Strains of the Treeing Walker

Sung to the tune of “Dem Bones:” The Foxhound is connected to the Virginia Hound, the Virginia Hound is connected to the Walker Foxhound, the Walker Foxhound is connected to the Treeing Walker,  Oh, hear the word of the Lord.

We paraphrased a bit, but you get our drift. The Treeing Walker Coonhound came through several iterations to arrive at what it is now – a dog that some say is the best breed for Coonhound trials because of his speed, treeing ability, and knack for locating a scent quickly.

Brought to Virginia by Thomas Walker in 1742, this coonhound resembles its ancestor, the English Foxhound because, according to some sources, it has a higher percentage of Foxhound in it than other Coonhounds with Foxhound in their ancestry. We came across a statement that as of a few years ago, approximately half of all purebred coonhounds in the United States were Treeing Walkers, the other half divided between the remaining five or six coonhound breeds.

Within the Walker hunting community, there are several different strains, each with a different name. They include the Merchant’s Bawlie, Motley, Mack Twain, Banjo, Hershberger, and Sailor, or Sailor Boy strains. As far as we can tell, what separates the strains has to do with “hardness,” cold nose, and the dogs which sired the lines. Finley River Chief is a name that appears in a lot of top hounds, and among coonhunters, he is regarded as the greatest producer in the Treeing Walker breed, but most of the aforementioned names appear on the ACHA’s list of past World Hunt Champions from 1948-2016.

Image: Treeing Walker Coonhound watercolor portrait by Mike Theuer is available is several 2-dimensional formats here.


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