Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Featured Animal: American Coonhound

By Azanimals @azanimals
American Coonhound American Coonhound History and Domestication
The American Coonhound (also commonly known as the Black and Tan Coonhound) is a large breed of domestic Dog that is native to North America. The American Coonhound is thought to have been developed by tribesmen in the mountains in the 1700s, who required a large Dog for both protection and to help with hunting. By crossing the Bloodhound with the Black and Tan Foxhound, a breed was created that was very large in size and had an immense sense of smell like the Bloodhound, but one that was also much quicker. One of the most common uses of the American Coonhound was to hunt generally small animals, particularly Raccoons, but they could also been trained to hunt much larger prey including Deer and even Bears.

American Coonhound American Coonhound Physical Characteristics
Like the other breeds of Coonhound to which the American Coonhound is closely related, it is among the largest breeds of domestic Dog found in America today. Their large and muscular body means that although they can indeed catch and kill prey, they are better known for their incredible endurance and stamina, and their adaptability in difficult conditions. Their thick coat is black or tan in colour, with distinctive markings on their face and chest. They have very long, strong legs making them incredibly fast and they can also easily adapt to different terrains, struggling little in the mountains or in temperature extremes. The American Coonhound has a deep, booming bark, which alerts their owner to the location of either prey or the awareness of approaching danger.

American Coonhound
American Coonhound Behaviour and Temperament
The American Coonhound is a generally very sociable breed of domestic Dog, mainly because they were originally bred to hunt in packs. They are gentle, kind and loyal to their owner, and will obey commands willingly, although their independent nature can make them stubborn at times. The American Coonhound is however, known to have a slightly dominant streak, with behavioural problems occurring if their owner does not assert themselves as the alpha male of the pack. The American Coonhound is an intelligent and good-natured hunter, known to be passionate and happiest when it is working. They are extremely dedicated to the task at hand, and are often eager to please their owner.

American Coonhound
American Coonhound Breeding
The American Coonhound was created by crossing the Bloodhound (from where it gets it's size and smell) with the Black and Tan Foxhound (where it's colouration and agility came from). These domestic breeds are thought to have first appeared in North America with the European colonists in the 1600s, when they were primarily used for hunting and protection. The American Coonhound does however, also make a popular companion and was officially registered by the American Kennel Club in 1945. Today, there tend to be two types of the American Coonhound bred throughout North America, which are the individuals bred as working Dogs, and those that are bred for shows and competitions.

American Coonhound Interesting Facts and Features
Although the American Coonhound is indeed loyal and good-natured, their exceptional sense of smell can sometimes distract them from what they are supposed to be doing. They will often stubbornly follow a new scent trail and will independently go in search of it's cause. Despite being a popular household pet today, the American Coonhound was primarily bred for chasing Raccoons up trees. The Dog would then sit below the tree and bark loudly to alert it's owner of the Coon's presence. They were also used to hunt much larger animals including Deer and Elk, Bears and even Mountain Lions.

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