The American English Coonhound is a hunting dog descended from the English Foxhound. These dogs are known for their speed, endurance, and loud voice in the field. They also bark and bay at home, so they are not a good choice for people with nearby neighbors. They need a lot of exercise.
Even though these dogs are purebred, you may find them in shelters or rescue groups. These dogs are loving, intelligent, easy to train, and fairly easy to groom. However, they need firm, consistent training and lots of mental and physical activity. Consider a less energetic breed if you can’t keep up with their endless walks and play sessions. But if you can provide them with the necessary exercise, a secure yard to roam in, and patient training. In that case, you will have an adoring furry family member.
The American English Coonhound: Breed History
The American English Coonhound is a true American dog originally bred from the English Foxhound. Early immigrants brought the ancestor of this breed to the American South in the 17th and 18th centuries. They were called the Virginia Coonhound, and they were excellent hunters. However, they had trouble tracking games that climbed trees.
To solve this problem, early breeders crossed the Virginia Coonhound with the Bloodhound, which has the most powerful nose of any canine. The result was the American English Coonhound, a high-endurance hound with a cold nose that could track game in trees.
This powerful hound was once thought to be the same breed as the Bluetick Coonhound and the Redbone Coonhound, but these three breeds are now considered separate. In 1905, the United Kennel Club recognized the English Coonhound and English Foxhound as different breeds. However, it did not gain American Kennel Club recognition until 1995. The AKC finally recognized the breed in its own right in 2011, and it started competing in the hound group in 2012 as the AKC’s 171st breed.
The American English Coonhound: Appearance
The American English Coonhound is known for their speed and endurance. They have deep chests, strong back, and well-defined muscles, which gives them a graceful, athletic appearance. Their head is of moderate size with kind, expressive eyes and long, floppy ears that sit low on the skull. When the ears are extended forward, the tip of the ears touches the end of the nose. The muzzle is square-shaped and proportionate to the head.
There is no disproportionate feature on this noble canine. The American English Coonhound’s well-balanced body is made for speed. Their forelegs are angular and strong, and they support uninhibited movement. Their hind legs are powerful and straight, with well-defined thighs.
The American English Coonhound comes in several color combinations, including red and white ticked, blue and white ticked, tri-color with ticking, red and white, and white and black. Ticking is a hallmark aesthetic feature of the breed. Their coat is hard and protective, and it is of medium length.
The American English Coonhound: Breed Maintenance
The American English Coonhound has a hard protective coat that does not require frequent grooming. However, brushing your dog occasionally to help with moderate shedding would be best. It is only necessary to bathe and shampoo your dog when they are dirty from mud.
While your furry companion can be quiet and relaxed indoors, it needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy. This breed requires a lot of outdoor space to run, so apartments and small-space living are not ideal. Ideally, they need a large, fenced-in yard to burn off some energy.
Because they use a lot of energy, these dogs require a significant amount of water. The availability of clean, fresh water will help prevent dehydration during the hot summer months.
You must socialize your dog from early puppy stages and continue through life to prevent protective behaviors like guarding food and toys. Although these dogs are not aggressive, they can develop dominant behaviors if not properly trained.
The American English Coonhound: Temperament
The American English Coonhound is a social and mellow dog, especially after a daily run. They are pack animals and do well with other dogs and children. However, they may mistake small dogs and cats for prey. They are friendly with strangers and would not make a good guard dog because rather than barking at strangers, they follow them around.
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American English Coonhounds are known for their loud barking and howling. They are typically quiet and calm indoors, but they will bay and howl when tracking prey. They are highly trainable but can be prey-driven. Once they pick up a scent, it can be difficult to break their focus. They need extra training and socialization to be obedient and mellow. However, they can be sweet and loving dogs for active families with care and attention.
The American English Coonhound: Exercise
American English Coonhounds are high-energy dogs that love to be part of a pack. They are an ideal companion for active people who enjoy running, biking, or hiking. To stay healthy and happy, they need a lot of exercise.
As the breed has a strong prey drive, it should never be allowed off-leash in an uncontrolled environment. These dogs can’t resist the instinct to follow an interesting smell they detect with their sensitive noses. They require a fenced area where they can run freely. Chasing a ball in their backyard can be an excellent source of exercise.
The American English Coonhound can become possessive over food without the proper training. Early socialization and training are key. These dogs are sweet and docile but can also be stubborn.
Patience is key when attempting to train an American English Coonhound. Reward-based training is the best method for training this intelligent breed quickly.
The American English Coonhound: Training
American English Coonhounds need early socialization as puppies to prevent behavioral issues like possessiveness over food or toys. They are sometimes described as having a “split” personality because they can be tenacious and motivated hunters and sweet and mellow family companions.
Their prey drive and seemingly endless energy can sometimes stand in the way of training. They may be food-motivated, but they are more likely to be attention-motivated because their curiosity can easily drive them away from treats during training.
These dogs are also very vocal, so they match experienced dog owners better. Although they can howl loudly, they are too friendly and sociable with strangers to be effective watchdogs.
The American English Coonhound: Nutrition
To maintain their health and activity level, American English Coonhounds must eat high-quality dog food. Working dogs need a different diet than dogs living more sedentary lives. Coonhounds can get overweight as they age, so it is important to be careful of their calorie consumption.
Training treats can be good, but giving too many can lead to obesity. It is important to learn which human foods are safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any issues with your dog’s weight or diet, you should talk to your veterinarian. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The American English Coonhound: Common Health Problems
The American English Coonhound is a healthy breed. However, they are still primarily bred as working dogs, so they should be closely monitored for health conditions. This breed’s most common health problems are related to the joints, eyes, ears, and stomach.
Hip dysplasia: A condition that causes arthritis. It happens when the hip sockets are not properly formed, which can cause pain and inflammation.
Elbow dysplasia: A malformation of the elbow joints on the dog’s front legs. This can also cause pain and arthritis.
Progressive retinal atrophy: An eye disorder that affects the cells of the retina. This can lead to blindness.
Cataracts: An eye condition caused by damage to the eye’s lens. This can lead to vision problems and blindness.
Bloat: A sudden and life-threatening stomach condition. The stomach fills with gas, fluid, or even food, causing the stomach to expand. This can make the stomach twist and pressure the main vein to the heart. American English Coonhounds are a large, deep-chested breed that is more susceptible to bloat. Owners should know the warning signs of bloat and preventative care, such as gastropexy procedures.
- The American English Coonhound is a true American dog originally bred from the English Foxhound.
- They are known for their speed and endurance, and their appearance is characterized by their deep chests, strong backs, and well-defined muscles.
- They have a hard protective coat that does not require frequent grooming, but they need plenty of exercise to stay healthy.
- They are social and mellow dogs but can be loud and howl when tracking prey.
- They are highly trainable but can be prey-driven, so they need early socialization and training to be obedient and mellow.
- They are an ideal companion for active people who enjoy running, biking, or hiking.
- They are a healthy breed, but they should be closely monitored for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and bloat.