American English Coonhound

Table of Contents

The American English Coonhound, a breed renowned for its speed, endurance, and loud, melodious bark, is a quintessential hunting dog with a rich heritage in the United States. Originating from English Foxhounds, this breed is well-adapted for tracking and hunting game, especially raccoons, hence the name ‘Coonhound’. They display a lean, muscular build, capable of vigorous activity and are distinguished by their hard, protective coat that comes in various patterns and colors, including red and white, blue and white, and tri-color.

Known for their keen sense of smell and impressive tracking abilities, American English Coonhounds excel in outdoor activities and thrive in environments where they can explore and exercise. Their friendly and sociable nature makes them excellent family pets, although they do best with an active lifestyle and plenty of space to roam. Training these dogs requires patience and consistency, as they can be independent-minded, but they are generally eager to please and respond well to positive training methods.

Regular exercise is essential for this breed to prevent boredom and maintain their physical health. Activities like long walks, hiking, and tracking games suit their energetic and exploratory nature. As for their grooming needs, they are relatively low maintenance, requiring only regular brushing to keep their coat clean and healthy.

In terms of health, the American English Coonhound is generally robust but can be prone to certain breed-specific issues, such as hip dysplasia. Regular veterinary check-ups and a well-balanced diet are vital to keep them in top condition.

In short, the American English Coonhound is a lively, resilient breed with a deep-rooted history in American hunting. They make loyal companions and excel in active households where they can engage in plenty of physical activities. With the right training, exercise, and care, they are a delightful addition to any family, especially those with a fondness for the great outdoors.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years


Extr Small

Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The American English Coonhound, known for its tracking skills and high energy, is ideal for hunting enthusiasts and active families. They excel in outdoor activities and dog sports, thriving in environments where they can exercise and explore. This breed is a great fit for those who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle and can provide consistent training and socialization. With their friendly nature, they also make good family pets, especially in homes with ample space.

American English Coonhounds Traits

Breed Characteristics

The American English Coonhound, known for its tracking prowess and robust stamina, is a skilled hunting breed with a distinct, melodious bark and keen sense of smell. Sporting a lean, muscular build and a protective coat in various colors, this friendly and sociable breed excels in outdoor activities and fits well into active families, especially when given ample exercise and space. They thrive with consistent training and enjoy engaging in their natural hunting instincts.

Here are the qualities you can expect when raising an American English Coonhound, rated on a scale of 1 star (low) to 5 stars (high). These attributes have been evaluated by several pet experts, including dog trainers, veterinarians, and behaviorists. It’s important to remember that dogs are individuals, and not all American English Coonhounds, even within the same breed, will conform exactly to these ratings.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Characteristics

The American English Coonhound, marked by its athletic build, features a strong, muscular body and a short, hard coat in colors like red, blue, and tricolor. With expressive eyes, long floppy ears, and long legs, this breed is built for stamina and agility, reflecting its hunting heritage and adaptability to diverse terrains.

1. Ears
They have long, pendant ears that hang close to the head, enhancing their keen sense of hearing.
2. Eyes
The eyes are typically dark and wide-set, giving them an alert and intelligent expression.
3. Gait
They exhibit a smooth, effortless gait, displaying both speed and stamina, essential for tracking game over long distances.
4. Height
Males typically stand between 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller.
5. Coat
Their coat is short but hard, providing protection against brambles and harsh weather while hunting.
6. Coat Color
Common coat colors include red and white, blue and white, and tri-color. The coat often has ticking or speckling, adding to their distinctive appearance.
7. Tail
The tail is set moderately high and carried slightly curved, often in motion, signaling their alertness.
8. Weight
They generally weigh between 45 to 65 pounds, with a strong, muscular build that balances agility and power.
9. Legs
They possess long, strong legs, with well-defined muscles, suited for extended running and navigating through challenging terrains.

The American English Coonhound’s appearance is one of balance and proportion, designed for endurance and agility. Their physical traits are a testament to their functionality as a hunting breed, capable of performing in diverse environmental conditions with vigor and resilience.

These physical characteristics not only contribute to the breed’s striking appearance but are also crucial for their traditional role in hunting and tracking. They are a testament to the breed’s adaptability and endurance, making them capable companions in both hunting and home environments.

American English Coonhounds Temperament

The American English Coonhound, known for its intelligence and eager-to-please attitude, is both trainable and independent, making consistent and positive training crucial. With a strong prey drive rooted in their hunting heritage, they often exhibit a deep interest in scents and can be vocal, especially when on a trail.

These coonhounds are sociable and affectionate, fitting well into family life, particularly when raised alongside children and other dogs. They require ample exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom, thriving in active environments.

Their loyalty and friendly demeanor, combined with an energetic nature, make them well-suited for active families or individuals who enjoy an engaging, outdoor lifestyle.

How to Care for a American English Coonhounds

Caring for an American English Coonhound involves providing regular, vigorous exercise and mental stimulation to match their high energy and intelligence. Consistent and positive training, along with early socialization, is crucial for managing their independent nature and strong hunting instincts. They require minimal grooming but need a balanced diet and routine veterinary care to maintain their health. Suitable for active households, these dogs thrive with engaged and attentive owners who can offer a loving and structured environment.

Grooming an American English Coonhound, known for their short but dense coat, involves several aspects to keep them healthy and comfortable. Here’s a detailed look at their grooming needs:

Coat Care

  • Brushing: Regular brushing, at least once a week, is crucial to remove loose hair, dirt, and to distribute natural skin oils. During shedding seasons, more frequent brushing helps to manage excess hair.
  • Bathing: Bath them as needed, typically every few months or when they get particularly dirty. Use a dog-specific shampoo to maintain coat health and avoid drying out their skin.

Nail Care

  • Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent discomfort and issues with walking. This should be done every 1-2 months, or as needed, depending on their activity level and growth rate.
  • Paw Care: Check their paws regularly for signs of injury, cracks, or foreign objects, especially since they are active dogs.

Ear Care

  • Cleaning: Clean their ears regularly with a gentle, vet-approved cleaner to prevent wax buildup and infections, which they can be prone to due to their floppy ears.
  • Inspection: Regularly inspect their ears for signs of redness, bad odor, or discomfort, which can indicate problems.

Dental Care

  • Teeth Brushing: Brushing their teeth several times a week helps to prevent tartar buildup and promotes overall oral health. Use a dog-specific toothpaste.
  • Dental Chews: Dental chews can supplement brushing by helping to reduce plaque and freshen breath.

Skin Care

  • Regular Checks: Monitor their skin for any signs of irritation, parasites, or allergies. Their short coat makes it easier to spot any unusual bumps or cuts.
  • Parasite Control: Regular flea and tick control is essential, especially considering their outdoor activities.

Eye Care

  • Routine Cleaning: Gently clean around their eyes with a damp cloth to remove any discharge.
  • Regular Checks: Keep an eye on any changes in appearance, which could indicate issues needing veterinary attention.

Grooming Tools

  • A bristle brush or grooming glove for their coat.
  • Nail clippers or a grinder.
  • Canine toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Ear cleaning solution and cotton balls.

Regular grooming not only keeps the American English Coonhound looking good but also provides an opportunity to check for any health issues and build a bond with your dog. Being consistent with grooming practices ensures their comfort and well-being, reflecting their overall health and happiness.

Training an American English Coonhound, a breed renowned for its intelligence and hunting prowess, requires a well-rounded approach that caters to both their physical and mental needs. Here’s an in-depth guide to effectively training these energetic dogs:

Understanding the Breed’s Nature

  • Hunting Instinct: Their strong prey drive and scent-tracking abilities should be considered during training, as they can easily be distracted by smells.
  • Independence: Known for their independent nature, they require a patient and consistent approach to overcome their sometimes stubborn demeanor.

Basic Training

  • Start Early: Begin training as soon as you bring your puppy home. Early socialization and exposure to various people, animals, and environments lay the groundwork for a well-adjusted dog.
  • Obedience Training: Focus on basic commands such as sit, stay, come, heel, and down. Consistency and repetition are key.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

  • Rewards-Based Training: Use treats, praise, and toys as rewards. Positive reinforcement encourages good behavior and strengthens the bond between you and your dog.
  • Avoid Negative Punishment: Negative reinforcement can lead to fearfulness or aggression, especially in a sensitive breed like the American English Coonhound.

Advanced Training

  • Leash Training: Due to their tracking nature, leash training is essential to prevent them from chasing scents.
  • Recall Training: Given their tendency to follow scents, reliable recall training is crucial for their safety.
  • Scent Work: Engage them in activities that use their natural scent abilities, like tracking or hunting exercises, which can be both a form of exercise and mental stimulation.

Dealing with Distractions

  • Distraction Training: Gradually introduce distractions during training sessions to teach them to focus amidst various stimuli.
  • Patience is Key: Their tendency to get distracted by scents requires patience. Repeated and consistent practice helps them learn to focus.

Behavioral Training

  • Barking Control: Being vocal dogs, training them to control their barking is important, especially in urban living environments.
  • Crate Training: Crate training can provide them a safe space and help in housebreaking and managing separation anxiety.


  • Early and Ongoing Socialization: Regularly expose them to different people, animals, and environments to develop their social skills and prevent over-protectiveness or shyness.

Exercise and Training

  • Combine Training with Exercise: Their high energy levels mean they benefit from training exercises that also involve physical activity, like fetch combined with command training.

Health and Training

  • Regular Health Checks: Ensure they are physically fit for training exercises, especially those that are more rigorous.

Training an American English Coonhound is a continuous process. They excel with engaging and varied training routines that challenge them both mentally and physically. Their eagerness to please, coupled with their intelligence, makes them responsive to training, but they thrive best under the guidance of an experienced owner who can provide consistent, loving, and structured training. With the right approach, these dogs can be excellent companions and skilled participants in various dog sports and activities.

Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the well-being of the American English Coonhound, a breed known for its high energy and athleticism. Here’s an in-depth guide to their dietary needs:

Understanding Nutritional Requirements

  • High-Quality Protein: As active dogs, they require diets rich in quality proteins to support muscle development and sustain energy levels. Sources like lean meats (chicken, beef, fish) are ideal.
  • Fats for Energy: Healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are important for energy and maintaining a healthy coat. Foods containing fish oil or flaxseed can be beneficial.
  • Carbohydrates for Stamina: Complex carbohydrates, found in whole grains, provide sustained energy for their active lifestyle.

Tailoring Diet to Life Stages

  • Puppy Nutrition: Puppies need more calories and essential nutrients to support their rapid growth. Puppy-specific formulas are usually higher in protein and calories.
  • Adult Maintenance: Adult Coonhounds require a well-balanced diet that maintains their energy levels without leading to weight gain.
  • Senior Dogs: Older dogs may need fewer calories and more joint-support supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Portion Control and Feeding Frequency

  • Avoid Overfeeding: Given their propensity for weight gain, monitor portion sizes carefully and adjust based on their activity level.
  • Regular Feeding Schedule: Establish a regular feeding schedule, typically two meals per day for adults, to aid in digestion and weight management.

Managing Weight

  • Regular Exercise: Pair a balanced diet with regular exercise to prevent obesity, a common issue in less active individuals of the breed.
  • Weight Monitoring: Regular weigh-ins can help in adjusting their diet to prevent or address obesity.

Special Dietary Considerations

  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Be vigilant for signs of food allergies or sensitivities, which may require dietary adjustments or specialized hypoallergenic foods.
  • Hydration: Ensure they always have access to fresh water, especially after exercise.


  • Consider Supplements: Depending on their health needs, supplements like fish oil for coat health or probiotics for digestion can be beneficial.
  • Consult with a Veterinarian: Before adding supplements, consult with a vet to ensure they’re necessary and suitable for your dog.

Avoiding Harmful Foods

  • Toxic Foods: Keep them away from foods that are toxic to dogs, like chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and xylitol.

Regular Health Checks

  • Veterinary Consultation: Regular check-ups can help tailor their diet to any specific health concerns, ensuring optimal nutritional support.

A well-balanced diet, customized to the American English Coonhound’s life stage, activity level, and health needs, plays a crucial role in maintaining their health, vitality, and quality of life. Combining proper nutrition with regular exercise and veterinary care ensures they stay healthy, happy, and active throughout their life.

Exercising an American English Coonhound, a breed known for its high energy and stamina, is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. This detailed guide focuses on providing them with adequate and appropriate exercise:

Understanding Exercise Needs

  • High Energy Levels: As a breed developed for hunting, they possess significant energy reserves that require daily physical activity to maintain their health and happiness.
  • Endurance: Their natural stamina makes them suited for prolonged activities rather than short bursts of exercise.

Types of Physical Exercise

  • Aerobic Activities: Engage them in jogging, brisk walking, or hiking, which cater to their endurance and love for exploration.
  • Interactive Play: Activities like fetch or tug-of-war provide both physical exercise and mental engagement.
  • Agility Training: They excel in agility courses that challenge their physical agility and mental acuity.
  • Scent Tracking Games: Leveraging their strong sense of smell in games like scent tracking or hide-and-seek stimulates their natural instincts.

Importance of Mental Stimulation

  • Training Sessions: Regular obedience and trick training sessions keep their mind active and reinforce good behavior.
  • Puzzle Toys: Toys that require problem-solving can keep them mentally stimulated, especially when left alone.

Socialization Through Exercise

  • Dog Parks and Group Walks: Social interactions with other dogs during exercise help in their social development and provide a fun way for them to expend energy.

Tailoring Exercise to Age

  • Puppy Exercise: For puppies, keep exercise gentle and short to protect their developing joints.
  • Senior Dogs: Older Coonhounds may require less strenuous activities. Opt for shorter, gentler walks to maintain their mobility without overexertion.

Safety and Health Considerations

  • Weather Considerations: Monitor outdoor conditions to ensure safety, especially in extreme heat or cold.
  • Regular Health Checks: Ensure they are physically fit for vigorous activities and check with a vet for any exercise limitations, particularly as they age.

Routine and Consistency

  • Establish a Routine: Regular exercise routines help manage their energy levels and prevent boredom-related behaviors.
  • Consistent Activity Levels: Consistency in daily physical activity is key to keeping them in optimal health.

Bonding Through Exercise

  • Owner Involvement: Activities that involve owner participation, like playing or training together, strengthen the bond between the dog and the owner.

In summary, providing varied and consistent exercise routines for an American English Coonhound not only keeps them physically fit but also mentally sharp and emotionally content. These activities, coupled with regular veterinary care and a balanced diet, ensure a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle for this energetic and intelligent breed.

The ideal environment for an American English Coonhound, a breed celebrated for its vitality and hunting prowess, encompasses various elements that cater to their physical and mental needs. Understanding these requirements can significantly enhance their quality of life.

Spacious and Stimulating Outdoor Access

  • Room to Roam: These dogs flourish in environments where they have ample space to explore and exercise, such as homes with large yards or rural settings.
  • Safe Enclosures: Fenced areas are crucial for safely containing their exploratory tendencies, especially given their propensity to follow scents.

Active and Engaged Lifestyle

  • Physical Activity: An ideal setting includes opportunities for daily exercise, such as long walks, runs, or hikes. Their high energy levels make them well-suited for active families or individuals.
  • Mental Stimulation: Environments that provide mental challenges through training exercises, scent games, and interactive play help to keep their minds sharp.

Social Interaction and Training

  • Family Involvement: These coonhounds thrive in homes where they can be part of family activities, enjoying interaction and companionship.
  • Consistent Training: An environment that allows for regular, consistent training helps in managing their independent nature and reinforces good behavior.

Adaptability to Living Conditions

  • Flexibility: While they do best with plenty of outdoor space, with adequate exercise and stimulation, they can adapt to various living conditions, including more suburban settings.
  • Indoor Living: Indoors, they need a comfortable space of their own, and being included in family activities helps prevent feelings of isolation.

Proximity to Nature and Exercise Areas

  • Access to Trails and Parks: Proximity to hiking trails, parks, or open spaces is ideal for their exercise routines and satisfies their instinctual need to explore and track.

Consideration for Neighbours

  • Sound Management: Given their tendency to be vocal, especially when tracking scents, consider soundproofing or training to manage barking in more populated areas.

Health and Safety Considerations

  • Veterinary Access: Easy access to veterinary care ensures their health needs can be promptly addressed, especially important for active breeds prone to injuries.
  • Climate Consideration: Ensure they have protection from extreme weather, providing adequate shade and water in hot climates and warm shelter in colder conditions.

Hence, the ideal environment for an American English Coonhound balances their need for physical exercise and mental engagement with their social and training needs. Whether in a rural setting with plenty of space or a more suburban area with ample exercise opportunities, what’s most important is an active, loving, and attentive household that understands and caters to the unique characteristics of this energetic and intelligent breed.

American English Coonhounds Health

Maintaining the health of an American English Coonhound, a breed known for its vigor and athleticism, involves attentive care and awareness of specific health concerns. Here’s a detailed look at their health aspects:

Genetic Health Dispositions

  • Hip Dysplasia: Like many larger breeds, they can be prone to hip dysplasia, a hereditary condition where the hip joint does not fit properly, potentially leading to arthritis.
  • Ear Infections: Their long, floppy ears make them susceptible to ear infections, necessitating regular cleaning and monitoring for signs of infection.
  • Eye Conditions: They may inherit eye conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), which can lead to vision loss.

Regular Veterinary Care

  • Routine Check-Ups: Regular vet visits are crucial for early detection and management of potential health issues.
  • Vaccinations and Parasite Control: Staying up-to-date with vaccinations and routine treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms is essential.

Diet and Nutrition

  • Balanced Diet: Feed them a well-balanced diet appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity, a common issue that can exacerbate joint problems.
  • Hydration: Ensure they always have access to fresh water, especially after exercise.

Exercise and Weight Management

  • Regular Exercise: Daily exercise not only keeps them physically fit but also aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Weight Monitoring: Regularly monitor their weight to prevent obesity, which can strain their joints and lead to other health issues.

Dental Care

  • Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing and dental check-ups help prevent periodontal diseases, which can affect overall health.

Mental Health

  • Mental Stimulation: Keeping their mind active is as important as physical exercise. Interactive play, training, and puzzle toys can help prevent boredom and stress.

Grooming and Skin Care

  • Skin Checks: Regular grooming provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues, lumps, or parasites.
  • Coat Care: Routine brushing helps to keep their coat clean and reduce shedding.

Special Considerations for Aging Dogs

  • Senior Care: As they age, they may require changes in their diet, exercise regimen, and more frequent veterinary check-ups to manage age-related health issues.

Emergency Preparedness

  • First Aid: Knowing basic pet first aid and having a plan for emergencies, including knowing the location of the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic, is important.

Caring for the health of an American English Coonhound involves a combination of regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, consistent exercise, and attentive grooming. Awareness of their specific breed-related health risks and proactive management can ensure a long, healthy, and happy life for these active and loyal companions.

American English Coonhounds Breed Comparison and Consideration

When comparing the American English Coonhound to other breeds, it’s essential to consider various factors like temperament, exercise needs, and suitability for different lifestyles. Here’s a comparison with some similar breeds:

American English Coonhound vs. Bluetick Coonhound

  • Temperament: Both breeds are known for their loyalty and hunting prowess, but the Bluetick Coonhound may be more vocal and intense in tracking.
  • Energy Levels: Both require significant exercise, but the American English Coonhound may adapt slightly better to less active environments.
  • Trainability: Both breeds are intelligent and trainable, but the American English Coonhound might be more independent-minded.

American English Coonhound vs. Beagle

  • Size: The American English Coonhound is larger and more muscular compared to the smaller and compact Beagle.
  • Exercise Needs: While both are active breeds, the American English Coonhound requires more vigorous exercise.
  • Family Compatibility: Both breeds are good with families, but Beagles might be more suitable for less active households due to their smaller size.

American English Coonhound vs. Labrador Retriever

  • Temperament: Labradors are generally more easygoing and adaptable to various environments, while American English Coonhounds have a strong hunting instinct.
  • Training: Labradors may be easier to train due to their eagerness to please, compared to the more independent nature of the American English Coonhound.
  • Activity Levels: Both are energetic, but the American English Coonhound’s endurance and stamina are higher, suited for more intense activities.

American English Coonhound vs. German Shorthaired Pointer

  • Hunting Skills: Both are exceptional hunting dogs, but the German Shorthaired Pointer is more versatile in hunting various types of game.
  • Energy Levels: Both breeds have high energy levels, requiring ample exercise, but the German Shorthaired Pointer may need even more varied activities.
  • Family Life: Both integrate well into family life, though German Shorthaired Pointers may require more attention to prevent boredom.

Considerations for Prospective Owners

  • Exercise Requirements: Prospective owners should be prepared to meet their high energy levels with daily exercise and activities.
  • Space Needs: They thrive in environments where they have space to explore and exercise, such as homes with yards or rural areas.
  • Training and Socialization: Consistent training and socialization are important to manage their strong hunting instincts and independent nature.
  • Lifestyle Fit: Best suited for active owners, they thrive with people who have an outdoor lifestyle and can involve them in activities.

When comparing the American English Coonhound to other breeds, consider their high energy needs, strong hunting instincts, and independent nature. They are best suited for active, experienced dog owners who can provide them with the exercise, training, and engagement they need.


American English Coonhounds are known for their friendly and sociable nature. They are intelligent, energetic, and have a strong hunting instinct. They can be independent but are generally eager to please.

They are generally good with children, especially when raised with them. However, due to their hunting instincts, their interactions with small pets should be supervised.

They can be a challenge for first-time owners due to their high energy and independence. They are better suited for those who have experience with active dog breeds.

While they can adapt to apartment living, it’s not ideal due to their size and energy levels. They do best in homes where they have more space to move around.

They are known for their loud, melodic bark, which can be frequent, especially if they are bored or not sufficiently exercised.

They are fairly adaptable to different weather conditions. However, in extreme heat, it’s important to provide them with shade and water, and in cold weather, they may need extra shelter or warmth, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Top Takeaways

American English Coonhounds are energetic and require regular, vigorous exercise paired with mental stimulation. They thrive in environments offering ample space and benefit from early, consistent training and socialization. Known for their loud bark and strong hunting instincts, these sociable and intelligent dogs are well-suited for active families or individuals with an outdoorsy lifestyle. Regular health checks and a balanced diet are key to maintaining their well-being.

Top American English Coonhounds Names

These are the top American English Coonhound names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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