AKC Coonhounds

Program Highlights

What Makes Us Special: A Brief Overview

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a not-for-profit organization and was first established in 1884. After existing for more than 125 years, AKC has maintained the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world offering more than 20,000 canine competitions annually.

The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. It is for that reason, AKC offers a coonhound events program.

In 2004 AKC decided to revamp its entire coonhound program and begin with a fresh new set of nite hunt regulations which has formed the foundation of our program today. The primary purpose of this program is to preserve the sport of hunting with hounds and to keep intact those instincts and hunting abilities coonhounds were bred for.

Coonhunting. Made Simple.


We do not charge our clubs any annual fees or initiation fees. We view clubs and their members as volunteers giving back to the sport and we appreciate the work they do. We want to see each club having fun (as well as the dogs) and hold successful events.

* We do not require you to pay any membership fee or make you buy a magazine subscription. We buy the ad space for your convenience particularly to those folks who don’t get online. You can find events, winners and latest news in American Cooner  magazine each month, as well as our own new digital magazine, The Lantern.  Of course this website will always provide the most and current info.

* We do not require an EZ entry card to enter an event, we provide them to you as a courtesy. As long as you know your dog’s number you can enter. EZ Entry cards can be requested any time free of charge for whatever reason – if they are lost, worn out, or you simply would like a new one to reflect your dog’s latest title.

* AKC understands in addition to traveling to hunts and shows and caring for your hounds the registration fees can quickly add up and become expensive. In an effort to keep costs lower, we do not require you to pay for expensive mandatory DNA testing. Instead should the integrity of your dog ever be suspect, we begin an investigation and we provide for the testing. However, DNA testing at a reasonable price is always available if you choose to have it done and we provide 4 additional markers than is typically provided. If someone else has issue with your dog’s pedigree there is a DNA complaint policy that must be followed. 

* AKC understands not all clubs are the same. Some have larger budgets, some have more members, some have their own clubhouse and some don’t. So, we offer clubs the flexibility to hold whichever type hunt suits them best. Ie- money, poor boy, youth, trophy, heritage or a double header. We also give clubs the ability to set their own entry fees and deadline times. We believe clubs should have the freedom to pick and choose what works best for them.

* We are not large fund managers that you must pay into, or hit clubs up for donations for prizes or awards. The only fees we ever require is a flat $25 license fee to reserve a date and $3.50 per dog entered. Should a club book an event and they have no dogs attend, we ask for nothing in return. We also give clubs the opportunity to pay their $25 after the event if it works best for them.

* AKC hunts focus on a “beat the dogs you draw” system where cast wins earned with plus points govern all (earning of titles, leader boards, qualifiers to major hunts). In 2013 we introduced a very basic points system called the EZ Point System. This system follows in line with the “beat the dogs you draw” concept, giving points to those dogs who won their cast. We do not offer an elaborate point system or work on money earned by a dog. Cast wins earned with plus points will always be recognized towards a title which is immediately mailed once a dog completes the title requirement.

* Knowing that most people today don’t want to be stuck behind at the clubhouse we do allow Hunt Directors and Hunt Chairmen to go hunting. Hunt Directors are in charge of the event operations and are responsible for all the paperwork. HDs or MOHs can be grandfathered in from other registries or apply as a newbie. They cannot however, be part of the hunt committee selection process or in settling disputes in their own cast.

* To insure the integrity and quality of our events, AKC’s CODE OF SPORTSMANSHIP, is a required code that must be followed by all. We believe it is especially important to instill good sportsmanship in our younger participants and for our more experienced to lead by example.

*  The AKC Coonhound Events Program is not run by any one individual but instead by a team made up of knowledgeable coonhound folks from N,S,E,W and together bring more than 80 years experience. This Team always welcomes feedback and is never afraid to try new things. The team is constantly working together to carefully provide a program that’s simple to understand, fair to participants and best rewards the accomplishments of coonhounds whether in the woods, water, field or on the bench.