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Country of Origin, History of Plott Hounds
The Plott Hound is the only American hound without British ancestry. Given its unusual name, the Plott hound is a purely American breed that was started by a German family of the same name who immigrated to the United States in 1750.
Seven generations of the Jonathan Plott family, beginning in the 1750's, bred their dogs exclusively within the family. A mix of bloodhounds and curs reportedly comprised the original stock. The dog's working claim to fame is cold trailing bear and raccoons in the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, and Great Smoky Mountains of the Eastern United States. The Plott Hound is American through and through.
The Plott family has only rarely put these dogs on the market; so while the breed was officially recognized in 1946, it is still rare outside the southern states. They are extremely hardy and have superior hunting instincts. They can make a good family companion but are seldom kept as one. Most people get these dogs for the hunt.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Plott Hound the right breed for you?
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Plott Hound Calorie Calculator
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A General Appearance of the Dog
The Plott Hound is a medium-sized, muscular dog with a short, glossy, dense coat. It has a long tail which is posed high when the dog is alert. The large, long ears that hand down along the sides of the head are characteristic of the breed. The eyes are large and expressive but not drooping as in the bloodhound. Their muzzle is long with a soft mount and large nose. The thigh muscles are lean and powerful giving it lots of energy. The strong feet have webbed toes. The Plott is usually brindle over most of the body no matter what the color.
The coat color of the Plott has many variations that can include these backgrounds with brindling over them: yellow, tan, chocolate, orange, buckskin, liver, brown, red, gray or blue. Dark saddles and shading around the face are found in the breed as well. A few solids appear with no brindling occasionally.
Smooth, fine, glossy, but thick enough to provide protection from wind and water. Rare specimens are double-coated, with a short, soft, thick inner coat concealed by a longer, smoother and stiffer outer coat.
Males 45-55 Lbs
Females 40-55 Lbs.
Temperament of the Dog
The Plott Hound is eager to please, loyal, alert and intelligent. A pack hound with both inbred and innate skills, the Plott Hound uses these skills determinedly to pursue whatever prey his master has chosen. Today that prey may be rabbit, fox, or coyote, but for years it was boar, bear, or other large, menacing animal. His personable natures are surely not evident on the trail when he turns into an aggressive hunter in pursuit. A scent hound of coonhound variety, this sturdy, intelligent hunter will follow its nose to the surliest prey and fearlessly stand at bay.
Vocalizations of Plott Hound are of a sharp, high-pitched nature and are music to those who appreciate it and an annoyance to those not accustomed t it.
While Plott hounds can be taught to walk on the lead, it would have to be reinforced regularly since lunging on lead is permissible while tracking. To switch between the two schools of discipline would be difficult and unkind to the breed.
While the Plott Hound is a loving companion and gentle pet, the trail and the thrill of the hunt are his first love and these elements should be part of this breed's ownership.
The Plott Hound is not for the first time pet owner and should only be considered by those with extensive pet ownership or those familiar with the breed.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
The Plott Hound is not recommended for urban life. Apartment living would be a disservice to this breed. The Plott Hound can live and sleep outdoors provided they have proper shelter. This breed has no road sense at all and should be kept in a safe area because they have a tendency to wander. The Plott Hound tends to drool and slobber and if kept to a certain area may not be a problem for some owners. A high-pitched voice distinguishes it from other coonhounds and should only be heard in the wide outdoors. This breed is for homes with large yards or farms that allow it to use its tracking talents and vocal nature.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
The breeds' "all-in-the-family" background makes it a fine addition to families with children. Loyal and intelligent, the Plott Hound is quick to learn and love children, and is appreciative of their high activity. They have a sense of family and need at least children or other canines for companionship. Non-canine or small pets are fine in the home but could pose a problem in an outside setting since they may appear as prey and thus need to be “tracked”.
How Active is the Breed?
While the Plott hound has pronounced stamina during exercise and hunting times, he is a calm, quiet companion when that time is behind him and is willing to snooze beside you until the next foray.
Fetch, catch, tug-of-war and other games can keep him happy between more extensive exercise times.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
Young Plott puppies need lead training and lots of reinforcement if you want your dog to walk on lead without lunging as it matures. They love to chew like all puppies and a safe yard will serve them well while they are young.
The Plott Hound needs a lot of physical exercise as he matures which may include a daily, long, brisk walk or jog or an occasional full-fledged hunting experience. This well-muscled and rather lean-boned dog has the endurance and stamina to work all day and well into the night. The Plott Hound should have chances to run free but is born a natural hunter and has a tendency to run off and hunt if they are not kept in a well-fenced area while exercising off the lead.
Grooming at home should be easy for the owner, with regular nail clipping and brushing and baths as needed. A chamois will keep the short coat glossy. Frequency of bathing will be determined by the terrain your pet transverses.
Tracking Plotts should be examined immediately after an event to check for any ticks, scratches or cuts. Dirt and mud should be washed off at this time and ears checked for ticks and foreign matter, then cleaned. Nails should be clipped regularly if the pet is not walking on pavement on a lead.
This hound is very neat about its appearance and will groom himself by licking in a cat-like way.
The Plott Hound is considered the hardiest of the coonhounds. The breed can be ravenous eaters and can consume large quantities of food quickly, which makes it susceptible to bloat (gas in the intestine) and gastric torsion, a life-threatening twisting of the stomach. Exercise too soon after a big meal could prove fatal to this breed.
Otherwise, the Plott Hound has few health concerns.
Breeding the Dog and any Cautions
Since this breed has been so carefully bred there are few, if any, concerns that should affect a healthy breeding outcome. Always check with your breeder to find an appropriate match for your pet before breeding.
Litter Size: 4-10 Puppies
Life Span: 12-14 years
National Breed Clubs
US – www.akc.org/breeds/plott/index.cfm
Other Recognition: UKC, NKC, AKC, CKC, APRI, ACR
Group: Hound Group.
AKC Popularity Ranking: 171
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