The Black and Tan Coon Hound

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The Black and Tan coonhound is big, powerful and a tenacious tracker. Similar to the Treeing Walker coonhound, the Black and Tan breed was recognized in 1945 after a long history of working and hunting in the United States. The rich folk had their imported English foxhounds, but the working class needed a hardy tracker who would help them put meat on the table, so they bred their own hard working coonhound.

Black and Tan coonhounds earned the nickname ‘settlers dogs’ because they were the typical type of dog a family might have in the 1700s. The blood-lines of the St Hubert bloodhound, the Talbot hound, the foxhound and the Virginia foxhound are generally thought to have contributed to the Black and Tan coonhound breed, in particular their hunting and tracking abilities.

Strengths of the Black and Tan Coon Hound

It’s been said of the bloodhound that it’s really just a nose with a dog attached to it, and the same could be said of the Black and Tan coonhound. The painstaking and insistent way this breed of coonhound tracks scent make them invaluable, long after the trail has ‘gone cold’. This dog will follow a trail determinedly if he detects even the faintest whiff of scent, and they are known for treeing raccoons long after their handler has given up.

They have one of the best cold noses in the business and this ability to find and follow a very old trail scent has proven indispensible in search and rescue operations as well as hunting. Like other coonhounds, the Black and Tan coonhound calls to his handler when he has ‘treed’ his chase.

Each Black and Tan coonhound has a distinctive voice of his own, and a handler learns to recognize the triumphant call of his own dog when he’s tracked his quarry down. Of course, the Black and Tan coonhound will track and tree many more animals than just raccoons, and have even been used to hunt bears.

Once a Black and Tan coonhound is on a trail, they may develop ‘selective hearing’. Their innate tracking talent can take over, and off they go. Firm, patient and consistent leadership is needed as Black and Tan coonhounds are independent thinkers; they need to problem solve when following scent trails, but this brainpower can lead to misbehavior without proper care and training. These dogs are mellow, calm and unobtrusive when indoors and are a great member of the family, but their needs for work and exercise should be met or they can become bored and destructive.

This breed is a big strong working dog, and is ‘all terrain’. Black and Tan coonhounds will work in all weather and conditions, coping incredibly well with both very cold and very hot temperatures. However, the Black and Tan coonhound can be prone to hip dysplasia, like it’s forefather, the bloodhound. Other than that unfortunate inheritance, these dogs are very healthy, although their big droopy ears can become infected if they’re not kept clean.

These beautiful, intelligent dogs are great watchdogs, as they are extremely loyal and have an incredibly loud bark. They’re also very big – they can be almost 30 inches tall from foot to shoulder, so they can be a very imposing deterrent to anybody not welcome. Despite their size, the Black and Tan coonhound is very agile, and is well suited to competing in agility trials – in temperament as well as ability, they love the challenge.

The Black and Tan coonhound is a wonderful hunting partner, he’ll outrun you easily and come back asking for more and you couldn’t have a more dedicated buddy. They’re also wonderful with children, unless little ones keep pulling their tail, they’re extremely patient!

If the Black and Tan isn’t for you, consider one of the other Coon Hound Breeds.