The Plott Coon Hound

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The Plott coonhound’s bloodline originates in Germany, it is the only coonhound that does not have its roots in English bred hounds, like the other seven coonhound breeds. The Plott coonhound history is better known than the English derived coonhounds.

Five Hanovarian hounds – German-bred brindle and hunting dogs – were brought to America by German immigrant Johannes Plott in 1750, and he settled in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina and Tennessee. The Hanovarian hounds were hounds bred for stamina, cold-nose and instinct to chase big ferocious game animals, like wild boar and bear, but adapted quickly and also became exceptional hunters of deer, mountain lion, bobcat and raccoon.

It was Johannes Plott’s son, Henry Plott, who continued to breed these Hanovarian hounds after they were given to him by his father. They quickly became known for their incredible skill in tracking and treeing the American black bear and by 1850 were well-known in Northern Carolina and nearby regions as intelligent, versatile and exceptional capable hunting hounds.

Strengths of the Plott Coon Hound

Due to the breeding of the Plott coonhound, it is more of a big game hunter than a coon dog, and is appropriately fearless and aggressive on a hunt. They are particularly committed to each hunt, seemingly unable to feel pain while on the chase and if they have to fight they often will not stop until they are severely injured.

They also develop the typical coonhound ‘selective hearing’ when pursuing quarry, and sing the melodic coonhound song when they have treed an animal, although this is higher pitched that other coonhounds. While the Plott coonhound is still a popular hunting dog, they are also desirable as pets, particularly as they are especially protective of their family and make wonderful watch-dogs.

Potential Problems of Plott Coon Hounds

The Plott coonhound is not as strong-willed or dominant as some of the other coonhound breeds but they do still need consistent leadership, training and extensive exercise and work to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

They also differ from the other coonhounds while trailing a scent – they have a homing instinct and will not just pursue an animal to the ends of the earth like other coonhounds, often able to find their way back home very quickly.

The Plott coonhound, similar to the other large coonhounds may suffer from hip dysplasia. Particular to Plott coonhound is the tendency toward gastric bloat, therefore feeding small amounts at a time is important – wolfing down a large meal is likely to induce gastric bloat in a prone coonhound.

Other conditions, such as hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and thrombopathia (a platelet disorder) are known to affect these dogs at times. Apart from a few coonhounds that are afflicted, the majority are otherwise healthy, energetic dogs who may live up to 15 years.

This very different colored coonhound is incredibly hard-working, and capable of hunting all but the very largest game, while still being a big gentle family dog that will fit into an active outdoors loving family beautifully.

If the Plott Coonhound isn’t for you, consider one of the other Coon Hound Breeds.