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American English Coonhound Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on June 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

American English Coonhound

American English Coonhound Breed: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

If you’re a raccoon hunter, then you’re likely already acquainted with the athletic American English Coonhound, but if you’re not in the hunting world, then you may not have come across this sporty breed. These dogs were bred for the purpose of hunting raccoons, and even still, they love to hunt! This breed isn’t for just anyone, though, and their needs can make them unsuitable for the average pet home.

Breed Overview

Height:

23–26 inches

Weight:

45–65 pounds

Lifespan:

11–12 years

Colors:

Black & tan, black, blue, brown, red, tri-colored, red & white

Suitable for:

Experienced dog owners, active owners looking to participate in canine sports or hunting

Temperament:

Mellow, sociable, stubborn

If you’re in the market for a hunting dog that won’t give up, then the American English Coonhound may be right up your alley. However, this breed is extremely stubborn and can be difficult to train to do anything other than hunt. Their stubborn streak and high exercise needs can make them unsuitable for inexperienced dog owners, low-activity households, and apartment living.

American English Coonhound Characteristics

Energy
+
High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
+
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
+
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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American English Coonhound Puppies

Since they’re not an overly popular breed, you may struggle to find American English Coonhound puppies. Due to their challenging nature, though, you may be able to find a pup through a hound or breed-specific rescue organization. There are some reputable breeders you can purchase a pup from as well, but it’s important that you ensure they perform all health testing recommended by the breed club on their breeding dogs and that they take diligent care of their dogs and puppies and aren’t running a puppy mill.

When bringing home an American English Coonhound puppy, you can expect a high-energy pup that is ready for adventures and will love spending time with you, as well as other dogs in the home. This breed is stubborn, even at a young age, and can be challenging to train, so it’s important that training starts early and is consistent.

american english coonhound dog in the backyard
Image Credit: Adithya_photography, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the American English Coonhound

Like many hound breeds, the American English Coonhound is a very stubborn breed that can make training a challenge. They do tend to be loving and mellow dogs, though. They are highly sociable with other animals, but due to their hunting instincts, care should be taken with small animals.

This is an energetic breed that requires a lot of exercise, and although stubborn, the American English Coonhound is highly intelligent. As they age, they will remain energetic, but they may become less playful as they grow out of puppyhood. Their instincts tell them they should be working, and this breed can really thrive if given a job, especially if it’s a job that allows them to use their hunting skills.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪

The American English Coonhound is highly variable when it comes to its appropriateness for families. This breed may be intolerant of young children, and while they love their people and show loyalty toward them, don’t expect a dog that’s going to cuddle with you all the time. They have high exercise needs and will not thrive in a busy household where the family is constantly coming and going, leaving minimal time to be spent with the dog.

American English Coonhound
Image Credit: Pxhere

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

American English Coonhounds were bred to work in hunting packs, so they tend to be extremely sociable with other dogs. They may even be more comfortable with other dogs than they are with strangers. As previously mentioned, their sociability doesn’t override their instincts to hunt. Small animals, including cats, may be viewed as prey. American English Coonhounds should always be under supervision when around cats and other small animals.

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Things to Know When Owning an American English Coonhound:

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

As a high-energy breed, the American English Coonhound may require a high-energy dog food, depending on their daily activity level. These dogs tend to be quite lean and muscular, and they are capable of running and working for hours at a time. If you maintain a high level of activity with your American English Coonhound, then a high-calorie dog food is likely appropriate. If your dog is content with playing in the yard and going for a walk or two every day, then they likely will do well on a high-quality dog food that meets guidelines.

Because of their activity level and high metabolism, you’ll need to monitor your dog’s weight and make adjustments to their food intake as needed to maintain a healthy weight.

American English Coonhound
Image Credit: Pxhere

Exercise🐕

With an American English Coonhound, be prepared for hours of activity every day. This breed was developed to run all night while chasing down raccoons, so most of them are not going to be content with a walk around the block. They can thrive in canine sports, but things like obedience may not be suitable for this stubborn breed.

Be prepared to keep your American English Coonhound entertained with running and hiking, and they are also a good breed for activities like bikejoring. If possible, getting your dog involved in some form of hunting and putting their instincts to work can be good for them.

Training🎾

This is a stubborn breed, so training should be consistent from day one. Get the entire household on board with the training regimen. This breed is highly responsive to positive reinforcement, and finding your dog’s favorite treat or toy can give you powerful leverage in training sessions.

Keep training sessions short and engaging, but make sure to set aside time every day to work on training your dog. If you allow your dog to run the show when they’re a puppy, then you will likely have a lot of trouble training them out of it when they’re older.

american english coonhound
Image Credit: richard pross, shutterstock

Grooming✂️

The American English Coonhound has a short, low-maintenance coat. They require minimal brushing and are not heavy shedders. You should inspect your dog’s coat and skin thoroughly after a hunting excursion or romp in the woods to ensure they don’t have any injuries or anything stuck to their coat. You also need to ensure that you maintain your dog’s nails at an appropriate length. Nails that are too long pose a risk of injuries to the toes, as well as breakage of the nails themselves, which can be painful and open the opportunity for infection.

Health and Conditions🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Earwax buildup
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Bloat
  • Lysosomal storage disease

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Male vs. Female

Like many dog breeds, male American English Coonhounds are slightly larger than females. Like other hound breeds, females often mature faster than males, making them easier to train when young. As they age, though, females may begin to show their stubborn streak, while males may be more receptive to training into adulthood.

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3 Little-Known Facts About The American English Coonhound

1. The Breed Has Multiple Names

The American English Coonhound is also known as the English Coonhound and Redtick Coonhound. American English Coonhound is the accepted name of the breed, though.


2. The Breed Hasn’t Been Recognized for Very Long

Development of the American English Coonhound may have begun as early as the 17th or 18th centuries. However, it wasn’t until 2011 that the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club.


3. They’re Still Hunting Dogs

While some breeds have made the transition to primarily being family dogs, the American English Coonhound is still bred primarily as a hunting dog. These tenacious dogs love to hunt, and they’re excellent at what they do. Many people consider it a “waste of a good dog” to have this breed and not provide an outlet for their instincts.

American english Redtick Coonhound portrait
Image Credit: richard pross, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The American English Coonhound is a beautiful and gentle dog breed, but this is also a handful of a dog for the average pet owner. These dogs love to hunt and can be difficult to train. They need a fenced yard and extremely consistent training. They may view small animals as prey, and they tend to have a loud bark and bay. These traits, combined with their need for lots of daily exercise, mean this breed isn’t a good option for apartment or condo living, nor will it do well in a home with minimal activity.


Featured Image Credit: Richard Pross,Shutterstock

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