The American English Coonhound is prized as both a hunting dog and a family companion. As a medium to large dog breed, he stands between 23 and 26 inches in height and weighs between 45 and 65 pounds. The American English has a mellow, friendly temperament, though he is diligent in the hunt.
What’s In This Guide
- American English Coonhound At A Glance
- In-depth Breed Review
- American English Coonhound Training And Care
- Pros And Cons Of Getting An American English Coonhound
American English Coonhound FAQs
Our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the American English Coonhound.
- Are American English Coonhounds good family dogs?
- Do American English Coonhounds shed?
- How much does an American English Coonhound cost?
Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: 175 out of 193, according to the AKC
- Purpose: hunting and tracking dog
- Weight: 45-65 pounds
- Temperament: mellow and friendly but a hard worker
American English Coonhound Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the American English Coonhound
- Fun facts about American English Coonhounds
- American English Coonhound appearance
- American English Coonhound temperament
- Training and exercising your American English Coonhound
- American English Coonhound health and care
- Do American English Coonhounds make good family pets?
- Rescuing an American English Coonhound
- Finding an American English Coonhound puppy
- Raising an American English Coonhound puppy
- Popular American English Coonhound breed mixes
- American English Coonhound products and accessories
History And Original Purpose Of The American English Coonhound
The American English Coonhound is not a well-known breed, but it has been around for quite a while. This breed can be traced back to the colonization of the United States.
Many European settlers during the 17th and 18th century brought Foxhounds with them to America to help them hunt. The descendants of these dogs would become the American English Coonhound we know today.
However, they had quite a way to go before they got there.
First, this breed was refined by Robert Brooke, Thomas Walker, and George Washington, causing them to become their own distinct breed. The terrain in America was much rougher than the dog was originally bred for. So, the breed was specially bred to adapt them to these new conditions.
This breed also experienced difficulty tracking raccoons up trees due to the terrain difficulties. Because of this, breeders introduced Bloodhound genes to improve their scenting capabilities.
Unlike other coonhounds, the American English Coonhound was used to hunt both raccoons and foxes.
The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club’ Foundation Stock Service in 1995. In 2011, it was moved to the hound class, allowing it to compete in the National Dog Show.
Fun Facts About The American English
Today, some Coonhounds hunt only raccoons, while others also hunt foxes. However, these dogs were originally intended to hunt both.
George Washington had a large part in developing this breed. He was one of the first people in America to own one.
This dog has a unique ability: it can climb trees. This allows it to track raccoons where other dogs cannot.
The American English Coonhound is popularly known as the fastest type of coonhound. They win most coon dog trials, also known as a hunting competition.
American English Coonhound Appearance
This dog weighs from 45-65 pounds and stands anywhere from 23-26 inches tall. Females are usually smaller than males, though this is not always the case.
These dogs were bred for endurance and speed. They are muscular and lean, and have a broad chest and well-defined muscles. Their ears are low and floppy, sitting low on their skull and draping past their chin.
The most common coat color for this canine is red and white ticking. This is why they are also known as the “Redtick Coonhound.”
But there are also other colorations that are possible, such as blue and white ticking, and tri-colored. While not all American English Coonhounds have the ticking markings, this is the hallmark trait of the breed.
American English Coonhound Temperament
This dog is known for its laid-back, friendly nature. Coonhounds are very social and tend to make excellent family dogs. They’re very pack-centered, which makes them good with both children and other dogs.
However, they do have a high prey drive. This means they will often chase other animals, including cats and even small dogs.
Due to their friendliness, they do not make good guard dogs. However, their loud howl can make them excellent watch dogs if they are trained correctly. These dogs are known as some of the most intense howlers. They tend to howl quite a bit.
But they can be trained to remain quiet and calm indoors. These dogs will not be skittish or aggressive, but they can be stubborn and strong-willed.
Training And Exercising Your American English Coonhound
This breed is usually loyal and eager to please. They are generally extremely trainable. We recommend starting with crate training and potty training. These dogs can be very loud when crated, so you should begin as early as possible.
Socialize your dog early and often, especially with smaller animals and cats. While these dogs are prey driven, they can be taught to get along with other animals if they are socialized with them at a young age.
Because they are bred for endurance, these dogs have an extremely high exercise need. They should be walked often for at least an hour a day.
All exercising should be done on a leash. If an American English Coonhound gets on a scent, it is nearly impossible to get them to respond to your commands.
Because they tend to run off while following a scent, these dogs are more prone to be attacked by predators such as wolves and bears. A leash is necessary to keep you and your dog safe.
American English Coonhound Health And Care
These dogs are usually pretty healthy. They were bred to be working dogs, and therefore do not suffer from many conformational health problems.
They are prone to a few diseases that you should be aware of, however.
Firstly, some studies have shown that these dogs are more likely to develop pulmonary histoplasmosis than other dogs.
This is a chronic, non-contagious fungal infection that is caused by soil-dwelling fungi.
It is unknown whether these dogs are genetically predispositioned to become infected with this fungus, or if their environment and likelihood to be exposed to it are higher than other breeds.
Whatever the case is, you should keep an eye on your dog for symptoms, including fever, depression, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Depending on where the fungus takes root, different symptoms can develop. For example, if the lungs are infected, coughing can also occur.
Like many larger breeds, the American English Coonhound is also predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia. This disorder is also known as knee and elbow dislocation. Many larger dogs are prone to this disorder.
It has been shown to be genetically linked. Ethical breeders will test their dogs for a predisposition before breeding them to ensure that their puppies do not receive the same genetic flaws.
These dogs are also prone to persistent pupillary membranes. This disorder occurs when the eye does not develop properly on the inside.
Lifespan, Care, And Grooming
The life expectancy of the American English, given that it is a larger dog from a working background, is around 11-12 years.
These dogs have very floppy ears. You should clean their ears regularly. This will prevent a build-up of earwax and ear infections.
Additionally, they will need their teeth cleaned and nails trimmed on a regular basis.
The short, rough coat of this breed doesn’t require much grooming or special care. These dogs do shed somewhat, but not overmuch. So a weekly brushing should keep the shed hair under control, trapping it in a brush rather than being left on your couch cushions.
Do American English Coonhounds Make Good Family Pets?
These dogs make great family pets. They are good with children and are known to be loyal to their owners, and their personalities are warm, loving, and friendly.
However, there are a few caveats to that. The American English is known to have some difficulty in homes with small animals and cats, due to their prey drive. But, if properly socialized at a young age, they can live in a house with these little animals as well.
They do have a tendency to howl, and can get quite loud. On top of that, they have a definite space requirement. So they’re not suited for apartment living.
Rescuing An American English Coonhound
Depending on your area, it is not very uncommon to find one of these dogs at a shelter. They are most common in the southern United States and should be easy to find if you live in that area.
Because these dogs are very friendly, they should warm up to your home quite quickly. They are generally good with most strangers and children.
However, when adopting an adult dog, you should keep in mind that you do not know if they have been socialized with small animals or not. If you have cats or other pets, this can be a cause for concern.
With that said, rescuing an adult dog in need of a good home is always recommended, as long as the dog gets along with everyone in the household! For more information on looking for a rescued American English, jump to our list of rescues here.
Finding An American English Coonhound Puppy
If you decide to adopt a puppy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. We recommend adopting a puppy from an ethical breeder. These breeders will avoid breeding sick dogs or those with genetic dispositions to health issues together.
Many also take the time to socialize their puppies and ensure that they are healthy before offering them for adoption. In the end, this leads to you adopting a healthier, happier puppy.
On the other hand, puppy mills and pet stores often do not take these precautions. Their dogs are not tested for health disorders under most circumstances, and their puppies are often sickly and unsocialized.
In addition to this, you may be able to find an American English Coonhound mix. Mixes often turn out to be healthier than purebreds, provided both breeds are relatively healthy to begin with. And mixes of all kinds are increasing in popularity.
For more information on choosing a puppy, we recommend taking a look at our puppy search guide. Purebred American English Coonhound puppies from a reputable breeder may run as much as from 1000 to 1200 dollars.
Raising An American English Coonhound puppy
Raising a puppy isn’t easy! But it’s definitely worth doing correctly. For guidance on how to raise a puppy, check this page out.
As far as specifics go for raising an American English puppy, make sure to begin an exercise and training schedule with these dogs early. They will benefit from the consistent physical and mental stimulation. Socialization should also begin early and should take place often.
While these dogs are very friendly with people, they need to be socialized with smaller dogs and cats to prevent them from chasing and possibly injuring them.
Remember that these dogs have very sensitive noses and will track an animal if they catch their scent. Be very careful when outside with your dog. A leash is necessary.
You should also be careful to feed your puppy correctly. This will prevent stomach upset, obesity, and other digestive problems.
Popular American English Coonhound Breed Mixes
While the American English isn’t as well known as it could be, that hasn’t stopped breeders from taking advantage of the breed’s good health and great disposition to create Coonhound mixed breeds.
Here are a few of the more well known variants.
Comparing The American English Coonhound With Other Breeds
An obvious comparison point for the American English Coonhound is to another Coonhound, specifically the Black and Tan.
This dog features a very similar disposition and personality to that of the American English.
Hounds such as Beagles and the American Foxhound are similar to this breed. Many of these dogs will also have prey instincts and high exercise needs.
Another interesting American working breed is the Blue Lacy Dog.
Other Coonhounds, like the Plott Hound, are going to be particularly similar to this dog. Many will only differ in appearance or size.
Again, you might want to consider a Coonhound mix, even if it isn’t specifically mixed with an American English.
Pros And Cons Of Getting An American English Coonhound
- Can be boisterous and loud
- Have high exercise requirements
- Has a high prey drive
- Must be leashed at all times when out
American English Coonhound Products And Accessories
The essential accessory to get from your American English Coonhound is a good leash.
We also recommend purchasing an ID tag in case your canine does get away from you.
Dog ear cleaner is also necessary due to these dog’s large, floppy ears. While you don’t have to have one to clean your dog’s ears, it does make it much more comfortable.
Toys will help your American English Coonhound stay active and meet their exercise requirements. Due to their high prey drive, we particularly recommend squeaky toys.
American English Coonhound Breed Rescues
There are a few rescues that specialize in this breed. If you come across any others, please leave us a comment to let us know!
References And Resources
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Dogs Owned In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne
- Adams VJ, et al. 2010. Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Von Recum, Andreas. “Hunting with Hounds in North America,” Pelican Publishing.
- Olson, Erik. “Landscape predictors of wolf attacks on bear-hunting dogs in Wisconsin, USA,” Wildlife Research. 2015.
- Burk, Ronald. “The Radiographic Appearance of Pulmonary Histoplasmosis in the Dog and Cat: A Review of 37 Case Histories,” Veterinary Radiology. 1978.
- Zhang, Zhiwu. “Estimation of heritabilities, genetic correlations, and breeding values of four traits that collectively define hip dysplasia in dogs,” American Journal of Veterinary Research. 2009.
- Clark, Ross. “Medical, Genetic, & Behavioral Risk Factors of Coonhounds,” Xlibris Corporation. 2015.
This article has been revised and updated for 2019.