A breed of purebred dog is officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), the most recognized kennel club in America, if there is concrete proof that there is a relatively large interest in the breed around the country and if there is current, sustained and serious activity relating to the maintenance of high breed standards. If a breed isn't registered with the AKC, but it meets the above conditions, the breed is first admitted to the Miscellaneous Class; if this breed continues to show consistent growth and positive results while in this class, it will eventually become officially recognized and move out of the Miscellaneous Class.
At this point, the Redbone Coonhound is still in the Miscellaneous Class of the AKC, as efforts to get this breed consistently in the show ring have only been started relatively recently. The Redbone has been registered with the United Kennel Club since 1902, however; this all-breed registry is the largest of its kind in the world, encompassing dogs registered both in the US and in foreign countries. The Redbone is in the Scenthound group of the UKC.
Essentially, the Redbone Coonhound was bred to look good while having superior hunting capabilities. It is the only solid coat coonhound and the first breeders specifically wanted a striking coat, interested in both looks and skill. Males should be 22 to 27 inches in height, while females should be around 21 to 26 inches; both are expected to have a body length proportionate to their height, with the length between their shoulder blades and the ground roughly equal to that between their sternum and their rear. Technically, they should be somewhat taller at the shoulder than at the level of their hips. As far as weight, it should be proportionate to their overall structure, with no penalty going to dogs that may seem somewhat underweight.
Like many scenthounds, Redbones should have a pleading expression, with dark eyes (though hazel eyes are acceptable). Eyes should be round, with eyelids that do not droop. Ears are low set and fine, and should reach close to the end of the nose when they are stretched out. Their skull is broad and flat, with a square, well-balanced muzzle and a scissors bite, though an even bite is acceptable. Their nose should have large, black nostrils. The Redbone neck should not be too long nor too short, and should be somewhat arched and erect. Their chest should be broad and deep, while the back should be strong and their loin somewhat arched. The saber-like tail should be medium in length, with a bit of brush.
They should have a close to 90 degree angulation of the shoulder, with straight legs, set under the body; feet should be similar to the paws of cats and compact. Their coat should be short and smooth; it should also have a coarse quality for protection. Solid red is the preferred coat color, though a very small splash of white on the feet does not disqualify the dog; they may also have a dark muzzle. Finally, the Redbone must show an even temper, for the dog should be a good family pet while being an aggressive hunter.