The American English Coonhound: A Loyal and Intelligent Companion

The American English Coonhound is a beloved breed known for its loyalty and intelligence. These dogs make excellent companions for families and individuals seeking a furry friend who is both affectionate and energetic.

In this article, we will explore the history, physical characteristics, temperament, and health of the American English Coonhound, shedding light on why this breed is so beloved by so many.

A Brief History of the American English Coonhound

Origins and Ancestry

The American English Coonhound has a rich history that dates back to colonial America. The breed’s ancestors include various European hounds that were brought over by settlers who needed dogs to assist them with hunting game.

These hounds were often bred with other dogs brought over by settlers, such as the American Foxhound and the Virginia Hound. The resulting breed was known for its exceptional hunting abilities and was used to hunt a variety of game, including raccoons, foxes, and squirrels.

As the breed became more popular, it began to develop regional variations. In the southern United States, for example, the breed was known as the Treeing Coonhound, while in the north, it was known as the English Coonhound.

Development in the United States

The American English Coonhound was developed specifically for hunting raccoons, which were a common source of food and fur. The breed has a very distinct howl which it used to alert hunters to the location of their prey.

During the 1800s, the American English Coonhound became increasingly popular among hunters in the southern United States. Even today, the American English Coonhound became an important part of Southern culture and folklore.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The American English Coonhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1905 and the American Kennel Club in 2011.

Despite its popularity among hunters, the American English Coonhound remains a relatively rare breed. However, it continues to be an important part of American history and culture and is beloved by those who appreciate its unique qualities and abilities.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Build

The American English Coonhound is a medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 45-65 pounds. Males are taller than females and stand 24 to 26 inches at the withers, while females are around 23 to 25 inches.

American English Coonhounds have a muscular build and long, powerful legs that enable them to run at high speeds for extended periods of time. Their strong and athletic build also makes them great companions for outdoor activities such as hiking and running.

Coat and Colors

The American English Coonhound has a short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors, including black, white, red, blue tick, and tricolor. These colors are often accompanied by unique patterns and markings, making each dog’s coat truly one-of-a-kind.

The coat is also water-resistant, which allows the breed to hunt in wet conditions without getting too cold or uncomfortable. In terms of grooming, the breed requires medium maintenance.

Distinctive Features

One of the hallmarks of the American English Coonhound is its long, droopy ears. They are proportionate to the head and have a soft, velvety texture. The ears are also incredibly sensitive, allowing the dog to pick up on even the slightest of sounds while hunting.

Another hallmark is the breed’s long, tapered tail gives it a regal appearance. When the dog is on the hunt, its tail is often held high, adding to its majestic presence.

Interestingly, the American English Coonhound is its deep, melodious bark. The breed’s bark is also an important tool for hunters, as it helps to alert them to the dog’s location and progress while on the hunt.

Temperament and Personality Traits

The American English Coonhound is a breed that possesses a unique combination of personality traits that make them an ideal companion for many families. They are friendly, loyal, and affectionate dogs that love spending time with their human companions.

One of the most notable personality traits of the American English Coonhound is loyalty. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and will go to great lengths to protect them. This loyalty also extends to their family, and they are known for being excellent watchdogs.

Loyalty and Affection

The loyalty and affection of the American English Coonhound are what makes them such a beloved breed. They are famous for being highly social dogs that love people. They crave attention from their humans and will often follow them around the house seeking affection.

Despite their large size, the American English Coonhound is a gentle breed that is great with children. They are patient and kind, and their affectionate nature makes them ideal family pets.

Intelligence and Trainability

The American English Coonhound is an intelligent breed that is highly trainable. They are quick learners and respond very well to positive reinforcement training techniques. With the right training, they can excel in various activities, including agility and obedience competitions.

One of the unique characteristics of the American English Coonhound is its ability to track scents. The breed was originally developed for hunting and has a keen sense of smell. This trait can also be useful in search and rescue operations.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The American English Coonhound is an energetic breed that requires ample amounts of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are natural athletes who thrive on physical activity, including running, hiking, and playing fetch.

Owners should ensure that their American English Coonhound receives at least 60 minutes of exercise per day. Because of their high energy levels, the American English Coonhound is not well-suited for apartment living.

The American English Coonhound requires a large, fenced-in yard where it can run and play. Without enough exercise, breed members can become bored and destructive.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

The American English Coonhound is a generally healthy breed with a few common health issues to be aware of.

  • Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: Orthopedic condition in which the bones forming the hip/elbow do not fit properly, causing pain and mobility issues 
  • Bloat: Also known as GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus) life-threatening condition in which the stomach bloats and twists on itself 
  • Eye Problems: The breed is susceptible to several eye conditions, like progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts
  • Ear Infections: Because of the ear anatomy, this breed is prone to painful ear infections and needs regular ear cleaning and care 

Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help prevent and treat these issues.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential to keep your American English Coonhound healthy. This includes annual checkups, vaccinations, and regular dental cleanings. Maintaining a healthy diet and providing plenty of exercise is also crucial for their overall wellbeing.

Expected Lifespan

The American English Coonhound has an average lifespan of 11 to 12 years. With proper care, love, and attention, they can live long, healthy lives.


The American English Coonhound is a loyal and intelligent breed that makes an excellent companion for families and individuals seeking an energetic and affectionate furry friend.

From its rich history to its distinctive physical characteristics and loyal temperament, the American English Coonhound is a breed that is sure to capture your heart.

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