How to make an informed decision

Unfortunately the average pet owner isn't aware of everything that goes into a well-bred dog. Some people will research the best kind of vehicle, appliance or home to buy but put little thought into their new family member, who will be a part of their lives for the next 15 years. Preservation breeders are faced against a multitude of backyard breeders and puppy mills who constantly have "stock" on hand. The average pet owner doesn't know better or perhaps isn't willing to wait for the right dog. It's our goal with this page to help educate you on why you should be picky when choosing where to get your next family pet, hunt or show prospect dog. More often than not prices from backyard breeders aren't much cheaper but the potential issues that can come with them can cost you time, money and heartbreak in the long run.

Health Testing

Health testing is one of the best things a breeder can do for their dogs. Being sure that the mom and dad of the puppies are free of genetic health diseases ensures that the puppies will be too! Here at RedLeaf Coonhounds we are huge advocates for health testing all of our dogs. If any dog is found to be affected by a genetic health disorder they are eliminated from our breeding program. Unfortunately not a lot of coonhounds are health tested and we are seeing more and more dogs dying early and not being allowed to live long, healthy lives. 


Health testing relevant to this breed is completed by;


- X-rays for hips/elbow dysplasia by a licensed Veterinarian

- Auscultation or echocardiogram by a certified Cardiologist for heart health

- Eye exam by a certified Ophthalmologist 

- DNA swab for all other inheritable disorders


You can learn more about health testing and why it is so important here: 

Getting a Veterinarian check-up is not the same as health testing. No one can see a dog has hip dysplasia by looking at it unless it is so severe that the dog is displaying its pain. No one expected their 4 year dog to die suddenly of congestive heart failure because last week he was running around normally; and no vet can see which genetic diseases a dog has hidden in its DNA without running tests. If you find a breeder that says their dogs are healthy but can't show you the certifications to prove it, beware. Health testing costs extra money but in our opinion it's worth it to know that our puppies can live long, healthy lives without their new owners having to pay thousands in veterinarian bills to fix or mitigate otherwise easily preventable problems. 

Breed Preservation

A good breeder should love their breed of choice so much they would want to keep them around forever! The breed standard is considered a written blueprint that explains how a certain breed should look, act and perform. For example in the Redbone Coonhound breed all dogs should be solid red. Some small amount of white on the chest is permissible however it is not desired, and should never extend down onto the toes. Dogs that are being advertised as Redbone Coonhounds but are not red, or have a very small amount of red are more than likely not purebred despite what their breeders will tell you. Although this breed's origins were developed out of several different breeds as all dogs are, with careful selective breeding for generations the solid red colour was achieved and has bred true for decades.

A Guaranteed Purebred

Did you know that in Canada you cannot advertise a puppy or dog as purebred if you don't have registration papers for it? This goes for all animals, from household pets to livestock. In order for a dog to be purebred it has to be from registered parents of the same breed. This means that dogs that have purebred registered parents but of separate breeds like the Labrador Retriever/Poodle cross are not considered purebred dogs.


The Redbone Coonhound is so uncommon here in Canada that they aren't yet recognized by the CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) so all of our puppies are registered with the American Kennel Club and/or United Kennel Club. This means that any conformation shows we attend have to be in the USA. Our hope is that once this breed becomes more popular in the show world that we will be able to apply for recognition with the CKC and be able to participate in events here in Canada as well. 

Willing to Answer All Your Questions

A good breeder should be proud of their dogs and will go out of their way to answer any questions you have about their breeding program, their goals, and their dogs accomplishments. They will be there for your for the life of your dog and be wiling to take them back at any time and for any reason if you are no longer able to care for them. 


If you are looking for more ideas of what to ask your potential breeder, please check out this link from the AKC website: