Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk

We not sure what year it was that a survey of American veterinary professionals ranked the American English Coonhound as one of the top twelve most “talkative” dog breeds out there, but they did, and we surmise (with tongue in cheek) that it was the gift of gab that (as of 2022) lead to the breed becoming the fastest dog to move from the Miscellaneous group to full AKC recognition: It talked its way into the AKC family in only 545 days.  The breed joined the Miscellaneous Class in 2010, and joined the Hound group in 2011. 

Did anyone notice scorch marks left behind this rapid ascent?

All kidding aside, the alacrity to acceptance wasn’t all that surprising for an old breed dating back 200 years, and acknowledged by the United Kennel Club in 1905 (but registered as the Coonhound and English Foxhound).

Also called the English coonhound and the Redtick Coonhound, the American English Coonhound was the first coonhound bred from true English foxhounds to adapt to the rigorous terrain of America, and, many say, the forefather of almost all the American coonhounds (the Plott is not descended from the English Foxhound). These loyal, social, friendly, and utterly sweet dogs are loved by many hunters for their endurance and speed, though some owners hint that this endurance is due to a strong-willed stubborn nature and one-track mind while tracking a scent for a long time. Speed, too, may be attributed to the breed being the raciest and “tighter-made” of the Coonhound breeds if the Plott, Leopard Hound, and Black and Tan Coonhound are taken out of consideration.

These dogs were designed to both trail and “tree” raccoons (yes, they climb trees), and unsurprisingly, the first major coon dog field trial was won by an American English Coonhound. Not all AECs hunt, but almost of them commonly “chat” with their owners when it’s time to eat, go outside, or discuss world affairs.

But in the end, we suspect that the key to the breed’s quick recognition is that it quickly “ticked” all the boxes needed for recognition: It had a minimum of 150 dogs with three-generation pedigrees in its studbook, it had a viable breed standard, it had 300 dogs in the studbook, 100 active club members, and ten dogs owned by members with Certificate of Merit titles. If anyone knows differently as to why the AEC moved from the Miscellaneous Class to full recognition, we’d love to hear it. 

Image of American English Coonhound in mixed media by Stephen Smith Galleries is available as fine art and in home decor and lifestyle items here

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