When it comes to speed, endurance, intelligence, and athleticism, the American English Coonhound, one of the six Coonhound breeds, ranks high on the list. If you own a Coonhound, you probably know very well what we’re talking about. Good with children and friendly with strangers, this breed is the ideal companion for active owners who enjoy spending time outdoors with their high-energy pets. Because he loves to be on the move so much, the American English Coonhound also has his “downsides” such as vigorous exercise requirements, rowdiness and exuberant jumping as well as stubbornness. Learn how you can manage or avoid these negative traits by providing them with proper physical and mental stimulation.
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The Root of the Behavior
Originally used to hunt foxes, raccoons, and other wild creatures, American English Coonhounds were brought to the United States from Europe, particularly from England, as early as the 1500’s. Their history goes a long way back, to the time of the first British colonies of North America and their favorite pastime: fox hunting. During that time, the American English Coonhound needed to adapt to the new environment and the new wildlife. So while in England, most creatures escaped down a burrow to evade pursuit, in America they climbed trees. Today, we can see the results of this centuries-old adjustment in the American Coonhound. Since they are hunting dogs used to trap animals in various surroundings, this breed will make it next to impossible for the neighborhood squirrels to hide out in your front yard trees. In particular, this dog is known to be highly skilled at hunting foxes, opossums and cougars, although it had also been used to track down deer, boars, bobcats, and bears.
Having such a high-level energy and a very well developed prey drive, the American English Coonhound requires consistent training and lots of patience. They are increasingly competitive in outdoor canine sports, such as field trials, tracking, agility, and obedience, so they need all the exercise they can get. If they are not properly trained or socialized, they can develop behavioral issues and will become bored, depressed, frustrated, anxious, and hyperactive. Inappropriate greetings can also be a problem with this breed, so most of the time you will see them jump up excitedly on people and lick their faces. They can also become destructive and may not do well in households with small pets, as most breed members will chase and attempt to kill almost any non-canine animal that they come across.
Encouraging the Behavior
Given that this breed requires higher levels of daily exercise, you should give your American English Coonhound at least 45 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day. If you enjoy the great outdoors and need an energetic hunting partner… even better. American English Coonhounds require a great deal of mental and physical stimulation to be content. They make great jogging partners and are always up for a good game of fetch, so make sure you bring them along for any physical activity you deem fit. If you don’t have enough time to exercise and socialize this type of dog, you should definitely consider a different breed.
You need to make sure you are prepared for the high exercise demands of the American English Coonhound before you bring them home. More so, you’ll need to keep your dog on a secure leash at all times when they are not in a fully enclosed area. That is because, due to their exploratory nature, American English Coonhounds are anxious to follow every possible interesting scent and sound. This also applies to your home security, so beware of inadequately fenced yards and open gates on your property. The American English Coonhound will always find a way to escape, mostly because of their strong instinct to chase and tree other animals.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Training is essential for the healthy development of your American English Coonhound. If you want to be successful at teaching him proper obedience and submission, you will need to have a kind but firm hand to achieve this. In other words, you should maintain a calm, confident, and consistent authority as leader of the pack. As an independent thinker, the American English Coonhound will be very stubborn and stuck in his ways. You will need to provide him with extra motivation to teach him proper manners and basic obedience skills. Above all, maintain a steady, consistent and gentle approach when you’re socializing and training them.
American English Coonhounds love to explore and are great tracking dogs who require daily exercise… and a lot of it. Are you up to the challenge? If not, get ready to deal with some behavioral issues such as destructiveness, excessive barking, hyperactivity, and exuberant jumping, especially when they are young. As long as you provide them with enough physical stimulation and proper socialization, you will have the best hunting companion and jogging partner you could ask for.