When the Black and Tan Coonhound was recognized by the AKC in 1945, we had 71 years to learn how to identify the breed (made easier by it being the only AKC recognized Coonhound). Some of us, however, were a bit challenged when more recently, four more Coonhounds gained AKC recognition in four years (technically, make that five in six years since Plotts, recognized in 2006, are classified as coonhounds).
The Redbone Coonhound is easy to spot, it’s solid red. The Bluetick is also easier to recognized because it is mottled black. The American English Coonhound, however, is another story for many of us. Some may mistake it for an English Foxhound, but the American English Coonhound has longer ears, and the English Foxhound is more apt to be tan with white trim and a black saddle. AEC can be tri-colored with ticking, red and white, white and black, red and white ticked, and blue and white ticked.
The American English Coonhound can get confused with the American Foxhound, but the American Foxhound is slighter, has shorter ears, more arch to its topline, less apt to have ticking in its coat, and like the English Foxhound, is more likely will be tan with a black saddle and white trim. Finally, some might mistake the American English Coonhound for a Harrier, but a Harrier is far smaller, less likely to have ticking in its coat, more likely to be tan with a black saddle and white trim, and has shorter ears.
Bronze figure of an American English Coonhound by Alfred E. Dubucand (1828-1894)