Monday, July 4, 2011

AMERICAN ENGLISH COONHOUNDS

It's the 4th of July, which means it's time for me to write about a "Made in America" dog breed.  So I chose the American English Coonhound.  Except that when you look at the name of this breed, it's very confusing because you say, "Is it American or is it English?"  Well, the answer is that it's American, and I'm about to tell you why.  Also I will just mention that this is one of the three newest breeds that the AKC recognized starting on June 1.

Anyway, the American English Coonhound was developed by early American settlers who wanted sort of an all-purpose hunting hound.  So they took the English Foxhound, which was called the Virginia Hound in America, and they added in some Irish and French breeds, plus a little bloodhound.  And the result was a hound that could hunt foxes by day or raccoons by night, over really rough terrain.  Also, the coonhounds could track prey when it went up in trees, which coons often do.

American English Coonhounds are now used to hunt not just raccoons, but also opossums, cougars, deer, boars, bobcats, and bears.  These hounds can run fast, and they can also keep up a trot for several hours, if they need to.  They have really good voices, and they do what is called a "hound bawl," which tells the hunters when the dogs have treed an animal and where.

Besides doing actual hunting, the American English also competes in hunting trials and in conformation.  They have strong, muscular bodies with deep chests.  The males are 24"-26" at the withers, and the females are 23"-25".  The hounds' short coats can be lots of different colors, including red-and-white ticked, blue-and-white ticked, tri-colored with ticking, white-and-black, or red-and-white.

The fact that there is so much variety in the colors of the American English Coonhounds means they have a big gene pool, which is a good thing.  The only genetic health problem they might have is hip dysplasia.

American English Coonhounds make good family dogs because they are very sociable with people and with other dogs.  They like to live in packs, and it doesn't matter if the pack is made of humans or dogs.  They are happy and alert and confident.  Because of their loud hound voices, they can be good watch dogs, but it's probably not a good idea to have them in an apartment or other places with close neighbors.  They need quite a bit of exercise because they are very energetic dogs who were bred to do a job.  But they also really like to curl up on a cushy sofa or bed.

So that's today's blog entry about an all-American dog breed.  And now I will say, "Happy Fourth!"  And I hope your dogs don't get too scared when all the horrible, noisy fireworks are going off!

3 comments:

  1. Omg! This is the most interesting kind of dog breed ever, so that's what they are called because I see 'em alot out side! Oh, and amber was TERRIFIED of the fireworks she wouldn't come out of the bed for hours and I was starting to wish I left her out side but that would've been mean.

    Tas

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Tas,
    There are several kinds of hounds, and they all look alike to me, so who knows which breed of hound you are seeing? LOL Anyway, I think they are all supposed to be really nice dogs, except maybe not so nice to raccoons! I'm sorry that Amber was so scared of the fireworks. At least they are over now for another year, so that's good.
    Piper

    ReplyDelete