Coonhound Lingo

On this site, we are united in our affection and admiration for purebred dogs, but there are subcultures within our “dog culture,” and one of them is the world of Coonhound tracking and hunting.  Any niche has its own “lingo,” (if you are a trainspotter, for example, you’ll know what “basher” means), and the Coonhound world is no different.

A “rainbow kennel” may suggest something very different to a one-breed owner, but for the Coonhound hunter who has all seven Coonhound breeds (can you name them?), it’s a reference to his dogs which include an American English Coonhound, a Black and Tan Coonhound, a Bluetick Coonhound, a Redbone Coonhound, a Treeing Walker Coonhound, a Plott, and American Leopard hound

In a Coonhound forum, we came across this question (which was more a complaint): “I have a female walker and was wandering if anybody has a tip they would share on how to get her to stop slick treeing?”

Slick Treeing?

A “slick tree” is a tree with no raccoon or possum in it (also known as a “broom handle”). Sometimes, a hound “slick trees” because he’s really excited and trees too quickly. Sometimes, a hound is actually treeing a field mouse that has scampered up a tree, or they’re following a strong-smelling flying squirrel, and not a raccoon. When a dog spends a lot of time going up an empty tree, it wastes the hunter’s time, and needless to day, hunters take a dim view of it.

“Blue dawgin,” also known as “blueticking,” harkens back to when old strains of Bluetick Coonhounds were famous for being cold-nosed tracking dogs that could track game under the worst of conditions. They ran a track – nose to ground – smelling and scenting, and thus worked at a slow pace.

Needless to say, there are far more terms than is presented here, but we wanted to give you a hint of how different this world can be from our own if we show dogs, compete in agility, herd sheep, or weight pull.

Image: “Hound Dog” by Sarah Batalka is available as wall art, life style items and home decor here.


22 thoughts on “Coonhound Lingo”

  1. breeds are; Bluetick, Treeing Walker, Black and Tan, Redbone, English, Plott and American Leopard hound.
    the Redtick is in the English breed

  2. “dog leaves like he is late for work” means he goes hunting very fast and every time!

  3. “Slobbermouth treedog” means the dog barks extremely hard and fast up the tree at the end of the chase.

    • What a wonderfully descriptive term, 2ol2hunt! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. “two looking down” This is the opposite of the slick or empty tree. It means there are a set of coon eyes looking down at you when you get to the tree.

  5. Gomming a track, standing on their head, or wallering is when a hound can’t move the track out of a small area. Barking incessantly but not going anywhere. This is one of the worst traits a hound can have so there are lots of terms for it. Add, “couldn’t trail their way out of a cardboard box” or blueticking or even boo hoo-ing to this list.
    “Loaded up” refers to the barks a hound makes as it determines it has found the end of the track and subsequently the tree that “Ricky”, “the trash panda”, or Mr Ringtail is in. This is a moment when someone might say “they got the grease”.
    “Deep and lonely” refers to a hound that likes to work independently and goes a long ways away and finds Ricky “all to his self”.
    A “hitchhiker” refers to a less talented hound that goes along with a better hound and barks alongside it to get credit as if it had done the bulk of the work. Also known as a cover dog, a me too-er, or a backer.
    A good handler might “pencil whip” you by using the intricate rules of coon hound competition to their advantage.
    Those who whine and cry about their loss at a competition may be referred to as “needing a binky” or being binky boys.
    Hounds and their owners can be known as “coulda shoulda woulda” types cause if they had just done one thing different at the last competition things might have been totally different. They coulda won, they shoulda won, they woulda won. But they didn’t. Now they need a binky cause their me too-er Gommed the track so long that old “Deep and lonely” had two eyes looking down while they were back at the truck “adjusting their bibs”.

    • Ben, you ROCK! How fun (and educational) to learn these terms. We’ll be doing our homework on them and thank you for bringing them to our attention!

  6. “loose mouth or babbling” Dog barks out of place or barks when no coon scent is found also sometimes referred to as an automatic strike dog.

    • Another great set of terms, 2ol2hunt – one wonders how these vivid terms are born?

  7. hey folks, how about … baying…locate…cold tracking…. looking at’em….. chop mouth….screaming one…. bawl mouth…. bugger barking….. all describe vocalizations that describe sounds a hound makes when on a trail. asking for friends on a UKC page. please give your description

  8. Tree Jacking or tree jacker. Running and jumping up and down on a tree. Can cause a fight between hounds if the one tree jacking falls and bumps into a grouchy hound.

    • LOL, how vividly described, Steve! Thanks for expanding our Coonhound vocabulary!

  9. “Dog has a great handle or no handle” This refers how well or not so well a dog obeys a verbal command. Some commands in the woods are….come, heel, load, get back in pen some dogs even learn light direction, dead coon means to drop the coon if he has in his mouth.

    • It’s fascinating how obedience can be referred to as having a great or no handle. Doncha wonder how people comes up with this stuff?

  10. It’s fascinating how obedience can be referred to as having a great or no handle. Doncha wonder how people comes up with this stuff?

  11. That dog is an”alligator” ….A dog with a bad temperament and wants to fight around the tree with other dogs and sometimes people!

  12. A dog that can’t move a track but continues to try is said to be”standing on his head”

  13. Me too!
    A dog that will leave their track to either go to another dogs track or tree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Optionally add an image (JPEG only)