The Black and Tan Coonhound was the original First Dog — George Washington had several of these puppies. Early American colonial settlers valued the Black and Tan Coonhound's ability to track a “cold” scent or the trail of a long-gone animal. Talented hunters, this breed has tracked down bears, deer, and mountain lions.
These are fast dogs with floppy muzzles and an acute sense of smell, designed not only to track but to tree their quarry. Their long, droopy ears pick up and help waft the scent to the Black and Tan Coonhound's nose.
Though they're best known for their hunting abilities, Black and Tan Coonhounds also make for friendly, cheerful, easy-going family companions. Some also compete in the show ring.
Originally from the United States, this medium-sized and moderate-energy breed can grow to between 65-110 pounds and lives an average of 10-12 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Hound
Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Bark Factor: I love to talk!
AKC RANKING 136
AREA OF ORIGIN United States
DATE OF ORIGIN 1700s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION hunting raccoons
TODAY'S FUNCTION hunting raccoons, night hunts
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 25-27 Weight: 55-75
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 23-25 Weight: 55-75
OTHER NAME American black and tan coonhound
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs High
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Moderately protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Medium tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Black and Tan Coonhounds are friendly and mellow unless they're on the scent. They are sweet and strong dogs. They're very family-friendly, particularly if that family is active and outdoorsy. They can be playful and are usually friendly toward other dogs. Black and Tan Coonhounds can be suspicious of strangers.
WHAT IS BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Black and Tan Coonhounds are working dogs — powerful, agile, and alert. They make for very vigilant watchdogs. They can be somewhat protective and loud! They are a noisy breed, very prone to howling.
With enough exercise, your Black and Tan Coonhound will happily curl up with you on the couch to watch the Big Game. Just don't leave your half-time snacks unattended on the coffee table or they'll be gone before you can cry “foul.”
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND?
Black and Tan Coonhounds are not very easy to train. They mean well, but they're distractible, particularly when they run across an exciting new scent. They can also be stubborn. Black and Tan Coonhounds instinctually sniff out, chase, tree, and serenade small animals; you'll have to discourage this behavior early and often if you want to stay on speaking terms with neighbors.
Be patient and consistent while training. Your Black and Tan Coonhound will respond particularly well to food rewards.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BLACK AND TAN COONHOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Black and Tan Coonhound's coat is short and dense. They're relatively easy to groom, but they're heavy shedders. On the up side, their dense coats slough off dirt. Plan for frequent brushing and baths as needed. They can also be a bit drooly, so keep a pet-safe wet nap handy.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BLACK AND TAN COONHOUNDS HAVE?
Black and Tan Coonhounds are fairly healthy. Some experience eye ailments and elbow or hip dysplasia. Be sure to keep those floppy ears clean — they're prone to yeast and bacterial infections. Dry your Black and Tan Coonhound's ears thoroughly after he's been swimming.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE BLACK AND TAN COONHOUNDS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Black and Tan Coonhounds among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Black and Tan Coonhound! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT'S A BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND'S BEST DAY?
Being thanked for letting you know someone is at the door and then resting by your side to make sure everything is good for you would make it your Black and Tan Coonhound's best day.
SHOULD I ADOPT A BLACK AND TAN COONHOUND?
Black and Tan Coonhounds can be noisy neighbors and are not well suited to apartment living. Folks interested in disciplined show dogs are probably not looking for a Black and Tan Coonhound, since they can be challenging to train and are easily distracted.
For the family with the patience to teach them and the space they need, however, Black and Tan Coonhounds can be a great match. They love to work and play outside but will also happily lounge by a campfire or proudly command the couch. And you'll always know when someone's at the door!
Have you decided that a Black and Tan Coonhound is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.