The American English Coonhound, originally known as the Virginia Hound, is an American version of the English Coonhound. The English version of the coonhound descended primarily from the English Foxhound and others from Ireland and France where they were then brought to the Southern United States during the 17th and 18th centuries. With a name coming from the shortened form of "raccoon hound," these hard-working dogs were bred for their speed, endurance, and loud bark to hunt various animals such as raccoon, fox, deer, and wild boar. The Treeing Walker and Bluetick Coonhounds were also considered to be American English Coonhounds until 1945 when they were all deemed separate breeds. Today, these hounds are just one of six coonhound breeds that also include the Black and Tan Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, and Plott Hound.
Loud-mouthed and hard-working, the American English Coonhound was built for the outdoors. They have a strong back, wide chest, well-defined muscles, and a hard, mid-length, short coat to protect them from the elements. An avid hunter, this hound is the definition of a great athlete that is known for their speed and endurance. The breed has dark eyes, soft low-hanging ears, and a square-shaped muzzle with a dark-colored nose. The medium-length tail of the American English is slightly bushed and sits high over the back.
Good-natured and playful, American English Coonhounds make an excellent family companion and can be a wonderful playmate for children of all ages. These intelligent hounds are considered to be fairly easy to train and are best suited for an owner who possesses a kind, but firm hand during obedience training. Due to their sociable personality and hunting nature, they get along especially well with other dogs, also indoor cats and small animals if properly socialized, but can be noisy from their loud barking and howling, making them not recommended for apartments or quiet neighborhoods. Although they can be attentive and watchful, these lovable hounds will alert you to strangers on the property but will quickly make friends with anyone who gives them attention. American English Coonhounds, like many other breeds with hunting backgrounds, should always be kept on a leash or within a securely fenced yard when outdoors to avoid runaways from distractions. To no surprise, these rambunctious hounds have a lot of energy to burn which can cause them to be destructive or hyperactive when bored but would be a great dog to have as a running or cycling partner. Confident and friendly, the American English Coonhound is an adaptable breed that fits in well with a variety of households from families with children to avid hunters.