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  • Temperament: Sweet, Mellow, Sociable
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 170 of 194
  • Height: 24-26 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 45-65 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-12 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

American English Coonhound standing sideways facing left
American English Coonhound head facing left
American English Coonhound sitting in three-quarter view
American English Coonhound coat detail
American English Coonhound

Find a Puppy: American English Coonhound

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

Renowned for speed and endurance, the American English Coonhound has a strong but racy body, a deep chest with plenty of lung room, a strong back, broad loin and well-defined musculature. A balanced, powerful dog with no exaggerated parts, the American English possesses the grace and attitude of a well-conditioned athlete.

HEAD

The head is broad and of moderate length. Expression-Kind, houndy. Eyes-Dark brown pigmentation, wide apart. Fault: Drooping lids. Ears-Hung rather low, reaching nearly at the end of the nose when drawn out. Fine texture, soft to the touch. Faults: Flat, stiff to the touch cocked. Skull-Very slightly domed, broad between the ears. Fault: Narrow skull. Stop-Prominent. Muzzle-Rather square, well proportioned in width with the skull. Flews covering the lower jaw from the side view. Planes-The stop forms a right angle with the upper line of the muzzle. A line from occiput to brow is a little above, and parallel to a line from eye to nose. Nose-Black. Faults: Pink or white pigmentation. Bite-Scissors bite with upper incisors fitting closely over the lower. Disqualifications: Undershot or overshot.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

Neck-Muscular, moderate length, fits smoothly into the shoulders and rising with a slight taper to the skull. Carriage-Moderate, reaching slightly forward in the trot. Faults: Neck carried overly high or low. Thickness at shoulders. Topline-Slightly higher at withers than at hips. Strong. Chest- Should reach to the elbow. Shows considerable depth rather than excessive width, allowing optimum lung space. Ribs-Well-sprung with good depth, tapering gradually to floating ribs. Underline and Tuck up-Tight and smooth without exaggeration. Fault: Sagging underline. Back-Muscular, blending well with the neck when the head is held alertly. Fault: Roached. Loin-Broad, well muscled. Tail-Set high, carried gaily but not hooked over back. Medium length, slight brush. Faults: Plume or rat tail.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders and Angulation-Clean, gradually sloped down from the withers to the point of shoulder, muscular, balanced with body, showing freedom of movement and strength. Fault: Protruding shoulders. Forelegs-Straight from side or front view, well boned, set well apart, muscular. Pastern-Strong and straight. Feet-Set directly under leg, round, catlike, well-padded, strong arch over toes. Nails-Strong.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation-in balance with the forequarters. Legs-Strong, straight when viewed from the rear. Thigh-muscular without being coarse.

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American English illustration

About the American English Coonhound

Standing as high as 26 inches at the shoulder, English are deep-chested, sweet-faced athletes beloved by sportsmen for their speed and endurance. Stretched tightly across the athletic frame is a medium-length coat of various patterns, some with ticking. The head is broad with a domed skull, with soft, low-hung ears and dark-brown eyes that glow with warmth and kindness.

English are mellow when off duty but tenacious and stubborn in pursuit of their ring-tailed prey. Their work drive and energy, the patience it takes to train them for things other than coon hunting, and their loud, ringing bark can make English a bad fit as house pets for novice owners. Some passionate fans of American English Coonhounds feel that without a sporting outlet for this breed’s houndy virtues, you’re simply wasting a good dog.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
American English Coonhound

Find a Puppy: American English Coonhound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find American English Coonhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The American English Foxhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Remember that a working dog requires a very different food than one who lives a more sedentary life. Coonhounds are prone to getting overweight as they age, so be mindful of your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Good nutrition influences the shine and texture of your American English Coonhound’s coat from the inside, but he will still need regular grooming to be at his best. His short, hard, protective coat requires a minimum of care. Using a shedding tool or a grooming mitt with rubber nubs at least weekly will help to keep his shedding to a minimum. This also distributes skin oils down the hair shaft, giving his coat a natural shine. His nails should be trimmed once a month, and a bath every four to six weeks will keep the coat and skin clean and healthy, and reduce doggy odor. His ears should be checked weekly and gently cleaned of any excess wax or debris.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

With his high energy level and innate desire to be part of a pack, whether human or canine, the American English is an ideal candidate as a companion for someone who is an active runner, biker, or hiker. He needs a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. The breed has a very strong prey drive, so should never be allowed off leash in an uncontrolled situation, as he will not be able to resist the instinct to follow an interesting scent he detects with his sensitive nose. He requires a fenced area where he can run freely. Chasing a ball in his backyard can be an excellent source of exercise.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Following through with proper early socialization of your American English Coonhound is paramount, or your puppy may become possessive over food or toys in your home. The key to a well-adjusted, mentally healthy dog is to have him experience positive interactions with many different kinds of people in a variety of places and situations. Like many hounds, English dogs have a split personality: tenacious, tireless, and stubborn on the trail, but at home these spirited hunters are sweetly amiable companions. Still, the breed’s limitless prey drive and energy, the patience it takes to train them for anything other than coon hunting, and their tendency to bark in a loud, ringing voice make them most appropriate for experienced dog owners.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Alert/Responsive

HEALTH

Still bred primarily as a hard-working dog, which must have an efficient physical condition, the American English Coonhound is generally a healthy breed. Responsible breeders will screen their stock for health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia as well as eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. His ears should be checked regularly to remove excess wax and debris. Like other large and deep-chested breeds, he can experience bloat, a sudden, life-threatening stomach condition. Owners should learn the signs of bloat and what to do should it occur.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

No recommended health tests

American English Coonhound
American English Coonhound
American English Coonhound
American English Coonhound
American English Coonhound

History

The American English Coonhound is American by birth, English by ancestry. They’re one of six AKC coonhound breeds that frontiersmen devised to specialize on trailing and treeing North America’s perfect source of food, fat, and fur: the raccoon. It’s said that English are descended from English Foxhounds brought to America in the early 1800s. Foxhunting had been a popular pastime in Great Britain’s southern colonies in America since the late 1600s. George Washington maintained an avid interest in English-style horse-and-hound foxhunts even as he commanded the army that would deprive England of its American colonies. Importations of English Foxhounds during America’s formative years refreshed the gene pool used by Colonial breeders to create America’s coonhound breeds.

Backwoods breeders crossed foxhounds with other breeds to create the American English, once known as the English Fox and Coonhound, as it could hunt foxes by day and raccoons by night. As the breed came to specialize on nocturnal raccoon hunts, it acquired its current name. (The breed was also known for a time as the Redtick Coonhound and, simply, the English Coonhound.) Since Colonial times, the American English has been immensely popular among the tight fraternity of coon hunters. “If I couldn’t have an English hound,” a veteran cooner tells says, “I’d give up hunting.” Today’s American English is considered by some experts as the fastest of the coonhound breeds.

Did You Know?

Capable of a loud howl, the American English Coonhound can be an excellent watchdog, but he’s actually too friendly to perform well as a guard dog.
The American English Coonhound prefers to be in a pack and generally gets on well with other dogs.
It is sometimes called the Redtick Coonhound.
These dogs are agile, possess great endurance, and have the unique ability to climb trees.
The American English Coonhound is AKC’s 171st breed.
The American English Coonhound made its first appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 2012.
The American English Coonhound has been assigned the Hound Group designation.
The American English Coonhound has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1995.
A 2012 poll of american veterinarians rated the American English Coonhound among the top 12 most "talkative" breeds.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Renowned for speed and endurance, the American English Coonhound has a strong but racy body, a deep chest with plenty of lung room, a strong back, broad loin and well-defined musculature. A balanced, powerful dog with no exaggerated parts, the American English possesses the grace and attitude of a well-conditioned athlete.

HEAD

The head is broad and of moderate length. Expression-Kind, houndy. Eyes-Dark brown pigmentation, wide apart. Fault: Drooping lids. Ears-Hung rather low, reaching nearly at the end of the nose when drawn out. Fine texture, soft to the touch. Faults: Flat, stiff to the touch cocked. Skull-Very slightly domed, broad between the ears. Fault: Narrow skull. Stop-Prominent. Muzzle-Rather square, well proportioned in width with the skull. Flews covering the lower jaw from the side view. Planes-The stop forms a right angle with the upper line of the muzzle. A line from occiput to brow is a little above, and parallel to a line from eye to nose. Nose-Black. Faults: Pink or white pigmentation. Bite-Scissors bite with upper incisors fitting closely over the lower. Disqualifications: Undershot or overshot.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

Neck-Muscular, moderate length, fits smoothly into the shoulders and rising with a slight taper to the skull. Carriage-Moderate, reaching slightly forward in the trot. Faults: Neck carried overly high or low. Thickness at shoulders. Topline-Slightly higher at withers than at hips. Strong. Chest- Should reach to the elbow. Shows considerable depth rather than excessive width, allowing optimum lung space. Ribs-Well-sprung with good depth, tapering gradually to floating ribs. Underline and Tuck up-Tight and smooth without exaggeration. Fault: Sagging underline. Back-Muscular, blending well with the neck when the head is held alertly. Fault: Roached. Loin-Broad, well muscled. Tail-Set high, carried gaily but not hooked over back. Medium length, slight brush. Faults: Plume or rat tail.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders and Angulation-Clean, gradually sloped down from the withers to the point of shoulder, muscular, balanced with body, showing freedom of movement and strength. Fault: Protruding shoulders. Forelegs-Straight from side or front view, well boned, set well apart, muscular. Pastern-Strong and straight. Feet-Set directly under leg, round, catlike, well-padded, strong arch over toes. Nails-Strong.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation-in balance with the forequarters. Legs-Strong, straight when viewed from the rear. Thigh-muscular without being coarse.

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American English illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black Check Mark For Standard Color 007
Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 018
Blue Check Mark For Standard Color 037
Brown Check Mark For Standard Color 061
Red Check Mark For Standard Color 140
Red & White Check Mark For Standard Color 146
Tri-Colored Check Mark For Standard Color 380
White & Tan 217

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Ticked Check Mark For Standard Mark 013

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