American English Coonhound Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

American English Coonhound Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

European settlers first brought the American English Coonhound ancestors to the United States during the 17th and 18th centuries. These coonhounds were hunting dogs to hunt American Red Fox and raccoons. Alongside their owners, the American Coonhound was also used for hunting opossums, deer, cougars, boars, bears, and bobcats. Sharing their hunting hours with their owners makes the American English Coonhounds loyal and people-loving hunting dogs. With enough exercise and time spent outdoors, they become sweet and mellow with their family and other dogs upon their return from the hunt.

The American English Coonhound breed is also called the English Coonhound, Redtick Coonhound, English Coondog, and just plain Coondog. Like many hunting hounds, the American English Coonhounds have two distinct personalities. One that hunts and tracks, and another one that loves to cuddle as close as possible to their human family members when they return from the hunt. American English Coonhounds can be goal-oriented and stubborn when hunting and show off their athleticism when playing outside. They are typically exhausted after a good hunt, causing them to calm down when they are done hunting. American English Coonhounds have an innate pack mentality. They have a pack mentality and enjoy being around other people and dogs, so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. If they misbehave, it is often because of anxiety from being alone or not getting enough exercise and time outside.

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What are the Physical Traits of the American English Coonhound?

The American English Coonhound, a true Southern U.S. dog, loves to hunt. They are hard-working and loud-voiced and the American English Coonhound is one of six official Coonhound breeds. Renowned for its speed, endurance, intelligence, and athleticism, this dog loves to be on the move and is said to be the fastest of them all. Some of the physical traits that make the American English Coonhound the special hunters and companions are listed below. 

Physical Trait




Weight Range

Males and Females between 45 and 75 pounds

Height at the withers

Males and Females between 21 and 27 inches


Broad, muscular, balanced with body




Broad and of moderate length


Rather square, well proportioned in width with the skull


Long ears, hung rather low, reaching nearly at the end of the nose 


Dark brown eyes set wide apart


Strong, straight


Set high, medium-length carried casually, but not hooked over the back.

Exercise Need

They need a lot of exercise and are ideal companions for joggers, cyclists, rollerbladers, etc.

Life Expectancy

10 to 12 years

Comparing the Black and Tan Coonhound with the American English Coonhound shows the two breeds are very similar. Although they share the same height, the Black and Tan Coonhound weighs about 17 pounds more than the American English Coonhound. Both breeds have their origins in the United States, but they do not share the same ancestors. Black and Tan Coonhounds are descendants of the English Talbot Hound, whereas the American English Coonhound was developed in the Southern part of the United States from the variety of English hunting dogs, including English Foxhound, that came to the States with the early settlers.

What are the Characteristics of the American English Coonhound?

American English Coonhounds are easy to train, intelligent, loving, and reasonably easy to groom. However, novice dog parents should know Coonhounds also need lots of physical activity and firm, ongoing physical and mental training. Only those who can keep up with endless play sessions and walks would make a good match with the endless source of energy of the English Coondog. They do best if they have access to very secure yards to roam and play. More characteristic traits of the Coonhound are listed below.

American English Coonhound


Relationship with Family

Friendly, affectionate when not hunting

Relationship with Children 

Friendly, affectionate

Relationship with Other Dogs


Shedding Level


Drooling Level


Coat Type

Rough, hard, short-to-medium

Coat Color

Blue-and-white ticked, red-and-white ticked, red-and-white patched, tri-colored with ticking, lemon and white, and black-and-white patched

Grooming Frequency

Weekly brushing 



Relationship with Strangers


Playfulness Level

Love playing with adults, children, and pets

Adaptability Level

High, although they prefer having yard space

Trainability Level


Energy Levels


Mental stimulation needs


Protective of territory and family

Highly protective and very alert. 

Guard dog ability

They make excellent guard- and watchdogs

What are the Coonhound’s Breed-Related Health Concerns

The American English Coonhounds are predisposed to breed-related health issues as listed below.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy, also called PRA, is an inherited progressive disease of the retina that leads to blindness in affected American Coonhounds. 
  • Acute Canine Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis (ACIP), otherwise known as coonhound paralysis, is a rare disease of dogs involving nerve inflammation and temporary paralysis.
  • Ear infections are common conditions in dogs, especially those with floppy ears, such as Coonhounds, Spaniels, and Bassets.
  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Coonhound grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.

How Does the American English Coonhound Interact with Family?

American English Coonhounds are loyal, loving, and eager to please their human families. Coonhounds do well around kids of all ages, as long as the dogs are introduced early. Because of the American Coonhound’s pack history, it is a sociable dog breed. Coondogs typically return from hunts exhausted, and nothing can please them more than a cuddle on the couch. The loud howl of the Coondogs makes them reliable watchdogs, but because they are so friendly, their guard dog skills might be questionable. When American English Coonhounds are directly challenged, they may react defensively, especially if the family’s safety is at risk. Coondogs will protect their families, but they will not respond with aggression.

How Do American English Coonhounds Interact with Other Dogs? 

American English Coonhounds interact well with other dogs. Bred to be pack dogs, they are friendly when interacting with other dogs, and they can work with other canines when necessary. Families would be advised to arrange socialization training, especially if they have more than one dog.

How Does the American English Coonhound Interact with Strangers?

American English Coonhounds usually interact well with strangers. Early socialization can ensure the Coondogs are comfortable among strangers. However, being wary is good until the American Coonhound is satisfied the strangers pose no danger. They might bark upon first contact, but if all is safe, they will soon enjoy the company of strangers.

How to Feed an American English Coonhound?

How to feed an American English Coonhound depends on the dog’s size, metabolism, activity level, overall health, and life stage. Factors to consider are listed below.

  • Choose a diet for a medium-to-large canine.
  • Choose a diet to provide the necessary nutrition for the Coondog’s activity level. An old Coonhound, retired from hunting, will need fewer calories than an active teen or adult, and a puppy needs more calories than an adult Coondog.
  • A pregnant or lactating mama Coonhound will have special dietary needs.
  • American Coonhounds are not prone to obesity, but overweight coondogs would need a weight loss program with no more than 80% of the usual calorie intake.
  • 3 to 5 cups of high-quality dry kibble a day, divided into two meals, will provide adequate nutrition.

What are the nutritional needs of the American English Coonhound?

When it comes to the diet of American English Coonhounds, you want to focus on overall health and growth. American English Coonhounds need special nutrition to flourish, and puppies need more nutrients than adult dogs. Their diets must include balanced amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. It’s still essential to avoid overfeeding American English Coonhound puppies and adults. Ensure to portion food and limit treats not to exceed 10% of their caloric intake. Balanced nutrition is crucial for American English Coonhounds of all life stages. Buying food labeled for puppies, adults, or seniors is essential, but be sure to choose reputable brands.

Recommended Food Brands are listed below.

  • American English Coonhound Puppies
      • Fresh Option: Nom Nom veterinary nutritionists offer four recipes, including beef, pork, chicken, and duck, combined with real, fresh foods, good enough for people to eat.
      • Dry Kibble Option: As a puppy, your Coonhound needs a minimum of 22% protein and 8% fat in his diet to grow healthy muscle and to provide for his energy needs. A large-breed puppy recipe like American Journey Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Puppy Dry Dog Food will meet his minimum requirements without risking overgrowth. If your puppy grows too fast it could increase his risk for musculoskeletal issues like hip dysplasia as an adult.
  • American English Coonhound Adults
      • Fresh Option: Ollie’s 100% human-grade recipes step up to the plate with real, high-quality ingredients for happier, healthier mealtimes for pups of all ages, breeds, and sizes.
      • Dry Kibble Option: When your Coonhound reaches its full size, it needs a minimum of 18% protein and 5% fat. Holistic Select Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Large Dog Food will provide more protein to maintain lean muscle mass and extra fat that may be needed for highly active dogs. Joint-supporting nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin are also important.
  • American English Coonhound Senior
    • Fresh Option: Farmer’s Dog Choose from a variety of fresh, personally portioned recipes, including chicken, beef, turkey, and more.
    • Dried Kibble Option: Senior dogs need uniquely formulated food like AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Senior Formula. It contains ample protein for lean muscle mass with moderate fat for energy, and it is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as essential nutrients for balanced nutrition.

How Much Should an American English Coonhound Puppy Eat?

The American English Coonhound is a medium-to-large breed. Guidance for feeding Coonhound puppies is listed below.

  • American English Coonhound puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies or food for adult dogs. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • American English Coonhound puppies need a lower-calorie diet than what’s provided by most puppy foods because they’re also prone to hip dysplasia.
  • American English Coonhounds should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • American English Coonhounds with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

American English Coonhounds should eat a healthy, balanced diet because of the intense exercise they need every day. Coonhounds have a tendency to become overweight as they get older, so it’s important to monitor how much food they’re consuming from the time they are puppies. In addition, they have a risk for hip dysplasia, and supplements can keep them feeling healthy.

What are the Exercise Needs of an American English Coonhound?

American English Coonhounds are large dogs that require plenty of running exercise. While 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous walking per day will suffice, they will be easier to handle if they get more exercise. Coondogs are ideal for active families that will take their dogs along when hiking, jogging, cycling, skateboarding, and even swimming. With enough exercise, Coonhounds are content to sprawl and sleep. Without such activities, they will become rambunctious and bored, which they usually express by howling, baying, and destructive chewing.

What is the Shedding Level of an American English Coonhound?

American English Coonhounds’ shedding is typically moderate, but unlike most other dogs that shed mainly when the seasons change, Coonhounds shed more frequently. Frequent brushing will reduce shedding and make the coat softer and cleaner. However, Coonhound owners might notice unusual excessive shedding, which could be a red flag indicating a health issue. The signs that might indicate the need for medical checks are listed below.

  • Poor nutrition
  • Food allergic reactions
  • Parasites, fleas, lice, and so on
  • Pregnancy for female dogs
  • Bacteria problems
  • Kidney, liver, thyroid diseases
  • Cancer
  • Specific medication
  • Immune problems
  • Sunburn
  • Contact with irritating materials
  • Self-caused injury from licking

Discuss any unfamiliar excessive shedding in American English Coonhounds with a vet. You can avoid the most severe health conditions in your Coonhound with early diagnoses.

What are the Social Traits of the American English Coonhound?

The social traits of dogs in the American English Coonhound breed are affectionate and lovable. They crave constant attention, and it is not uncommon for them to forget their size and climb into their owner’s lap. Their social traits are listed below.

  • Child Friendly: American English Coonhounds are kid-friendly and patient canine companions, making them ideal for families with children.
  • Family Friendly: Coondogs are affectionate with their human families and submissive to their masters. However, the innate pack mentality will undoubtedly have the Coondog vie for pack leader status, needing a firm owner to take the lead.
  • Stranger Wary: American Bulldogs watch their owners for cues on how to treat strangers. Any sign of threat to their family will trigger their protective skills.
  • Dog Wary: Properly socialized American Coonhounds will be fine with strange dogs. However, never lose sight of their hunting skills and prey drive. Catching the scent or sight of a small animal might trigger the Coondog’s natural instinct to chase.
  • Seniors Friendly: American English Coonhounds are as friendly with older people as with their other family members. However, their exercise needs might be too much for the elderly, unless the Coondogs are also seniors.
  • Detection and sniffer dogs: American English Coonhounds make excellent detection or sniffer dogs. Many Coonhounds are trained to use their senses, both smell and sight, to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones. American English Coonhound breed is a good choice for detection purposes.
  • Search and rescue dogs: The skills of American English Coonhounds to use their senses to track are invaluable for search and rescue operations in wilderness areas, after natural disasters and mass casualty events to locate missing people.

What are the Adaptability Levels of American English Coonhounds?

American English Coonhounds adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite easily. As long as the loyal and loving relationship between Coonhounds and their human families remain intact, the canines will not have problems with adapting. However, it depends on the Coondogs’ life stage. When they are active pups or adults, apartments without backyards would not likely be ideal. The American English Coonhounds adapt to lifestyle changes and different living environments quite okay usually.

How to Mentally Train an American English Coonhound?

American English Coonhounds are intelligent dogs that need mental and neurological stimulation. It is anything that activates, enriches, and stimulates the Coonhound’s mind. Mental stimulation could be external, using the environment, or internal using thought. This can include using toys, puzzles, other interactive toys, and games like scenting games involving hiding treats to be sniffed out. Hide and seek is another perfect way to stimulate American Coonhounds. Exercise and movement are vital to ensure an American English Coonhound remains flexible and mobile, maintains a healthy weight, and has a low risk of developing medical problems throughout his life. Mental stimulation is essential for an American English Coonhound to function optimally.

Where to Buy or Adopt American English Coonhounds?

An English Coonhound will cost approximately $800-$2,000. This breed is very popular in the U.S., which affects the price. You will most likely pay a higher fee for a show-quality puppy from a top show breeder than getting a typical companion puppy. So as you shop for a puppy, make sure you go to a reputable breeder and avoid sketchy puppy mills, pet stores, and backyard breeders.

However, adopting an American English Coonhound from a rescue center might be possible at about $300.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue center could be challenging because many organizations operate online services that put prospective American English Coonhound owners in touch with available puppies for sale or adoption in their home states or even cities. However, many puppy mills find their customers in the same way. The best way to separate good from bad may be to avoid those offering puppies at low prices or advertising large numbers of puppies available of particular breeds. Responsible breeders have single or maybe two litters of a specific breed at a time, and they typically provide proof of each puppy’s health and tests run to check for genetic diseases. Likewise, rescue centers will not have large numbers of coonhounds at any time.

A few reputable online services are listed below. 

  • Adoptapet: Online service to direct prospective Coonhound parents to rescue centers in their areas.
  • AKC Marketplace: Online service of the American Kennel Club Rescues facilities nationwide.
  • The Westminster Kennel Club, New York, directs those who want to buy from breeders in the right direction.

Importantly, facilities like these listed here will not risk their reputation by putting people in touch with questionable breeders or rescues.

How to Name an American English Coonhound?

Naming an American English Coonhound might require different criteria than new Coondog parents might expect. It is never the actual name the pup responds to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said.

The Building Blocks necessary include tone and syllables as listed below::

  • American English Coonhounds respond best to two-syllable names because the names are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like sit, come, and down. However, they are not long enough to become puzzling. Simple examples include Sadie, Cupcake for girl Coondogs, and Bandit or Buster for boy puppies.
  • American English Coonhound owners set on a specific single-syllable name can go with it, but find a way to stretch the sounds to sound like two, such as “Zack” stretched into “Zaa-hack” and using two different tones when calling him.
  • American English Coonhounds respond most positively to high-pitched, excited, and happy sounds when calling them and soothing, quiet sounds when they get nervous or overzealous.
  • Some American Coonhound parents find their hounds respond and recognize their names better if they say it in a sing-songy voice.

What is the Average Maintenance for an American English Coonhound?

Depending on the breeder, the average price of an American English Coonhound puppy is $1500. Factors that impact the price of an American Coonhound puppy include the bloodline, gender, and show quality. Reportedly, the initial cost and expenses during the first year after buying an American English Coonhound puppy could be between $3000 and $6500. After that, the average annual expenses could be between $2200 and $4500. Potential Coonhound parents must understand the expenses they might encounter. The first year of a Coondog’s life will involve significantly higher vet costs like vaccinations and tests for congenital diseases.

Some of the estimated essential costs are listed below; however, none of the food and water bowls, bedding, toys, etc., are included here.

  • Premium Food & Treats $400 – $900
  • Vet Bills & Preventative Care $700 – $1500
  • Training $20 – $300
  • Registration & Tags $10 – $20
  • Insurance $720 – $1320

What are the Different Types of Coonhounds?

A coonhound, colloquially a coondog, is a type of scenthound, a member of the hound group. They are an American type of hunting dog developed for the hunting of raccoons and also for feral pigs, bobcats, cougars, and bears. There are six distinct breeds of coonhound:

  • American English Coonhound.
  • Bluetick Coonhound.
  • Black and Tan Coonhound.
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound.
  • Redbone Coonhounds.
  • Plott Coonhound.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the American English Coonhound?

American English Coonhounds are scent hounds, hound dogs used for hunting. Hounds can track the days-old scent of another animal while running through fields, brush, or even running water. They are physically built for the hunt, possessing extraordinary tenacity and the endurance to pursue quarry with relentless determination. Scenthound breeds won’t stop until they’ve tracked down the source of the smell. Below is a list of other breeds as good as American English Coonhounds at tracking specific scents.

  1. Basset Hound: Originally bred in France for hunting hare, the name Basset translates into bas (low) with the suffix et (rather low). This speedy yet vertically challenged pooch has an incredible ability to ground-scent, and their naturally strong instinct for the hunt makes them a favorite with hunters.
  2. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen: This pint-sized dog originated around France and Belgium in the 700s. He was ideal for tracking rabbits and small prey through heavy underbrush and brambles due to his short, wiry coat. He was short in stature but big on tenacity. His ability to pick up scents in the harshest conditions made him a popular hunting companion.
  3. German Shorthaired Pointer: This energetic dog with a tremendous sense of smell was bred in Germany back in the 1600s specifically for hunting. They can track scents on both land and water, making them versatile companions for any hunter.
  4. Harrier: This English-bred scenthound has a large nose, open nostrils, and loose lips needed to quickly pick up the scent of any animal they are tracking. They were bred explicitly with shorter legs that allow the hunter to follow them on horse or foot and are known for their prowess in hunting rabbits and other small prey.
  5. Dachshund: German Dachs (“badger”) and Hund (“hound”), and he is the only breed certified to hunt both above and below ground. A keen sense of smell means this weeny scenthound can track wounded animals for miles.
  6. Bluetick Coonhound: This distinctive-looking scenthound has roots in the Deep South, where he was bred to track raccoons and squirrels, cornering them in trees and baying to alert the hunter. His tenacity and ability to track even faint scents make him a natural hunting companion. His name comes from his distinctive blue-tinged coat with a mottled or ticking pattern.
  7. Bloodhound: This mournful-looking scenthound is the granddaddy of all tracking dogs. He dates back to Belgium around 1000 AD, bred for hunting deer and wild boar. It’s said he has such a strong tracking instinct that once he picks up a smell, it can become almost impossible to get back under control until he has trapped the prey.
  8. English Springer Spaniel: This feisty little Brit is a great companion for hunters because of his uncanny ability to pick up an animal’s scent in wet or dry conditions. An excellent gundog, he is known to use the wind to pick up the smell and zigzag back and forth as the wind blows. more about English Springer Spaniel Social life care & diet information.
  9. Black and Tan Coonhound: One look, and you know this U.S. hound has Bloodhound in him. This scenthound is considered capable of tracking everything from bears to cougars, but as his name implies is typically used for tracking raccoons. Long strides, a keen nose, and a loud bay make him a hunting favorite. more about Black and Tan Coonhound Social life care & diet information.
  10. Beagle: This busy little pup with a penchant for baying is considered the best scenthound for hunting rabbits. They have one of the best noses in the doggy hunting world, and their smaller size, speed, and agility make them one formidable tracker. 

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.