Showsight Presents The American English Coonhound

the Coonhound breeds. You will find less consistency from dog to dog. One hound may be redtick in color and have a square blocky head and be heavy boned and the next may be lighter boned, short eared and bluetick in color. Learning to appre- ciate these ticked up hounds for their unique attributes is what we strive for… Let’s just start at the head and work our way through the dog… As with most hounds, we want a nice broad head with a kind hound expression and a square muzzle. Th e planes of the skull and the muzzle should be parallel. Preference to the darker eye, black nose and preference to a nice low ear set. Look- ing at the hound straight on, ideally the ears should set approximately at a level with the corner of the eye. Historically I will tell you that there are several lines of English Coonhounds who display shorter ears and higher ear sets. Th at is not pre- ferred but it is present in the breed. In addition, while we do not ever expect an

English Coonhound to display the long ear present in a bloodhound of even the Black and Tan Coonhound, I do not believe any English Coonhound should be disqualified nor heavily faulted for an ear length that extends slightly past the end of the nose. Th is ear is desirable in the breed. Th e neck and topline are significant in this breed. Th ere should be a graceful neck rising from a powerful body taper- ing upward to the skull. To form a nice smooth topline, we always want our Eng- lish Coonhounds to be slightly higher at the withers than at the hips. And by saying slightly higher…that’s exactly correct, this should not be exaggerated. Imagine a fine bead of water running down from the back of the skull, down the neck, across the withers then slow- ing down as that bead reaches the back and across the loin. Th e neck should blend smoothly into the back. Th e ribs of a mature English Coonhound are well

sprung and when seen from above show a definite width tapering to a muscular loin, almost like the waist on a person. Th e tail set lies immediately at the end of the croup and not too low. Th e tail should be carried gaily and not hooked. No excessive brush on the tail is present. From a side profile a nice topline is complimented well by a smooth under- line that tucks up gradually behind float- ing ribs. Th is tuck up should never be exaggerated as with a whippet. Th e rib cage extends down to the elbow show- ing adequate lung space. It is essential that this breed display a good deal of lung space and a racy, powerful body as it is important for a hound to be able to give chase and hunt all night if that is the desire of the owner. Although many hounds are not asked to do this…they should be built to do so. Th is type of body will allow the English Coonhound to achieve the e ff ortless trot characteristic of the breed.

270 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2014

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