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Many many coonhound photos

Darwin has settled in very well. He doesn't seem too worried about being here. Most of the time apart from on walks, he is asleep! Not sure if it has really sunk in yet that his people aren't coming back for him, but with a bit of luck that will sink in gradually... He is great with the cats, pretty good with other dogs (except Az finds him a bit annoying), clean in the house. Oh yes, and kid-friendly too. He is, however, a bit of a saggedy baggedy old dog to look at...

Hounds come in some very different shapes. Mollydog makes Darwin look extra-dumpy. Poor Darwin!

If I didn't know he was a coonhound, I'd have guessed some sort of basset cross, though his foxhoundy relatives are fairly obvious as well.

Sniffin' sniffin' sniffin!

Upside down

Upside down with *particularly* ridiculous ears...

If I'm honest, Az doesn't like Darwin all that much. Darwin likes Az, except that if he gets carried away with sniffin' sniffin' sniffin at Az, Az becomes peeved and eventually scruffs him. No real damage done, so I'm hoping Darwin will learn to treat Az a little more carefully. That said, both Az and Darwin *really* like home made sardine cake, which causes all differences to be forgotten.

Darwin and his equally lumpy shadow...

Utterly ridiculous ears which flap dramatically in the breeze.


13th Nov, 2011 21:51 (UTC)
The coonhound is a breed of hunting dog from the southern USA. I'm not sure if they are all kind of lumpen, or if that's just him! :-D
13th Nov, 2011 23:02 (UTC)
Yes I'd gathered the where from the name(!), he is cute though.
13th Nov, 2011 23:06 (UTC)
I've been told that the name is actually derived from the Welsh 'Cwn' meaning dog, though Darwin's owners thought it was because they were bred for hunting raccoons. But they were Canadian, so I'm not sure that they knew!
13th Nov, 2011 23:11 (UTC)
Raccoon seems a more likely possibility but you have to wonder ;-)
13th Nov, 2011 23:38 (UTC)
If you mean escaped slaves, it is usually said that they used bloodhounds for that. Bloodhounds are specifically developed to hunt human beings, because they are very difficult to hide a scent from, even if it is very cleverly disguised.

Coonhounds are specifically bred to hunt things that climb trees. You let them loose in a wood, where they work independently to chase whatever they can find until it goes up a tree - then they stop at the bottom of the tree and bark persistently until the hunter catches up with them. Tests of coonhound training involve the ability to go on giving voice for hours on end. (The hunter eventually turns up and blasts whatever it is up the tree with a shotgun. Sophisticated! )

Possibly you could hunt people with coonhounds, but coonhounds are not particularly large, and are not developed to grab their prey but to tree it so I'm not sure they would be particularly well adapted for the job. (Bloodhounds usually hunt on lead, rather than independently like coonhounds or foxhounds)

The modern guard dog which can be released to take down a suspect on command but also walk safely through a crowd of strangers seems to be quite a modern notion: I am really not convinced that in the American Deep South, they would have had the ability to train dogs so precisely, to bring a specific human being to bay without being a general menace.
13th Nov, 2011 23:44 (UTC)
... though no doubt it would be very scary if you *thought* you were being hunted by coonhounds, even if the dogs were actually just running round chasing random squirrels & raccoons and had no idea what they were advertised as doing.
(no subject) - wellinghall - 15th Nov, 2011 06:37 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 15th Nov, 2011 08:36 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 15th Nov, 2011 08:37 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wellinghall - 18th Nov, 2011 08:35 (UTC) - Expand
14th Nov, 2011 09:29 (UTC)
Bloodhounds usually hunt on lead, rather than independently like coonhounds or foxhounds)

Not nowadays in the UK where there are a number of packs that hunt 'drag' off the lead. I remember looking out of the car window and wondering why the heck there were so many bloodhounds running around one day...
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 10:50 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lil_shepherd - 14th Nov, 2011 13:46 (UTC) - Expand
13th Nov, 2011 23:16 (UTC)
They do hunt raccoons, though. It would be a bit odd if their name was completely unrelated to that. Stranger things have happened though, I guess.

I think I love him, lumps and all. He looks like a beagle that's been overstuffed <3
13th Nov, 2011 23:40 (UTC)
The coonhound resource I found said that raccoons tasted so horrible that no sane person would hunt them - BUT of course the same would apply to the foxhound and I don't think anyone is claiming the foxhound isn't named after the fox!

He is quite sweet. I think he looks a bit bassetty. He's a portly gentleman, but not quite as fat as he looks in the photos, he does have a bit of a barrel chest, it's not just flab.
(no subject) - smirnoffmule - 13th Nov, 2011 23:53 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 00:01 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smirnoffmule - 14th Nov, 2011 00:15 (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - smirnoffmule - 14th Nov, 2011 00:26 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 10:42 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smirnoffmule - 15th Nov, 2011 03:18 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 15th Nov, 2011 08:59 (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - inamac - 14th Nov, 2011 09:20 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 10:37 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - wellinghall - 15th Nov, 2011 06:38 (UTC) - Expand
14th Nov, 2011 09:32 (UTC)
I've read a number of books where people hunted raccoons with Coon Hounds - and there are quite a large number of types, all of which are bred to hunt raccoon and/or opossum. People do eat opossum, at least they used to. Raccoons are considered a menace in various parts of the US.
14th Nov, 2011 10:39 (UTC)
Wikipedia thinks that they are also used to hunt mountain lion and bears, though the idea of poor old Darwin confronting a bear - other than a teddy bear - is both horrifying and amusing!
(no subject) - smillaraaq - 23rd Nov, 2011 10:31 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 23rd Nov, 2011 19:50 (UTC) - Expand
23rd Nov, 2011 09:38 (UTC)
What a charming old fellow, and what a surprise to see such a old-fashioned Southern sort of dog so very far from home! From his coloring and markings he looks most like a redtick "English" coonhound to me, although he's rather chunkier around the middle than you'd usually expect to see on a working hunting dog...the coonhound breeds usually have some amount of sagginess in the jowls and big ol' floppy ears, but ideally they should be somewhat more trim through the torso! ;) Perhaps he's got a bit of bloodhound somewhere back in his family tree?
23rd Nov, 2011 19:47 (UTC)
He is a very long way from home! None of the volunteers for our rescue had ever seen a coonhound before...

I wondered if he might be a cross, but I *think* that he's starting to firm up a bit around the midriff now that he's getting a lot more offlead time and general exercise. According to his previous owners he was used to spending a great deal of time crated :-/
24th Nov, 2011 02:43 (UTC)
Awww, bless...I'm sure some nice healthful exercise and play will do the old boy wonders!

This site looks to be run by active hunting-coonhound enthusiasts and has quite a few photos of the different breed types, links to breeders' sites with more photos, etc. -- the general conformation of most of those dogs is more on foxhoundish sort of lines through the body, although often a bit heavier in the skull, bigger-eared and jowlier and so on. My grandfather kept working coonhounds for much of his life, mostly blueticks, and while they were long before my time, the hounds in his old family photos definitely had waistlines!

I still wouldn't be hugely shocked if he was possibly mixed with something, as I know that a lot of the hunting enthusiasts here will tend to purpose-breed non-registered working coonhounds, pigdogs, etc. from a mix of their favored types -- and of course there are always the odd chance-bred mixes from strays and careless pet owners; coonhound mixes are sadly not at all uncommon in some Southern shelters. This dedicated rescue has pics of a few random coonhound mixes, for instance: http://www.carolinacoonhoundrescue.com/Happy_Endings.html; the shelter where I adopted my pibble and elkhound regularly brings in dogs from some more overstretched rural shelters, and those transfer pups tend to be mostly similar coonhoundy and beagly types.
24th Nov, 2011 08:52 (UTC)
If you look at him from above, he does have a waist - it's just... sagged a bit :-D

Darwin has only ever been a pet, according to previous owner, and I'm sure they didn't select Puppy Darwin for his fine working lines, there could be a bit of anything in there! (X potato, possibly :-D)

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