Treeing Walker Coonhounds make exceptional family dogs for those with active lifestyles. This breed is valued by hunters for their focus and efficiency in the field and at home they have energy to spare and want to be included in all family activities. Treeing Walker Coonhounds enjoy children tremendously and will never turn down a romp in the yard. They get along well with other dogs, though the family cat could be in peril, as Coonhounds have strong chasing instincts. At the end of a day of hunting or playing, the Walker Coonhound will want to curl up on the couch for some affection and relaxation. They are easy to train, and make a fine family companion for both first time and experienced dog owners.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are built for endurance as they are hunting dogs who are expected to spend long days in the field. Because of these high energy reserves, Walker Coonhounds require one to two hours of vigorous exercise every day. They enjoy walking, hiking, jogging and biking. In the yard they never tire of fetching balls or sticks and get a kick out of simple games of chase with children. They are not suited for apartment or city life, and are happiest when they live in a home with plenty of room to run.
Walker Coonhounds enjoy organized activities and competitions, and there are several organizations devoted entirely to competitive Coonhound field trials. If possible, enroll your Walker in one of these organizations where he can constructively channel his energy.
Treeing Walker Coonhounds are very easy to train. They possess a strong desire to please and all that is needed to motivate them are praise and treats. They catch on fairly quickly and can move on to advanced obedience or agility training. Never treat your Walker Coonhound with a heavy hand, as he will simply disregard you from then on and avoid whatever activity it was that caused your harsh reaction. These dogs are generally well behaved, however, and rarely test a trainer's patience.
Socialization should begin early with Coonhounds. While they are affectionate and outgoing with their family, outsiders are treated with caution. If they do not learn to be around new people, this can develop into fearfulness and cause the dog unnecessary stress and anxiety.
This breed has a strong desire to chase and kill. Small animals who wander into a Walker Coonhound's yard are in great peril. When Coonhounds catch a scent, they will follow it tenaciously, with no regard for what is going on around them and can easily wander into traffic. For the safety of your dog and the safety of neighborhood cats, you should keep your Coonhound in a fenced yard or on a leash.
Walker Coonhounds were bred to have a strong bond with the hunters they assisted in the field. This means they attach themselves deeply to their families and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Proper exercise can stave off the chewing, barking and howling that comes with anxiety, but they are best suited for farms or families with a stay at home parent.