Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
Intro / Overview
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
American English Coonhounds are athletic, sweet dogs who were originally bred to hunt foxes and raccoons. They are a moderate size and have a muscular body made for sniffing and hunting. There are six Coonhound breeds today and many consider American English Coonhounds to be the fastest of the six.
They are known for their athleticism but they also have a loving personality, making them a great dog for families! This breed has a strong sense of smell and strong prey drive, so they are prone to chasing after a scent before you know it. Along with this, they are known for their loud howling and barking, but they tend to be quieter while indoors. These hound dog tendencies may seem frustrating, but with early training they will become a happy member of your family.
Also Known As…
English Coonhound. Redtick Coonhound. “Maybe – MAYBE – the prettiest of the Coonhounds. Maybe.”
American English Coonhounds have ancestry from English Foxhounds that were brought to America by European settlers in the early 1800s. The breed further developed from Virginia Hounds and they were bred to adapt to the rough terrain in America. Specifically, they hunted foxes during the day and raccoons at night, so they were originally known as English Fox and Coonhounds.
There are multiple Coonhound breeds and the American English Coonhound was first recognized by the AKC in the hound group in 2011.
Male American English Coonhounds are, on average, 24 to 26 inches tall, while females are usually 23 to 25 inches tall.
American English Coonhounds are usually between 45 and 65 pounds.
American English Coonhounds were bred for hunting alongside their owners, which has made them become a loyal and people-loving breed. With enough exercise and time spent outdoors, they will be sweet and mellow with their family and with other dogs.
Like many hounds, they have two personalities that depend on whether they are outside hunting or inside spending time with their families. While they can be stubborn and goal-oriented when they’re hunting and showing off their athleticism, they can be calmer when they’re off-duty from hunting. They are known for having a pack mentality and enjoy being around other people and dogs, so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. If they misbehave, it is often because of anxiety from being alone or from not getting enough exercise and time outside.
Intelligence / Trainability
American English Coonhounds are intelligent dogs that may be a bit stubborn when it comes to training. They need early socialization in order to not become possessive. They also have a strong prey drive and like to bark, so training can be important for letting your dog live a happy life in your home. There may be some bumps in the road while training them because of their prey drive and stubbornness, but many people find them not too difficult to train if the proper amount of time is dedicated to the process.
Best Training Techniques For American English Coonhounds
Though American English Coonhounds can be stubborn, they are relatively calm when they are not outside hunting. Be patient with them while training them and the process will go much more smoothly. Overall, they’re eager to please and intelligent enough for training to be easy.
Positive reinforcement can help encourage your American English Coonhound to repeat desired behaviors. They were bred to hunt with their owners and know how to take direction, so food motivation can help encourage them to do what you want them to do. They don’t respond well to punishment and may become stubborn if they aren’t happy, so rewarding positive behaviors is the best way to move training forward.
American English Coonhounds need plenty of exercise everyday, so they are not well-suited to apartment living. They would do best living somewhere with a big yard and close to outdoor space where they can run around and maybe do some hunting. They have a tendency to follow a scent, because of their strong prey drive, so they should not be outside in an area that doesn’t have a gate without a leash This breed tolerates a range of weather, including warm weather, so they do well in many climates.
Good For Families And Kids?
American English Coonhounds love being around people, making them a great fit for many families. They are friendly and affectionate family members that will be happy if they are getting enough exercise! They tend to be gentle around kids, but they do have a strong prey drive and may chase after small children. Early socialization with kids is needed for your Coonhound to be comfortable around small children. All playtime between dogs and kids should be supervised.
On average, American English Coonhounds live between 11 to 12 years.
American English Coonhounds are generally healthy, athletic breeds. Some Coonhounds may overheat in hunts if it is extremely hot outside, so make sure to monitor your Coonhound for signs of overheating. Some conditions that American English Coonhounds should be checked for include hip and elbow dysplasia and eye disorders, such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Because they are a deep-chested breed, they have the possibility of experience bloat, a life-threatening condition, so owners should be familiar with the signs.
American English Coonhounds have a lot of energy, which means they need a lot of exercise in order to stay happy and healthy. In addition to daily walks, they would be happiest joining their family on runs or hikes. Another great source of exercise is chasing a ball in a backyard. They may become destructive if they don’t get enough exercise every day.
Friendly With (Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
American English Coonhounds are great with other dogs. They were bred to be pack dogs, so they are very social with other dogs and know how to work alongside other dogs. They tend to be sweet and not aggressive.
American English Coonhounds usually do well around strangers. Early socialization is needed for them to be happy around a range of people. They may bark when they meet someone new, but they will quickly be excited to spend time with a new human.
Because of their hunting tendencies, American English Coonhounds are sometimes not great companions to small animals, such as cats. If they are raised around small pets, they may end up getting along well!
Coat & Grooming
American English Coonhounds have a variety of coat colors and don’t require much grooming. Their coat is short and protective, and also relatively easy to maintain. A shedding tool or grooming mit should be used weekly to keep their shedding under control. Regular baths will keep their coat and skin clean. Because they have floppy ears, which can lead to infection if not cleaned well, their ears should be cleaned weekly for wax and debris.
American English Coonhounds have a loud howl that make them a great watchdog. However, they have a super friendly personality, making them not a great fit for being a guard dog.
Toys American English Coonhounds Would Like Best
American English Coonhounds were bred to chase small animals, so small balls or stuffed toys can be used for playing with e for extended periods of time. They won’t get tired of retrieving their toy and bringing it back for you to throw again. Try the “The Best Balls Ever,” “Lady Liberty Ball,” or the “Sledgehog” on for size!
American English Coonhounds have a great sense of smell, so treat-dispensing Super Chewer Toys are a great option. Try the “Magnum Can toy” or the “Peanut Butter Plawplexer.” Bonus points – these toys are nearly indestructible!
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
American English Coonhounds should eat a healthy, balanced diet because of the intense exercise they need every day. Coonhounds have a tendency to become overweight as they get older, so it’s important to monitor how much food they’re consuming. In addition, they have a risk for hip dysplasia, so joint supplements can keep them feeling healthy.
These veterinarian-formulated supplements are made with all natural glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, all packed into a delicious soft chew. ($32.99.)
American English Coonhounds work hard during the day, so they deserve a comfortable place to relax at the end of a long day of work. An orthopedic dog bed is a great choice for keeping your dog happy and comfy, even if they develop joint pain.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues to Find the American English Coonhound of Your Dreams
- Northeast Coonhound Rescue
- U.S. Regional Coonhound Rescue Groups
- American English Coonhounds available for adoption on Petfinder
Notable Instagram American English Coonhounds
***Looking for a gift to blow your Coonhound’s mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂
Featured image via TripletsofCoonville/Instagram