The Redbone was one of the first breed of hounds to be bred entirely in America. This breed is currently in the Miscellaneous Class of the American Kennel Club, but is officially recognized in the United Kennel Club, UKC, and considered part of the Scenthound group; indeed, it was one of the first breed of hounds registered with the UKC. The American Kennel Club is not the proper kennel club to turn to when showing and registering hunting dogs and hounds, as it does not put as much emphasis on hounds and hunting breeds and so does not register as many hunting breeds as the UKC. Indeed, while the UKC has a number of coonhounds registered, the AKC has only one: the Black and Tan Coonhound. Furthermore, it is the United Kennel Club that organizes and hosts the majority of American hound trials.
The Redbone Coonhound participates in a number of competitive events organized by both the UKC and the AKC. Hunting competitions began quite a while ago, almost immediately after World War II, with hunters trying to put together rules, regulations and a judging strategy for hunting trials. The AKC, for example, throughout the years has adopted a time limit for coonhound competitions as well as a point system; Redbones regularly take part in these competitions. Initially, a scent is rubbed onto a tree or pole containing a lure; flags are used to mark a scent trail that leads to this tree or pole. When given the signal, all handlers release their dogs at the same moment and cannot give their dogs any further instructions. Dogs are given points for how well they work on the scent trail, if they bark correctly at the tree, and for how time efficient they are. No guns are allowed.
Redbone Coonhounds also participate in water races, in which a scented lure is placed in a cage and suspended or simply floated on water. Markers are used to delineate where the dogs enter the water and where they exit and what path they need to swim; if they step foot outside the markers, they're disqualified. The tree with the final scented lure is at least 20 yards away from the point where the dogs enter the water. Once the dogs are released, their handlers are escorted by a judge or marshal around the body of water and they can in no way interfere with their dogs, or anyone else's. There are essentially two types of winners in this race, the line winner and the tree winner. The former is the dog that is the first at following the scent to the tree with the final lure (the "home tree") and indicating on it. The latter is the dog that is first to enter a circle designed around the home tree and start correctly barking. If a dog takes longer than five minutes from when he or she exits the water to "tree" the lure, it doesn't count.
There are also other competitions for Redbones, such as Nite Hunts, obedience trials and the show ring. Redbones seem to do well in any situation they're placed in, confirming their extreme adaptability. This is mainly thanks to the dedicated breeders who have so diligently propagated the best qualities in this breed.