English Coonhound

Breed At A Glance


Intelligent and devoted, sometimes high-strung

Life Expectancy
11-12 years

Average Height
21-27 inches

Average Weight
40-65 inches

Coat Color
Blue and white ticked, red and white ticked, tri-colored with ticking, red and white, and white and black

Coat Length/Texture
Short and hard

Shedding Propensity
Consistent year-round

Also known as American English Coonhound

General Temperament

The English Coonhound is revered for it’s stamina, endurance and dedication to hunting. They possess extremely well-developed senses and tremendous speed, and are athletic and vigorous on the hunt. At home, they are affectionate, loyal and watchful. With proper training, the English Coonhound can excel in competitive hunting and tracking and other field trial events.

This breed does well with considerate children, but the English Coonhound will not respond well to teasing. They will get along well with other dogs they are raised with. Early socialization is important in this breed as they can sometimes be high strung, and may see smaller pets such as cats as prey if they are not brought up with them. But if given lots of human and animal interaction from puppyhood, they are usually very sociable and sweet.

Training an English Coonhound can be a bit more difficult than some other breeds, as they have a mind of their own and can be willful. They will not respond well to harsh training – consistent and patient (yet firm) training will work best with this breed. They also have a tendency to “follow their nose” when they locate an interesting scent, so it is essential that they remain on a leash when in an unsecured area.

English Coonhounds love to work and will be happiest with an active and engaged owner who can encourage the dog’s abilities. They are happiest when hunting and living in packs, as opposed to being the sole companion pet. They need plenty of room to run and roam, and are therefore not recommended for apartment life. They can be as happy living outdoors or in a kennel as they are indoors, as long as they have the companionship of either humans or other dogs.

Breed History

The English Coonhound was developed in the United States from the English Foxhound, known in this country as the Virginia Hound. Hunters in the southeastern U.S. adapted this breed to handle rougher terrain than it’s British ancestors. Originally, the English Coonhound was known as the English Fox and Coon Hound, due to it’s ability to hunt fox during the day and raccoon at night, and was grouped together with the Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Bluetick Coonhound. In 1945, breeders separated the three variations into separate breeds and developed them along separate lines. In addition to raccoon, fox and other small game, the modern English Coonhound is used to track and hunt larger game such as cougar, deer, boar, and bear.

The American Kennel Club is currently accepts the English Coonhound into their foundation stock service under the name “American English Coonhound,” although the breed has not yet received full recognition (as of April, 2008).

Body Structure and Composition

The English Coonhound has a strong and lean, well-defined body and deep chest. The head is broad with a well-proportioned muzzle and upper lips (or flews) that hang loose over the lower jaw. The ears are long, reaching almost to the end of the muzzle when pulled forward. The topline slopes downward to the hips and the medium-length tail is set high on the hock. The deep chest allows for expanded lung capacity. An English Coonhound’s gait is effortless and capable of great speed and endurance. Their bark is more like a melodic howl.

Medical Information

Little information is known about the health issues experienced by the American English Coonhound. Like many of the larger hunting and sporting breeds, they may be prone to Hip Dysplasia, although specific statistics of this are currently unavailable due to the breed’s relative unpopularity at the present time.

The short coat of the English Coonhound is easy to maintain, although they are constant shedders. Be sure to check and clean the English Coonhound’s ears frequently to help prevent infection.

Anecdotal Information

English Coonhounds are usually considered hot-trailing or “hot nosed” coonhounds – meaning that they will seek out the freshest scent and follow it vigorously to their game – but some individuals have been known to excel at tracking colder scents.

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