Breeds 101

Plott Hound


Considered the hardest of the coonhunds, this large and gregarious dog has been bred by members of the Plott family for almost 250 years, to hunt bears and raccoons in the Appalachian, Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains of the eastern United States.

The Plott has curiously sharp and high-pitched voice, unlike the sonorous bawl common to other coonhounds.

Well muscled and rather lean boned, it has the endurance and stamina to work all day and well into the night.

It eats large quantities of food quickly, which makes it susceptible to gastric torsion, a life-threatening twisting of the stomach. It is extremely rare outside the southern states and is seldom kept solely as a companion.

The only American hound without a British ancestry, its progenitors were German hounds brought to North Carolina in the 1750s by the Plott family.

Plott, who settled in the mountains of North Carolina, developed the powerful breed to hunt boar and bear. His dogs earned a reputation for their skills, and subsequent crossings only improved the breed.

Today the Plott is the state dog of North Carolina and is used for coonhunting.

Size: Medium to large; 23 to 25 inches, 50 to 60 pounds.

Color: Brindle, blue, may have black saddle.

Temperament: Loyal, eager to please, alert. Courageous, aggressive, headstrong; can be a challenge with obedience. Good with children and wary with strangers. Likely to bay.

Energy level: High.

Best owner: Hunter or active owner in suburbs or rural area.

Needs: Daily exercise (hunts or woodland hikes are best; swims are enjoyed), leash, fenced yard, human companionship, minimal coat care.

Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years.