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American English Coonhound

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The American English Coonhound is a large American purebred developed to be fast, have endurance and be skilled at hunting. It is one of six types of Coonhound and is a dog found mostly in the South, where it is a hard worker. It is a confident and friendly dog that is best with active owners in a home that does not have many neighbors, or has very understanding ones, since its baying and barking are very loud.

The American English Coonhound at A Glance
Name American English Coonhound
Other names English Coonhound, Redtick Coonhound
Nicknames Coonhound
Origin United States
Average size Large
Average weight 50 to 75 pounds
Average height 21 to 27 inches
Life span 10 to 12 years
Coat type Short to medium, hard, slick,
Hypoallergenic No
Color Blue and white ticked, tri-colored with white ticking, red and white ticked, white and black, red and white, brown and white
Popularity Not popular – ranked 171st by the AKC
Intelligence Quite intelligent – well above average
Tolerance to heat Very good – can live in very warm climates just not extreme heat
Tolerance to cold Very good – same for cold
Shedding Average – does shed so there will be hair around the home and on you
Drooling Low – not a breed prone to slobbering or drooling
Obesity Average – as long as it gets enough exercise and its food is tracked obesity should not be a problem
Grooming/brushing Low to moderate for maintenance
Barking Frequent and loud plus it is known for its hound like howl too, training will be needed
Exercise needs Very active – needs active owners
Trainability Easy to train for experienced owners
Friendliness Excellent with socialization
Good first dog Moderate – not a first time dog, if you have never owned a dog before look for a different breed
Good family pet Excellent with socialization
Good with children Excellent with socialization
Good with other dogs Very good with socialization
Good with other pets Moderate to good – needs socialization as as high prey drive
Good with strangers Excellent with socialization
Good apartment dog Low – not a dog for apartment living, needs a yard
Handles alone time well Moderate – does not like being alone for long periods
Health issues Quite healthy as a breed but some issues can include hip dysplasia, overheating and eye problems
Medical expenses $485 a year for basic medical care and pet insurance
Food expenses $270 a year for treats and a good quality dry dog food
Miscellaneous expenses $245 for miscellaneous items, license, basic training and toys
Average annual expenses $1000 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1,000
Rescue organizations Several including
Biting Statistics None Reported

The American English Coonhound's Beginnings

The American English Coonhound was bred and developed by settlers from Europe in the 16 and 17 hundreds. It comes from Foxhounds they brought with them and were then developed further by crossing with Virginia Hounds and Bloodhounds. They had to be able to handle rough terrain and be successful at hunting raccoons at night and then Fox during the day. It also helped hunt other prey such as possum, boar, cougar, bear and bobcats. Traits like endurance, speed, versatility and a good nose were desirable.

The American English Coonhound is more typically bred in the South and were first recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1905. Then it was called the English Fox and Coonhound. Its current name was in recognition of how much it is like the English Foxhound and the American Foxhound. It is a treeing coonhound and over the years several separate breeds have split off including the Bluetick Coonhound and the Treeing Walker Coonhound.

New Lease on Life

They continued to be used successfully as hunting dogs, they were especially successful at night but were also good during the day. One way they were used was called treeing, where they hunted animals that could climb trees and forced them to do so, then the hunter with them could easily shoot them down. When hunting the American English Coonhound is known for its one tracked mind and complete focus.

The breed was given full recognition from the AKC in 2011. Today the red ticked dog is the more commonly seen version but there can be other colors. It is still a popular hound used by hunters today, and is especially favored still in southern US states. It is currently ranked 171st in popularity by the AKC.

The Dog You See Today

The American English Coonhound is large dog weighing 50 to 75 pounds and standing 21 to 27 inches tall. It has a short to medium length coat that is hard and slick to protect it from the brush and weather, and comes in common colors of blue and white ticked, tri-colored with white ticking, red and white ticked, white and black, red and white, brown and white. It is a slender, athletic and strong dog and has a tail that is set high and medium length.

The Inner American English Coonhound


This is a great watchdog as it is alert and will bark to let you know of any intruders. Be warned though it barks as well as bays and it has very loud vocalizations. It does not give just one bark either but tends to let out a series of howls and barks that can go on for a while. It also has some protective instincts so will likely act to defend you and the family when needed. However this is not a good dog for new owners, it really needs somebody with experience. When looked after well it is an affectionate and cheerful breed, intelligent and good natured, very loyal but also very sensitive.


Inside the home this is a quiet and calm dog, but outside it is very active and it needs regular physical and mental stimulation to be happy. This is a nesting dog too, it will curl up in your blankets on your bed, on the couch or even on a pile of dirty washing! If you do not want your dog on your couch or bed this is not the breed for you. It is very loving and eager to please and will want to spend time with its family, not wanting to be left alone for long periods.

As a puppy it is curious, can be destructive and loves to chew and early training and socialization are important to ensure it does not become overly suspicious of strangers or too skittish or aggressive. They are very playful and need lots of attention. If it is not given enough stimulation it can be high strung, afraid of loud noises and hard to control.

Living with an American English Coonhound

What will training look like?

For people with experience the American English Coonhound is easy to train as it will listen to commands, it is inclined to obey and in fact will need less repetition so will be quicker to pick it up too. It does need you to be firm and consistent though, it will respond best to a confident and calm authority figure who uses positive approaches rather than scolding and corrections. It can get easily distracted so consider where you are doing it and keep the sessions short and interesting.

If you do not properly train and socialize it, it can become overly dominant, out of control and aggressive, or it can also become overly shy and scared of everything. Early socialization will mean exposing it to different people, places, sounds, animals and situations and teaching it how to respond appropriately and helping it get used to them. A well socialized and trained Coonhound is a much better dog to be around and is happier with themselves, as well being a dog you are more able to trust.

How active is the American English Coonhound?

This is a very active dog. If you are not taking it out on a daily basis to hunt with, it will need at least a couple of long brisk walks a day. This means it really needs owners who love to be active themselves. If the idea of being out for an hour or two a day makes you groan in horror, this is not the dog for you. It is not a breed suited to apartment living, it needs a large yard or even better land it can run on. If you do not have that, find somewhere that is safe for you to take it and let it off leash, a dog park perhaps. Make sure when you are out walking that is on a leash as its high prey drive will have it racing off after anything that moves, and it is very fast and may be too focused on its prey to listen and heed a command to stop. It will be happy to join its owners for hikes, jogs, bicycle rides, and enjoys games like hide and seek or fetch. Make sure it also gets mental stimulation, choose toys that challenge it, go beyond basic training to keep its mind active too.

Caring for the American English Coonhound

Grooming needs

Taking care of an American English Coonhound will require just a moderate amount of time and effort. Its coat is easy to groom but it does shed an average amount so there will be hair around the home. You will likely have to vacuum daily and while you could just brush a couple of times a week, if you do a short brush using a firm bristled brush daily, this could prevent some hair being left behind on the furnishings. Only shampoo the dog when it really needs it to avoid drying out its skin.


Its nails should be clipped if they are not worn down naturally. Have a groomer do it for you or you can take care of it yourself if you know how. Cutting too far down can nick blood vessels and nerves in the nail which will hurt your dog and cause bleeding. Have a vet show you how if you need further guidance. Check your dog's ears for infection once a week and wipe the clean using either a damp cloth, or a dog ear cleanser with a cotton ball. Do not insert anything into the ear though. Finally brush its teeth two to three times a week at least.

Feeding Time

It will need to eat between 2½ to 3 cups of a good quality dry dog food each day, split into 2 meals a day at least. How much exactly can vary depending on its level of activity, metabolism, size, age and health.

How is the American English Coonhound with children and other animals?

The American English Coonhound is a breed that can be trusted with children, it gets along well with them. Early socialization and being raised with them does help, together they can be playful, energetic and great friends. Make sure children are taught how to play and touch in a kind manner and supervise toddlers still as they can be accidentally knocked over. This dog does have a high prey drive so strange animals are going to trigger those instincts. With socialization and if raised with other pets they can accept them. With other dogs socialization and training means it tends to get along very well with them.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

An average lifespan for it is 10 to 12 years. It is quite a healthy breed but some issues might include hip dysplasia, ear infections, eye problems and overheating especially when out on summer hunting trips.

Biting Statistics

Upon taking a closer look at reports of dog attacks doing bodily harm to people in the US and Canada over the last 30 plus years, there is no mention of the American English Coonhound as a dog responsible. However there is a chance if it has a bad day, and has not been properly socialized and trained it could attack, as could any breed of dog. Make sure you are giving it what it needs, lots of exercise and mental challenges, as well as attention. A happy dog that is socialized and trained could still snap, but it is less likely to happen.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Coonhound puppy will cost somewhere around $1000 for a pet quality dog from a decent breeder. For a show quality puppy from a top show breeder you are going to be paying several thousands of dollars at least. Do not get a dog from a breeder you are not confident in and try to avoid puppy mills, pet stores and backyard breeders. There may be some shelters and rescues that you can look to if you are willing to give a dog a new forever home. For $50 to $400 you can get a dog that may not be as young as a puppy, but will be grateful and some medical needs will be done for you.


When you have a puppy or dog you will need to get some things for it like a crate, collar and leash, bowls and so on. This initial items will cost about $180. Medical needs like deworming, micro chipping, shots, neutering or spaying, blood tests and a physical check up will cost about $300.

There are also ongoing costs to be prepared for. A good quality dry dog food and some dogs treats will cost you about $270 a year. Basic medical care like shots, flea and tick prevention, check ups along with pet insurance will cost about $485 a year. Other costs like toys, license, basic training and miscellaneous items will cost about $245 a year. That gives a yearly starting figure of $1000.


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The American English Coonhound is a great hunting hound and is popular in with hunters from the south of the USA. It can also be a great companion as long as it is kept busy and has a chance to burn of a lot of energy and engage its quick mind. It is loyal and affectionate but be prepared for the loud noises it makes. This is not a dog to get if you have close neighbors who are likely to complain. It is also not the right dog for you if you want a dog that does not bark or howl.

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