The American English Coon Hound

Dog Breeds Header Image

The American English coonhound is the first coonhound bred from true English foxhounds to adapt to the rigorous terrain of America, and the forefather of almost all the American coonhounds.  Early pioneering settlers, including Mr. Thomas Walker and the first president of the United States George Washington, brought English scenthounds to America in 1742, and they continued breeding with different hounds until the American English coonhound became a fast hot-nosed hunting dog.

The American English coonhound is also referred to as the English coonhound and the Redtick coonhound, as the breed is largely speckled red and white, giving the dog a mottled red appearance, although can also be blue ticked, making them easily confused with the Bluetick coonhound.

The American English coonhound was first registered as the English Fox and coonhound in 1905, and finally recognized as the American English coonhound in 1995, 50 years after their descendants the Treeing Walker coonhound and the Bluetick coonhound were registered as separate breeds.

Strengths of the American English Coon Hound

The American English coonhound is fast, hot-nosed and therefore very popular for hunters who compete in coonhunting trials, and hunters who prefer to tree raccoons or other prey at night, when many small varmints are active.  This breed also hunts or chases their prey up trees, using the typical melodic coonhound baying, or short choppy barking to alert the hunter that an animal has been ‘treed’.

They have a one track mind while tracking a scent and can be much less responsive once the chase is on.  It is this strong-willed stubborn nature that enables them to pursue prey for a long time, however it does mean the American English coonhound needs patient, persistent training for the dog to function well as a hunter with his handler, or as a part of the family.

They also need work and exercise to be physically and mentally challenged otherwise they may become bored and high-strung.  However, a well exercised and happy American English coonhound is a very loyal member of his family, they are typically good-natured and very good with children.

Their instinct to pursue prey is very strong and they should not be introduced to other smaller pets such as cats, unless they’re very young and learn not to chase the family cat.  These coonhounds, while beautiful dogs, are natural ‘nesters’ and will be drawn to the corner of the couch or bed, and should be avoided by people who prefer their dog to curl up on his own bed.

The American English coonhound is a determined and strong hunter, a great family member, and also a very good watch-dog.  Their voice is an extremely loud call or howl, and their barking is sharp and choppy and will get attention.  Unfortunately they are not the best guard dog, however, because their sociable nature is very accepting of anybody not presenting a real danger or threat and they will quickly make friends.

 Potential Problems with the American English Coon Hound

Like a few of the large coonhounds, the American English coonhound is prone to hip dysplasia, and their droopy ears make them susceptible to ear infections unless cleaned regularly.  As they get older they may develop progressive retinal atrophy, and become blinded.  Although these dogs were bred largely in Southern states of America, they can get overheated while hunting during the summer months in the South.

The forefather of the hot-nosed, fast tracking coonhound is a handsome dog who if exercised and trained well enough is a calm and loving family pet as well as a great hunter.

If the American English isn’t for you, consider one of the other Coon Hound Breeds.