redbone Coonhounds usually weigh between 45 to 70 pounds (20 to 32 kg) and stand 21 to 27 inches (53 to 68 cm) tall at the shoulder.

Temperament and Personality

While both breeds share certain traits, such as loyalty and affection, their temperaments have notable distinctions.

Bloodhound: Bloodhounds are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They are excellent family dogs and get along well with children and other pets. Despite their imposing size, they are usually calm and patient, making them great companions for families. 

However, their incredible tracking instincts mean they can become easily distracted by scents, so they require diligent training and supervision, especially when off-leash.

Redbone Coonhound: Redbone Coonhounds are equally affectionate but tend to be more energetic and independent. They have a strong prey drive, which can make them less suitable for households with small animals like cats or rabbits. 

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Their hunting background also means they have a lot of stamina and need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. Redbone Coonhounds are known for their vocal nature and may bark or howl when they catch a scent, making them good watchdogs.

Working Abilities 

Both Bloodhounds and Redbone Coonhounds are working breeds with distinct skill sets.

Bloodhound: Bloodhounds are unrivaled when it comes to tracking scents. Their sense of smell is considered one of the most precise in the canine world. 

They excel in search and rescue operations, locating missing persons, and even in the field of forensics, where they can help solve crimes by following scent trails. Bloodhounds’ tracking skills are truly legendary, making them invaluable assets in various fields.

Redbone Coonhound: Redbone Coonhounds are masters of hunting, particularly raccoons. Their agility, endurance, and tenacity make them exceptional at treeing raccoons, which involves chasing the raccoon until it climbs a tree and barks to alert the hunter. 

Their ability to stay on the trail for hours makes them indispensable to hunters in densely wooded areas. While they were originally bred for raccoon hunting, they are also used for hunting other game like bears and cougars.


In the world of canine companions, both Bloodhounds and Redbone Coonhounds hold their unique positions, each with its own set of qualities and quirks. 

Bloodhounds are the Sherlock Holmes of the dog world, gifted with an unparalleled sense of smell and a gentle disposition that endears them to families. 

Redbone Coonhounds, on the other hand, are the indefatigable hunters, known for their vibrant red coats and unyielding pursuit of prey.

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Choosing between these two breeds ultimately comes down to your lifestyle and preferences. 

If you seek a loyal family companion with extraordinary tracking abilities, the Bloodhound is your go-to choice. If you’re an avid hunter or an outdoors enthusiast looking for a skilled hunting partner, the Redbone Coonhound is the breed for you. 

Whichever you choose, both breeds offer remarkable qualities that will undoubtedly enrich your life with canine companionship like no other.