American English Coonhound: The Versatile and Loyal Hunter

American English Coonhound: The Versatile and Loyal Hunter

Breed Summary

Country of Origin: USA

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 175 of 196

AKC Classification: Hound Group

UKC Classification: Scent-hounds

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day

Physical traits: Sleek, Racy, Muscular

Personality traits/Temperament: Sweet, Mellow, Sociable

Height: Female: 23-25 inches; Male: 24-26 inches

Weight: 45-65 pounds

Coat:

  • Length: Medium
  • Characteristics: Dense
  • Colors: Tri-color, Lemon & White, Tri-color Ticked, Red & White, Redtick, Bluetick

Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Energy Level: Laid back

Tendency to Drool: High

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Moderate

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 11-12 years

The American English Coonhound, with its rich hunting heritage and unwavering loyalty, is a remarkable breed known for its endurance, scenting ability, and friendly nature. Developed in the United States, this versatile hound has won the hearts of dog enthusiasts with its striking appearance and exceptional hunting skills. 

Origin

The American English Coonhound, often referred to simply as the Coonhound, traces its origins to European hunting hounds that were brought to America by early settlers. These dogs were selectively bred with the goal of developing a breed specifically suited for tracking and hunting raccoons and other small game. The breed has since evolved to become a versatile hunting companion, renowned for its exceptional scenting ability, endurance, and determination. Today, the American English Coonhound is celebrated as a skilled working dog and beloved family companion.

Appearance

The American English Coonhound is a medium to large-sized breed with a well-muscled and athletic body. They have a sleek and glossy coat that comes in a variety of colors, including tri-color (black, white, and tan), red tick, blue tick, and white and red tick. They have long, drooping ears, a broad head, and large, expressive eyes. American English Coonhounds stand at around 21-27 inches (53-69 cm) in height at the shoulder and weigh between 45-75 pounds (20-34 kg), with males typically larger than females.

Temperament

American English Coonhounds are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They are highly adaptable and generally get along well with people and other dogs. They possess an independent and determined spirit, which makes them excellent hunting companions. While they are intelligent and trainable, they can also be somewhat stubborn, requiring consistent and patient training methods. American English Coonhounds are known for their loyalty to their families and their affectionate and gentle demeanor.

Health Outlook

American English Coonhounds are generally healthy dogs, thanks to their robust nature and history of being bred for working purposes. However, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health issues. Some common concerns include hip dysplasia, ear infections (due to their drooping ears), and obesity. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, and preventive care are essential for maintaining their overall health and well-being. Responsible breeders conduct health screenings to minimize the risk of hereditary diseases.

Nutritional Requirements

American English Coonhounds require a balanced and nutritious diet that supports their active lifestyle and overall health. Consider the following nutritional considerations for this breed:

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a premium-quality commercial dog food specifically formulated for medium to large-sized active breeds. Look for products that contain real meat as the primary ingredient, along with a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

  2. Adequate Protein: American English Coonhounds thrive on a diet rich in high-quality animal protein. Ensure that the dog food you choose contains a sufficient amount of protein from sources such as chicken, beef, or fish. Protein is crucial for their muscle development and maintenance.

  3. Balanced Nutrients: Provide a well-rounded diet that includes a balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate feeding portions and to address any specific dietary needs your American English Coonhound may have.

  4. High Quality Dog Multivitamin: Complete nutrient profile by adding a high quality dog multivitamin. They are formulated to provide a comprehensive range of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may be lacking in your Coonhound's regular diet. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining their overall health and promoting vitality.

      • Support for Joint Health: Certain dog multivitamins contain ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) that support joint health and help alleviate symptoms of arthritis or joint stiffness. These ingredients can promote joint flexibility and reduce the risk of age-related joint issues, which can be beneficial for active Coonhounds.
      • Improved Skin and Coat Health: Dog multivitamins often contain essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, which are beneficial for maintaining healthy skin and a shiny coat. These fatty acids can help reduce dryness, itching, and promote a lustrous, healthy coat, reducing the risk of skin-related allergies and irritations.
      • Enhanced Immune System: The immune system plays a vital role in protecting your American English Coonhound from various illnesses and infections. Dog multivitamins contain immune-boosting nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and selenium, which support a strong immune system, helping your Coonhound stay healthy and less susceptible to common illnesses.
      • Improved Digestive Health: Some dog multivitamins include probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support digestive health. Probiotics can aid in maintaining a healthy gut flora, improving digestion, and nutrient absorption, leading to overall better digestion and nutrient utilization.

Exercise Requirement

As a hunting breed, American English Coonhounds have high exercise needs and require ample physical activity to remain happy and healthy. They have a strong prey drive and an exceptional sense of smell, making them excellent tracking and hunting partners. Regular long walks, jogging, or off-leash activities in a securely fenced area are important for meeting their exercise requirements. Mental stimulation through puzzle toys or scent-based games can also keep them engaged and satisfied.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  1. Exceptional scenting ability, making them proficient hunters and trackers.
  2. Friendly, sociable, and good with people and other dogs.
  3. Loyal and devoted to their families, often forming strong bonds.
  4. Energetic and athletic, making them suitable for active individuals or families.
  5. Versatile working breed with adaptability to various hunting roles.

Cons:

  1. Independent and occasionally stubborn, requiring consistent and patient training.
  2. High exercise requirements that may not be suitable for individuals with limited physical activity.
  3. Potential for howling and barking, which may not be ideal for noise-sensitive environments.
  4. May have a strong prey drive, necessitating careful supervision around small animals.

Space Requirements

American English Coonhounds require sufficient space to roam and explore due to their active nature. While they can adapt to living in smaller homes or apartments with proper exercise, providing access to a securely fenced yard or regular outdoor activities is ideal. Space that allows them to fulfill their exercise needs is essential for their well-being.

Suitability for the Elderly

American English Coonhounds may not be the ideal breed for the elderly due to their high exercise requirements and independent nature. However, if an elderly individual is physically active, has experience with active breeds, and can provide the necessary exercise and mental stimulation, an American English Coonhound can be a loyal and loving companion. It's crucial to consider the owner's physical capabilities and ensure they can handle the dog's energy and exercise needs.

Suitability for Kids

American English Coonhounds are generally good with children, thanks to their friendly and gentle nature. They can form strong bonds with kids and often enjoy playing and interacting with them. However, as with any dog, close supervision is necessary, especially with younger children, to ensure appropriate behavior and prevent accidental knocks or falls.

Cost

The cost of an American English Coonhound puppy can vary depending on factors such as breeder reputation, location, pedigree, and quality. On average, expect to invest between $500 to $1,500 for a well-bred puppy. Ongoing expenses, including high-quality dog food, routine veterinary care, grooming, training, and accessories, should also be considered when calculating the overall cost of owning an American English Coonhound.

What Should the Owner Be Like

An ideal owner for an American English Coonhound should be active, patient, and dedicated to meeting the breed's exercise and mental stimulation needs. They should have experience with active breeds and be prepared to provide consistent trainingand socialization from an early age. The owner should be understanding of the breed's independent nature and have a firm yet gentle approach to training. An American English Coonhound owner should be committed to providing regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a loving, structured environment for their dog to thrive.

Fun Facts

  1. American English Coonhounds are known for their distinctive baying or "treeing" howl. This vocalization is used to alert hunters that they have located their quarry.

  2. The American English Coonhound is one of the six coonhound breeds recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC). The UKC is one of the primary organizations that promote and support coonhound events and competitions.

Conclusion

The American English Coonhound is a versatile and loyal hunting breed that brings joy and companionship to active individuals and families. With their exceptional scenting ability, friendly nature, and endurance, they excel as hunting partners and loving family companions. While they require an experienced and active owner who can meet their exercise and mental stimulation needs, the rewards of owning an American English Coonhound are immeasurable. Their loyalty, companionship, and hunting prowess make them an extraordinary addition to any hunting or active family.

Are you familiar with the American English Coonhound or have this wonderful breed in your family? Share your stories in the comments!
 
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