Plott Coonhound

Breed At A Glance


Loyal, loving and quick to learn, extremely courageous on the hunt

Life Expectancy
12-14 years

Average Height
20-25 inches

Average Weight
45-60 lbs

Coat Color
Brindle, slate blue or buck skin, or combinations including black

Coat Length/Texture
Short, glossy and dense

Shedding Propensity
Consistent year round

Also known as Plott Hound

General Temperament

The loyal Plott Hound makes both a topnotch hunter and a loving family pet. On the hunt, this scent hound is focused and fearless; in the home, it is enthusiastic, friendly and affectionate. They possess fantastic endurance for all-day or all-night hunts. Although they are a fairly rare breed, their hunting expertise is well-known amongst American sportsmen.

Although they make excellent family companions, Plott Hounds are most often kept primarily as hunting dogs. They get along well with children and other family dogs, but have a natural tendency to defend the home territory against strangers.

This intelligent breed wants to please it’s owner and is easy to train, although training and socialization should begin early in the dog’s life. The Plott Hound’s diversity is highly valuable to hunters, as they can be trained to hunt both large and small land game on almost any terrain year-round.

The energetic Plott Hound loves the outdoors and are not recommended for apartment life. Dogs of this breed will be happy living outside – provided, of course, that they have proper shelter – and are accustomed to having lots of room to roam. Plotts are happiest when they have a job to do; as such, they are not appropriate for a sedentary or apathetic owner.

Breed History

The Plott Hound is so-named for Johannes George Plott who, after emigrating from Germany to the U.S. in the 1750’s, bred dogs at his new mountain home in Bute County, North Carolina, to hunt bear and boar. The original stock included Hanoverian Hounds (a relative of the Bloodhound) that Plott brought with him from Germany, as well as local mixed breeds. Over many generations, the Plott family expanded across the local Smoky Mountain area, yet still bred their dogs exclusively within the family. Only rarely were outside dogs included in their breeding program, moves which were made exclusively to revitalize the breed when absolutely necessary. Eventually, the breed’s hunting prowess expanded beyond bear and boar to include raccoon and mountain lions. But despite their legendary expertise, Plott Hounds are rare outside of the Southeastern United States, as they were rarely sold outside of the the Plott family.

The Plott Hound gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 2007.

Body Structure and Composition

The agile and lean Plott Hound is powerful and athletic without unnecessary bulkiness. The head is flanked by long rounded ears that lay flat against the head. The upper lips (“flews”) hang below the lower jaw, giving the muzzle a squared appearance. The neck leads down to a deep chest and a topline that slopes from the shoulders to the tail. The Plott’s long, sword-like tail held with distinctive carriage when the dog is alert. A graceful gait, capable ample coverage of diverse ground, is a hallmark of this breed. This dog’s coat is usually some form of brindle, although other color patterns are sometimes seen.

Medical Information

For the most part, the Plott Hound is considered an exceptionally healthy and hardy breed, although this may be in part due to the breed’s historical obscurity and relatively small population. Because this breed only recently acquired registration status from the American Kennel Club and has not yet made a profound impact on the conformation circuit, there is little to no information readily available about the genetic health of the Plott.

One well-known medical issue facing this breed is bloat, otherwise known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). Excess gas trapped in the dog’s stomach causes “bloat,” and twisting of the stomach (volvulus or “torsion”) causes or is caused by the excess gas. GDV is an emergency condition requiring immediate veterinary treatment. Feeding a Plott two or three meals daily, instead of one large meal, can help to prevent GDV. It’s also important to not exercise the dog immediately after a meal.

Although the Plott Hound sheds lightly year round, it’s coat is easy to care for: an occasional brushing is all that is needed. After a day on the hunt, the ears and pads of the feet should be checked for infestation, infection and injury. Fleas and ticks can be a big problem for this breed given their love of the outdoors, so be sure to use preventative medicines year-round.

Anecdotal Information

The Plott Hound is the state dog of North Carolina.

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