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Although Coonhounds might not be as popular as the German Shepherd, they are a well-loved breed for various reasons. Not only do they have an incredibly keen sense of smell but also an easy-going and mellow nature. Given these traits, is it a good idea to cross one with a GSD to get a German Shepherd Coonhound Mix?
This article will explore this unique combination and help you understand if this mix would be a good addition to your family.
About The German Shepherd Breed
The German Shepherd is not only one of the most popular breeds in the world but also among the most intelligent. As working dogs, they are valued not just because of their trainability and confidence but also their ability to make decisions and solve problems as they come.
GSDs are also beloved companion dogs. They are eager to please and easy to train, although they require strong leadership and plenty of opportunities to use up their energy. They are also beloved pets because they are loyal and are able to form deep connections with their family.
About The Coonhound Breed
There are several types of Coonhounds, and they all share very similar traits. Popular Coonhounds include the Bluetick Coonhound, the Redbone Coonhound, the Treeing Walker Coonhound, and the American English Coonhound. However, perhaps the most beloved is the Black and Tan Coonhound, which is the largest in the group.
The Black and Tan Coonhound, just like any other hound, is known for its remarkably sensitive sense of smell.
This breed was developed in America during post-Revolutionary times as a means to trail raccoons, which were hunted for their meat, fur, and fat. Today, Coonhounds are still used for their sense of smell, but most often serve humans as valued pets.
Why Cross A German Shepherd With A Coonhound?
The physical characteristics, temperament, and intellectual abilities of the German Shepherd are perfect for a multitude of working roles. Even though German Shepherds are great at tracking their scenting abilities are no match for the Coonhound’s.
Crossing the two breeds could potentially result in the perfect scenting and tracking dog.
As household pets, a German Shepherd Coonhound Mix could potentially have the loyalty and eagerness to please of the GSD and the easy-going and tolerant nature of the Coonhound. This combination would make for an ideal family pet.
General Characteristics of a German Shepherd Coonhound Mix
How a GSD-Coonhound cross might look and act would really depend on which parent it takes after. Even individual puppies in the same litter could have different physical and personality traits.
In general, here are some of the characteristics you might expect from a Coonhound-German Shepherd Mix:
The German Shepherd and the Black & Tan Coonhound are similar in size. However, the Coonhound’s more muscular build makes them heavier dogs.
When the two are crossed, the size of the offspring would undoubtedly be a large and heavy dog.
Here’s how the two breeds compare in terms of height and weight:
|Breed||Height (in.)||Weight (lbs.)|
|German Shepherd Dog||24 – 26||22 – 24||65 – 90||50 - 70|
|Black & Tan Coonhound||25 – 27||23 – 25||65 - 110|
The coats of the German Shepherd and the Coonhound are vastly different.
The GSD is a double-coated breed with a medium-length outer coat. In contrast, the Black and Tan Coonhound has a short but dense coat. The coat of their offspring would depend on which parent it takes after.
In terms of color, the GSD-Coonhound Mix is likely to be black & tan, although it could still take after a differently colored GSD parent.
The pattern can be mostly black with tan markings in certain areas, like the Black & Tan Coonhound. It can also feature the German Shepherd’s mostly tan body with a black saddle.
A Coonhound-GSD cross will shed much more heavily if it takes its coat after their German Shepherd parent. It will shed throughout the year but will do so more heavily twice a year to blow its coat.
In contrast, a German Shepherd Coonhound cross that takes its coat from the Coonhound parent will be much easier to groom because of its short coat.
However, it will still shed regularly and have the tendency to develop a strong, undesirable odor. For such dogs, frequent bathing and regular brushing are ideal.
Ear maintenance is also a concern for a mutt that takes its ears from its Coonhound parent. Coonhounds have long, droopy ears that make them more prone to ear infections.
It is critical to dry their ears thoroughly after every bath and to check them regularly for any signs of infection. GSDs don’t have this issue because their ears are large and upright.
The physiques of both the German Shepherd and the Coonhound will undoubtedly result in a solidly built dog. Their bodies will be suitable for various types of demanding work, although much care should be given to support their bones and joints.
These dogs are also expected to have the ability to work incessantly due to their incredible work ethic. As for bite strength, if the mix takes more after the German Shepherd, it could have a bite force somewhere around 238 psi.
Although the Black and Tan Coonhound is best known for its nose, its roots as a hunter of raccoons and other small, scurrying game have also built it up for high speeds. They are also incredibly agile.
Similarly, German Shepherds have been known to reach top speeds of 30 minutes per hour. With proper conditioning, they are also excellent endurance runners.
The German Shepherd Coonhound Mix will need plenty of exercise.
They will thrive and be on their best behavior when they are given ample opportunities for physical exertion on a daily basis. This might be in the form of long walks or even some active playtime in a yard.
These activities don’t just address the dog’s need to expend excess energy but also hone their mental and working abilities. Ultimately, this will lead to a well-rounded and well-behaved dog.
One trait that the German Shepherd Coonhound Mix can inherit from both parents is a remarkable eagerness to please. That makes them highly trainable. However, their intelligence will depend greatly on which parent they take after.
Black and Tan Coonhounds are considered working dogs of average intelligence. They may require up to 40 repetitions before they can master a trick, and will follow a command at least 5 out of 10 times.
In contrast, German Shepherds are one of the world’s most intelligent working dog breeds. They only need fewer than 5 exposures to master a trick, and will obey at least 9 out of 10 times.
In any instance, a Coonhound German Shepherd mix will be a very trainable dog that is eager to work and please you.
With proper socialization and training, the German Shepherd Coonhound Mix should be an excellent breed, both as a working dog as well as a companion dog. They will inherit loyalty, confidence, and eagerness to please from both parents.
They are also likely to be warm and affectionate towards their family members. However, they will need strong leadership and plenty of exercise to keep them from developing unwanted or destructive behaviors.
It’s important to note that, because of the Black & Tan Coonhound’s history as small game hunters, they are likely to have a high prey drive. That’s a critical consideration for households with small children and other small animals.
As the Coonhound-German Shepherd cross will undoubtedly be a large dog, it would be prudent to monitor it for hip and elbow dysplasia. Ideally, both parents would be screened for these conditions before allowing them to breed.
Other health issues that this mutt can take from the German Shepherd parent is the tendency for digestive problems, including the life-threatening condition of bloat.
From the Coonhound parent, it can inherit a higher risk for ear infections, thyroid issues, and cataracts.
Despite some potential health problems, the Black & Tan Coonhound-German Shepherd cross is expected to live between 10 and 14 years old.
To lengthen their life expectancy, feed them with high-quality dog food, stay up-to-date with their vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments, and give them plenty of opportunities to exercise.
A German Shepherd Coonhound Mix can only be registered with the American Kennel Club through the AKC Canine Partners Program. This enables mixed breeds to participate in a wide variety of canine sports and work towards titles.
They would be unable to participate in conformation events, which require dogs to be judged against a purebred standard.
GSD-Coonhound crosses can excel in various canine events. However, they are most likely to perform excellently in AKC Scent Work, Tracking, and AKC Search & Rescue.
How popular is the German Shepherd Coonhound Mix?
Finding German Shepherd-Coonhound puppies is no easy feat as each of these dogs is much more valuable as purebreds. Therefore, breeders have little incentive to cross them together.
Most often, you’ll find these mutts as a product of accidental mating. If you’re lucky, you may also find proponents of the cross who breed them for various types of scenting work.
Given the physical and personality traits of the German Shepherd Coonhound Mix, there’s no doubt that these mutts are excellent dogs both at work and in the household.
If you’re interested in a German Shepherd mixed breed but aren’t quite convinced that the GSD Coonhound mix is right for you, check out how the German Shepherd mixes with other breeds like the Bloodhound, St. Bernard, or the Jack Russell.