The Plott Hound Is the Pride of North Carolina

I live with two hounds and they're all about their noses. With that in mind, there are so many hound breeds to consider and the Plott Hounds are on the top of my list of breeds. We write about hounds a lot that specializes in search and rescue and many find lost children when working for police departments! That nose can find just about anyone.

So what about the Plott? The Plott is known to be an aggressive, bold, fearless hunter who is loyal, intelligent, and alert. This hound breed is also the dog of choice for big-game hunters in search of bears, cougars, or hogs. 

What is a Plott Hound? 

The history of this breed is fascinating. The American Kennel Club (AKC) shares that Plott Hounds are descended not from English Foxhounds but from German "Hanover hounds."

"In 1750, a German immigrant named Johannes Plott arrived in North Carolina. Accompanying him were five Hanover hounds he brought from the old country. Plott settled in the mountains, where he raised a family and hunted bears with his hounds. His son, Henry, bred the family pack to local stock and produced a big-game hunter originally known as Plott's hound."

The Plott is the only coonhound breed not descended from the Foxhound. He is known to be a lot to handle and may not make the best 'pet' as he's a hunting dog first and a family dog second. 

With that in mind, this Coonhound needs a human to love though and isn't a dog that should be outside by himself all day. Plan to not only spend a lot of time exercising him but also quality time together. This dog is a great hiking companion!

What does a Plott Hound look like?

What a beautiful dog, right?

The AKC tells us that this hunting hound of striking color traditionally brings big game to bay or tree. They are powerful, well-muscled, combined with courage and athletic ability. describes the Plott as a dog with a distinctive coat.

  • Depending on gender, with females being smaller, the Plott stands 20 to 25 inches tall and weighs 40 to 60 pounds.
  • They can be any shade of brindle, black with brindle trim, solid black, or buckskin, an unusual coloration that can be red fawn, sandy red, light cream, yellow ochre, dark fawn or golden tan.
  • Some Plotts have a double coat, with short, thick hairs serving as insulation beneath a longer, smoother and stiffer outer coat.

Do Plotts shed? What about grooming?

Plotts have a smooth, fine but thick coat and are easy to care for. Plan on weekly brushings! Regular nail trimming and ear cleanings are also an important part of grooming. Overall though grooming is pretty low maintenance and a hound glove can be used to remove loose hair and debris.

The Plott is the dog of choice for big game hunters.

No, you don't have to be a big-game hunter to live with a Plott but remember this breed was raised and trained to hunt bears. VetStreet has some wise advice when you start researching this breed. This is not a great breed for an inexperienced owner.

"A Plott can be stubborn and independent — typical hound traits — and he must be trained with patience and positive reinforcement. And just like kids on summer vacation, the Plott is likely to forget what he's learned if he doesn't get regular practice. He learns well through repetition or by following the lead of a more experienced dog."

This is a loud breed too! If he catches a scent he will start barking! Our two hounds also bark a lot and the neighbors don't mind as they know there are just too many rabbits where we live.

The Plott is a scenthound and falls into that category of dog breeds that require patience. Some of the health concerns you should address with a breeder are bloat, ear infections, and hip dysplasia.

"With their deep chest, they can be prone to bloat, or gastric torsion, what Plott breeders call "twisted gut." Some Plotts have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. But for the most part, the biggest risks to Plotts are injuries incurred in the field."

Just remember how important those long walks are if you bring a Plott home! That energy level can be addressed with nose work, long walks, and hikes if you don't plan on hunting bears!  Plott hound puppies are adorable and they need to be trained after they get to your house so don't wait until they're six months old.

As a dog owner, be prepared to research the Plott Hound breed and talk to a few reputable breeders about the personalities of their dogs. Always look for dogs that are well socialized. Enjoy the journey with this hound dog!

Have a Plott? This is the shirt for you or the Plott-lover in your life!

Do you live with a hound? Have you ever seen a Plott Hound? Let us know what characteristics you love about this breed!

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