Plott Hound

Very Intelligent, Fearless Hunter Excellent Companion with Family

Plott Hound

A Very Intelligent, Fearless Hunter Who Serves as an Excellent Companion to the Whole Family

This confident and extremely daring big-game hunter is tenacious and unstoppable on the trail – but easy-going, loyal, and relaxed at home. Born and bred in United States, the Plott Hound hails from the western North Carolina Mountains and is the only coonhound breed that is not descended from the Foxhound.

Although just a medium-sized dog, this courageous and skilled hunter can hunt BIG game extremely well. In other words, a bear is no match for this breed – although smaller prey, such as the raccoon, is just as fair a target.

Although lovable and mellow, remember that the Plott Hound is a hunting dog. That means that instinct can rule even over obedience, which the Plott Hound will certainly try to do when its innate tendencies take over.


Hailing from the mountains of Western North Carolina, the Plott Hound is truly a homegrown dog native to the United States. This dog has German rather than English ancestry unlike all other scent hound breeds, given that it is the only scent hound not descended from the English Foxhound.

Instead, the Plott Hound is descended from a type of bloodhound, the Hanoverian Schweisshunden, five of whom came to America with their owner, German immigrant Johannes Georg Plott, when he settled in western North Carolina in 1750. A few other breeds and "curs," or mongrel dogs, were probably mixed in, but those five dogs represent the base of the breed; it is named after Johannes Georg Plott.

In Germany, these dogs had been used as boar hounds, but the biggest threat in North Carolina was the bear. Thus, Mr. Plott trained his dogs to hunt bear, even as he continued to breed them.

Eventually, the dogs became very commonplace throughout the Smokey Mountains, with each hunter adding a personalized touch to the breed. The dogs returned to their original jobs learned in Germany when they were given the task of hunting wild boar in addition to bear. The skilled and courageous Plott Hound also eventually became a hunter of mountain lions, an intimidating feat. And, with a few additional refinements, also excelled at the skill of treeing raccoons, manifesting this dog’s versatility within its diverse array of hunting assignments.

These early Plott Hounds didn't just hunt. They also drove livestock, protected homes, and kept an eye on little humans. You'll find this dog to be very skilled at guarding your children as long as it is socialized from an early age. (These dogs are also employed as search-and-rescue dogs, and can also be shown. In 1960, Japan's Emperor actually used them to get rid of some bears that were terrorizing villagers.)

In the early 1900s, a man named Blevins added to the breed's talent for scent and its brindle pattern with a black saddle by crossing it with some Black and Tan Coonhounds. Most of today's Plott Hounds can trace their pedigrees back to two notable hounds resulting from Mr. Blevins' cross. Their names were Tige and Boss.

In 1946, the Plott Hound was first registered by the United Kennel Club, with the breed becoming the official dog of North Carolina in 1989. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Plott in 2006 as a member of its Hound Group. It remains relatively rare among breeds registered by the AKC.


This is typically designated as a medium-sized dog, which may surprise you, given that it hunts bear. Standing 20 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 40 and 75 pounds in adulthood, it has a very muscular build, webbed feet, a short, glossy, fine and smooth coat, and "fitted" rather than loose skin. The ears hang "typically" low for a hound, who also has a long tail. Most Plott Hounds have single coats, but the occasional double coat also appears. Coat colors can be any shade of brindle; solid black; brindle with black saddle; brindle trimmed in black; or, occasionally, buckskin. White markings can occur around the feet and chest.


The Plott Hound makes an excellent companion dog. Intelligent, loyal, quick to learn, eminently lovable and loving, this is the perfect "nanny" dog for children. Once you get your pet outside, though, and you're on the hunt – beware! The personality changes significantly – not dangerously so, but simply into an intense and focused hunting machine. The Plott Hound is very courageous, determined, and proud. Your pet will have no qualms whatsoever about chasing down everything from a wily raccoon, to a 500-pound bear, to an angry, dangerous wild boar.

Proper environment and training

This is a hound, so make sure you give it plenty of exercise and the right mix of love and calm, consistent discipline. This is a dog that wants to love and be loved – and you won't find that hard – but hounds are typically very independent thinkers, and your pet will be no exception. Socialize early and consistently, as soon as you bring your puppy home.

Although the Plott Hound can have a very calm temperament, you probably don't want your very energetic pet cooped up in a small apartment. Rather, a large house and yard – again, with plenty of exercise and hunting as appropriate – is what your pet will need to stay happy and healthy.

Always make sure your pet is on a leash when you go out unless you're actually hunting or in a safe place where it can roam safely. As obedient as your pet will try to be, it is a hound first and any interesting scent can take it away from you – and into danger, such as traffic.

Finally, although the Plott Hound gets along very well with children, your pet won't particularly like other dogs or pets, including cats.


The Plott Hound is considered the hardiest of the hound breeds, and lives on average 12 to 14 years. However, as is common among many breeds, this dog can be prone to hip dysplasia. Make sure its parents received clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for that. In addition, von Willebrand's disease (similar to hemophilia in humans), hypothyroidism, and elbow dysplasia should receive clearances from Auburn University. Finally, the Canine Registry Foundation should certify that its eyes are normal.

One disease that is prevalent among larger dogs that is NOT hereditary is bloat. The Plott Hound tends to eat fast and can consume large quantities of food very quickly. Do NOT let your dog bolt its food; this breed should eat 2 to 3 cups of good quality food a day divided into two meals. Avoid vigorous activity for at least an hour after it eats.

If bloat develops, your dog will need immediate veterinary attention. Signs of bloat include acting depressed, having a hard or distended stomach, trying to vomit but failing, and acting as though it is in pain. Failure to treat this condition can result in death very quickly. The recommended treatment is often surgery.


Grooming is easy for this agreeable, low-maintenance hound. Bathing should only need to be done rarely, and brushing once a week with a hound mitt will keep your pet's coat gleaming. Brush teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week with a doggie toothpaste and trim nails regularly. Ears should be checked and cleaned every week to prevent infections. Check for infection and wipe out ears at least weekly with cotton balls that have been moistened with vet-approved cleaner.



Retrieved August 22, 2015.

Plott Hound.

Retrieved August 22, 2015.

Plott Hound (Plott).

Retrieved August 22, 2015.

Plott Hound.

Retrieved August 22, 2015.

The Plott.

Retrieved August 22, 2015.

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