American English Coonhound
The American English Coonhound dog originated in the United States after the introduction by settlers of hunting dogs on the continent. The breed arose when trying to find a dog that was used to hunt raccoons at night and foxes during the day. In addition to their great hunting skills, the American English Coonhound are very loyal, sociable and affectionate dogs, being very good companions for life. However, they require a lot of daily activity and movement, so they are not suitable for all caregivers. The practical care does not differ much from most other dog breeds and they are strong and healthy, although they can be predisposed to the development of certain diseases.
Keep reading this AnimalWised breed to learn more about the American English Coonhound dog breed. Specifically, we look at its origin, characteristics, character, care, education and health.
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- Origin of the American English Coonhound
- Physical characteristics of the American English Coonhound
- Character of the American English Coonhound
- Caring for the American English Coonhound
- American English Coonhound education
- American English Coonhound health
- Where to adopt an American English Coonhound
Origin of the American English Coonhound
The American English Coonhound is also known as the English Coonhound or the Redtick Coonhound. The breed originated in the United States, descending from hunting dogs (Virginia hounds) that were introduced to North America by the colonists between the 17th and 18th centuries.
They originated with the aim of creating an ideal dog for hunting raccoons at night. After crosses with bloodhounds to improve their olfactory capacity and after a careful breeding process with dogs from the United States, the breed was established.
At the beginning, these dogs, in addition to hunting raccoons at night, were used to hunt foxes during the day. For this reason, they were called English Foxhounds. Today they are still very good hunters of game animals and bears, but are also a perfect companion in the home.
This breed was first registered in 1995 with the Foundation Stock Service and in 2012 with the Westminster Kennel Club.
Physical characteristics of the American English Coonhound
Males of the American English Coonhound breed are 22–27" (56–69 cm) tall at the withers and females females are 21–25"(53–64 cm). Both sexes weigh between 20 and 30 kg (44-66 lbs). It is a medium-sized, strong, proportionate, athletic and precise breed. Their main physical characteristics are:
- Somewhat domed skull
- Broad head
- Deep chest
- Strong back
- Elongated snout
- Somewhat saggy lips
- Large black or pink nose
- Round dark brown eyes
- Very long and drooping ears with soft hair
- Long tail
- The hair is a double-coat, hard and of medium length
Colors of the American English Coonhound
The coat color of the American English Coonhound can be one of the following colors and combinations :
- Reddish and white with ticks
- Black and white
They are known for their ticking coat pattern, but they can also have patches in various places on their body.
Character of the American English Coonhound
The character of the American English Coonhound is quite gentle as they are usually sweet and pleasant dogs. However, their hunting instinct must not be forgotten, so if they are close to potential prey they will not hesitate to enact said instinct.
Except for this, they are fine dogs to live in the home and are even good with children. They are sociable, kind, loyal and will seek to please their caregivers. Also, due to their character and their barking, they are considered good watchdogs, adding protection to the home.
Learn more about related breeds with our article on the top 10 best guard dogs.
Caring for the American English Coonhound
The main care needs of the American English Coonhound dog are the following:
- Frequent daily exercise, due to their great energy and vitality. They need to release it through long walks, trips to the park, outdoor races or varied games.
- Brush the coat between 1 and 2 times a week, with monthly.
- Monthly nail cutting or when they are long.
- A healthy, complete and balanced diet so they are provided with all the necessary nutrients in their optimal proportions for the individual. The daily amount of energy will vary according to their level of activity, physiological state, weight, age and environmental conditions.
- Teeth cleaning to prevent periodontal disease and tartar.
- Cleaning and general ear maintenance to prevent otitis.
- Annual routine veterinary check-ups.
- Suitable vaccination schedule for the region.
American English Coonhound education
In the education and training of the American English Coonhound, a series of points must be clear:
- Barking loudly can be an issue.
- Proper socialization at an early age to avoid being possessive.
- Control your destruction or hunting needs at home.
The most effective way to train an American English Coonhound is through a form of conditioning called positive reinforcement. This is an educational approach consisting of rewards when they enact favorable behavior or does not misbehave. In this way the dog will associate these behaviors with something pleasant and will learn more quickly, effectively and for a longer time than with negative reinforcement or punishment.
American English Coonhound health
The life expectancy of the American English Coonhound is between 10 and 12 years. They are considered a strong and healthy breed. However, they are predisposed to certain pathologies, including:
- Hip dysplasia: an incongruity between the joint areas of the hip and the femur in the hip joint. This leads to the appearance of joint laxity, damaging and weakening it. Over time, this will lead to osteoarthritis and clinical signs such as pain, muscle atrophy and lameness.
- Elbow dysplasia: deterioration of the elbow joint and the bones attached to it, i.e. the humerus, radius and ulna.
- Cataracts: consists of the reduction or complete loss of transparency of the lens of the eye. This prevents or hinders the passage of light towards the retina, which is the part of the eye that carries the light signals carried by the optic nerve to the brain, where vision is allowed.
- Progressive retinal atrophy: consists of a degeneration of the components of the retina of the eye, called photoreceptors (rods and cones). This causes loss of vision, dilated pupils and even cataracts.
- Gastric torsion: consists of a rotation of the stomach that usually occurs when the dog feeds or drinks very impulsively before or after exercise. It can cause serious symptoms in the dog and even fainting or shock. It is a life threatening illness which we explain further in our article on why your dog's belly is hard.
Where to adopt an American English Coonhound
Before starting the steps to adopt an American English Coonhound dog, keep in mind it is not well suited to living in a home without some open space. This means it is not an ideal apartment dog, even if some can adjust if given the right amount of exercise. In addition, they need caregivers who are very committed to maintaining them with sufficient daily physical activity; taking long walks, field trips, sports and games so that they release all their energy.
If you think you are a suitable candidate to adopt an American English Coonhound, the first thing is to approach local animal shelters and ask. It is not a very frequent breed, although it depends on your location. If you do decide to adopt a purebred American English Coonhound, you will need to ensure you find a reputable breeder. Do your research online and do not buy from puppy farms.