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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 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.
15th Nov, 2011 06:37 (UTC)
I think it would be scary if you thought you were being hunted by a pack of almost any* dog.

*With certain exceptios: Peke, Yorkie ...
(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...
14th Nov, 2011 10:50 (UTC)
Very different, hunting a willing quarry that's not going to fight back and is deliberately laying scent rather than trying to obscure it, I would have thought.
(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.
13th Nov, 2011 23:53 (UTC)
That's really strange. A now-deleted LJ friend of mine kulan has four of them, all failed working dogs she's taken on from family and friends who hunt. I assumed they did hunt raccoons (though for vermin control/fun rather than food) but now you mention it, I never heard that said explicitly. I'm not sure what else you'd hunt with a coonhound, though. I will ask her next time I see her in IM, maybe I made a mis-assumption.
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 00:01 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smirnoffmule - 14th Nov, 2011 00:15 (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 00:21 (UTC) - Expand
(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
(no subject) - bunn - 15th Nov, 2011 09:19 (UTC) - Expand
14th Nov, 2011 09:20 (UTC)
The same could also be said of otters - and I met two lovely otterhounds yesterday (though, of course, up to recently they were used to hunt mink - poor breed, having its job constantly taken away!).

Hunting has always been divided into Beasts of Venery (things you can eat) and Beasts of the Chace (vermin) so it's no surprise that the American settlers used their hunting dogs to get rid of the most readily available vermin.
(no subject) - bunn - 14th Nov, 2011 10:37 (UTC) - Expand
15th Nov, 2011 06:38 (UTC)
"The English country gentleman chasing a fox; the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable."
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!
23rd Nov, 2011 10:31 (UTC)
People absolutely do still eat raccoon (and possum, and squirrel) in parts of the US; and they may be hunted for vermin control, fur, and sport as well.

I've never eaten raccoon myself, but I did once boil clean the skull of a rather luckless juvenile 'coon that wandered into my yard and into the way of my dogs some years back and I have to say...it smelled rather appealingly similar to chicken when it was simmering! Folks I've seen talking about raccoon on cooking forums say that the age of the critter, its diet and the way it's cleaned and prepared can all make a big difference in palatability, which sounds reasonable enough. I suspect some of the absolutist horror on sites claiming that ~nobody~ would ever willingly eat that may be coming from a mix of bad experiences with older/inexpertly butchered/poorly-prepared raccoon, and possibly more than a bit of regional/classist disdain -- eating smaller and less-desirable game like raccoon or possum is often stereotyped as a sort of...backwoods, hickish, poor/uneducated sort of thing, so of course it MUST be terrible because otherwise sophisticated, smart city people would be buying it in restaurants for $50 a plate.
(no subject) - bunn - 23rd Nov, 2011 19:50 (UTC) - Expand

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