The American English Coonhound


The American English Coonhound traces its ancestry from Foxhounds who were brought to the Southern United States. The breed developed from the hunting “Virginia Hounds” during the 17th and 18th centuries and was refined over time by Robert Brooke, Thomas Walker, and if you can believe it -- George Washington. They were used to hunt raccoons at night and American Red Foxes during the day.

The American English Coonhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 45 to 80 lbs.
  • Height: 21 to 27 inches
  • Coat: Short to medium in length
  • Color: There are three distinct patterns: redtick, bluetick, or tricolored which includes black, tan, blue, brown, red, and white
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years

What’s the American English Coonhound like?

The American English Coonhound makes for a great house pet because he’s generally quiet, loves to lounge around, and requires less than strenuous amounts of exercise. Coonhounds do have a tendency to chase prey and other small animals so keep an on eye on them outdoors. A strong prey drive might also render them unsuitable for households with other small pets such as hamsters or guinea pigs. They are generally good with children and are very loyal to their family.

Training should start immediately because if not trained right away the Coonhound can become destructive and harder to train later. They do require that you to have a little more patience during training than other breeds might.

The American English Coonhound is fairly easy to groom and a weekly brushing with a hound mitt or a rubber brush will keep his coat clean and shiny. He does shed, but if you keep up with the brushing you’ll remove the dead hair instead of finding it around the house and on the furniture!


The American English Coonhound is generally a healthy breed but watch for any of the following:

  • Overheating
  • Lysosomal storage disease
  • Bloat
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ear infections

Takeaway Points

  • The American English Coonhound needs to be trained the day you bring him home.
  • The American English Coonhound would make a great companion for someone who likes to go hunting.
  • The American English Coonhound follows his nose and if left outside in an unfenced yard he might dart off after prey.
  • The American English Coonhound makes a great watch dog.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Coonhounds: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Coonhound temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

There are a number of coonhound breeds, the most popular being the Black and Tan Coonhound (pictured), Bluetick Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, Plott Hound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, English Coonhound, and American Leopard Hound.

These dogs are first and fundamentally working dogs – they hunt large and small game. Though good-natured and easygoing, these hardy hounds are so in need of hard physical exercise that they belong with an owner who will take them hunting, jogging (on dirt or grass, not concrete), hiking, and/or swimming.

The problem with providing exercise is that, unless well-trained for hunting, it is a major risk to allow coonhounds off-leash. They are inveterate explorers who will follow their nose over hill, over dale, through the woods – and onto the highway. An enclosed dog park is probably your safest option.

When well-exercised, coonhounds are calm and undemanding dogs, apt to sprawl and snore in front of the fire. Without exercise, on the other hand, a coonhound can be a rambunctious handful.

Coonhounds get along very well with other dogs, though some can be dominant and pushy as they test each other for favorable positions in the pecking order.

Befitting their predator ancestry, coonhounds may stalk smaller pets, though they may get along fine with the family cat (as long as he doesn't run!).

It is in a coonhound's nature to constantly figure out ways to outwit his prey, so he often does the same with people. In other words, following commands blindly is not part of a coonhound's genetic makeup. Put yet another way. coonhounds can be very stubborn! Consistent leadership is a must, and obedience training must be upbeat and persuasive (include occasional food rewards).

  • Is medium to large and about as athletic as you can get!
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Is energetic and loves to hunt and work outdoors
  • When well-exercised, is easygoing and laid-back indoors
  • Is good-natured with people and other dogs

A Coonhound may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with.

  • Vigorous exercise requirements
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
  • Strong instincts to chase other living creatures that run
  • "Selective deafness" whenever his tremendous nose and exploratory instincts send him running after adventure
  • Stubbornness
  • LOUD baying
  • Shedding and a houndy odor

A Coonhound may not be right for you.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament is less predictable than the inheritance of physical traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

  • You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an ADULT dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you're getting, and plenty of adult Coonhounds have already proven themselves not to have negative characteristics.
  • If you want a puppy, you can avoid some negative traits by choosing the right breeder and the right puppy. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell whether a puppy has inherited temperament or health problems until he grows up.
  • Finally, you can avoid some negative traits by training your Coonhound to respect you and by following the 11-step care program in my book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

More traits and characteristics of the Coonhound

If I was considering a Coonhound, I would be most concerned about.

    Providing enough exercise. These large hounds require plenty of running exercise. With enough exercise, Coonhounds are content to sprawl and sleep. Without such exercise, they will become rambunctious and bored, which they usually express by baying and destructive chewing. Bored Coonhounds are famous for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a moonscape of giant craters.

Coonhounds were never intended to be simply household pets. Their working behaviors (following scents, chasing things that run, exploring, baying) can be a nuisance in a normal household setting. Trying to suppress these "hardwired" behaviors, without providing alternate outlets for their energy, can be difficult and is not fair to the dog.

  • Chasing smaller animals. As hunting hounds, Coonhounds have strong instincts to chase small fleeing creatures.
  • Stubbornness. Again, as hunting hounds, Coonhounds are independent thinkers who don't particularly care about pleasing you. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. Read more about Coonhound Training
  • Noise. The deep voice of a Coonhound is extremely LOUD and carries a LONG way – it has to, so the hunter can locate him in the woods. But his baying will have your neighbors calling the cops to report the nuisance or quietly letting your Coonhound out of his yard so he'll wander away.
  • Shedding and houndy odor. Coonhounds shed more than you might think for such a shorthaired dog. Also note that Coonhounds tend to have a strong "doggy" odor that some people find distasteful.
  • About the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

    To help you train and care for your dog

    Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

    The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

    Quick Information

    Other Names Redtick Coonhound, English Coonhound
    Coat Short/medium, with hard protective hair
    Color Blue and white, red and white, tri-colored with ticking, white and black
    Breed Type Purebred
    Category Hound, Scenthound
    Lifespan 11-12 years
    Weight 45-65 lb
    Size Medium
    Height Females: 23-25 in
    Males: 24-26 in
    Shedding Seasonal, moderate
    Temperament Energetic, intelligent, loyal, sweet and mellow
    Hypoallergenic No
    Litter Size 6-8 puppies
    Good with Children Requires supervision
    Barking Vocal
    Country Originated in USA
    Competitive Registration/Qualification Information AKC, UKC

    • They require a lot of exercise, making them unsuitable for someone who can’t provide long walks
    • This is a fairly large breed so might take up too much space in a small apartment
    • They need lots of love and attention which might not suit someone who isn’t home much
    • If improperly socialized, they can be aggressive and give nasty bites
    • Their strong predator instincts can be uncontrollable and won’t suit a family with small pets
    • They are a vocal breed and howl a lot.
    • If properly socialized, they have naturally amazing temperaments
    • They would be a great match for someone who’s active due to their high energy levels
    • This is a generally healthy breed and rarely suffer from serious health complications
    • They love living in packs and enjoy being companions.

    Watch the video: American English Coonhounds. Breed Judging 2020

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