American English Coonhounds are true American dogs bred for speed, endurance and hunting talents. They have athletic bodies with broad chests and muscular frames. Their hindquarters, forequarters and backs are powerful, supporting their effortless gait and tremendous stamina. American English Coonhounds look like the hound dogs they are, with long, low set, soft droopy ears, squared-off muzzles and gentle, houndy expressions. Their high-set tails should be carried gaily but never hooked over the back and should be neither skinny and rat-like nor excessively furry and plumed. This breed has a slightly domed skull and a broad head that should be carried well up (but not fully perpendicular) on a nicely arched neck, giving the impression of alertness and self-confidence.
Size and Weight
American English Coonhounds are medium-to-large-sized dogs. The American Kennel Club standard provides that mature males should be between 24 and 26 inches tall measured at the withers, and adult females should range from 23 to 25 inches in height. The United Kennel Club standard is a bit more relaxed, requiring males to be between 22 and 27 inches and females between 21 and 25 inches in height. Both registries specify that the dog’s weight should be proportional to its height, although neither club has weight restrictions. American English Coonhounds typically weigh somewhere between 40 and 75 pounds. The breed has been compared to a slightly lighter-built Labrador Retriever in terms of height and weight.
Coat and Color
American English Coonhounds have rough, hard, short-to-medium coats that provide excellent protection against brush, weather and other harsh environmental conditions. They come in a number of colors and color combinations, including red-and-white ticked, blue-and-white ticked, tri-colored with ticking, red-and-white patched and black-and-white patched. The UKC also recognizes a lemon-and-white variety. There are no solid-colored American English Coonhounds, and typically no single color predominates. Excessive red or black is a fault in the AKC show ring, as is tri-coloring without ticking and solid-coloring with less than 10% ticking. Any brindling (striping) is a disqualification under both the AKC and UKC standards, which means that brindle-marked dogs cannot compete in conformation shows.
The American English Coonhound's short, close-fitting coat is easy to care for. This certainly is not a breed that requires religious grooming or meticulous trimming. However, they do shed quite a bit throughout the year and should be brushed regularly to keep household hair build-up at bay. A thorough brushing once a week with a clean, firm-bristled brush should suffice. Coonhounds don’t need to be bathed very often. Usually, they only require a good shampooing after they have romped in mud puddles or otherwise had a particularly eventful frolic in the out-of-doors. Of course, a bath is an excellent idea after a Coonhound is sprayed by a skunk or rolls in any of the wild animal or livestock feces that they find so appealing. It’s a good idea to brush them before their bath, to minimize the mess caused by excess dirt and hair. Owners can discuss a dental care regimen with their veterinarian. They should clip their Coonhounds’ nails monthly, or as often as necessary to keep them fairly short and tidy.