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American English Coonhound

Life span: 10-12 Years

Height: 56-69cm(Male); 53-64cm(Female)

Weight: 40-75 pounds

This unique breed is known for its love to hunt, incredible speed and intelligence. These dogs love everything that requires tons of movement, and are great watchdogs, without being violent towards strangers. If you’re looking for a first time dog, this just might be the one for you. However, be advised, these are not quiet dogs!

Physical Characteristics

The American English Coonhound has a short coat that is harsh and protective. Its coat tends to come in three color combinations known as “redtick” which is red and white, “bluetick” which is blue and white, and tri-color with ticking which can include any of the other two combinations and black. They can also be red and white or black and white without ticking. Its floppy ears sit low on its head and can touch the nose if extended towards it. Its body is strong and athletic, especially the legs, given that its well proportioned body was made for speed. Its eyes tend to be brown and its nose is usually black.

History

They were brought to the United States in the 17th and 18th centuries by European settlers and known as the “Virginia Hounds”. These dogs were bred by George Washington later on to be hunters for racoons and the American red fox. However, due to the amount of trees animals hid in, these were later crossbred with the Bloodhound in order to give them their sense of smell for better hunting. With this crossbreed, the American English Coonhound was born. Originally, many other breeds now known with separate names were included in the American English Coonhound breed category.

This breed was first recognized as the English Fox and Coonhound in 1905 by the UKC (United Kennel Club). After other breeds were separated from this breed (like the, now known as, Treeing Walker Coonhound), in 1995, the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club recognized the breed as the American English Coonhound, but was not fully recognized by the AKC until 2011 and did not start competing until 2012.

Personality

This amazing dog loves to exercise and socialize. It loves children and other dogs, even though it might see small dogs as prey. Because of its love for hunting, they tend to wander away following every scent and sound they perceive, so keep them on a leash when you take them for a run. Despite being such a hunting enthusiast, however, this dog is better kept inside the house, if kept outside even with high fences, it will attempt to escape, even by opening doors! Any couch or pile of clothes is susceptible to becoming the perfect place for this dog to nest, and beware of any objects left at their reach, they will smell and eventually bite it, if possible eating it too. This breed is a pack dog and therefore shows a lot of affection towards its family, and if it feels a threat towards them, might become aggressive, although it will not do anything without a command from their owners. They also tend to be very noisy, not only barking but howling multiple times, especially with strangers around its territory, although it will follow them rather than harming them. They can be trained relatively easy but will follow their instincts to pursue prey often.

Health

Due to their athletic nature, this breed tends to be very healthy.

They can, however, suffer from:

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Cataracts, in which the lens of the eye clouds, causing partial or complete loss of vision.

Ear Infections, which can be prevented by constant cleaning of any debris or excess wax.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.

Overheating, even though they don’t have as much fur as other breeds, they can suffer from this during hunts.

Care

Given that this breeds coat is short, the maintenance needed for it is minimum. It needs brushing once a week and its nails should be cut weekly as well. Bathing can be reduced to every four to six weeks or when he’s dirty from hunting and being outside. They need constant exercise to burn their excess energy, so they don’t develop a destructive behavior, and plenty of water to prevent dehydration. Although they love being inside, an outside area is also ideal, and they cannot live in small spaces like apartments.

 

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