Black and Tan Coonhound Guide

Hound Dog Breeds

The black and tan coonhound's moderate build gives it a blend of strength, speed and agility. It is square or slightly longer than tall, with moderate bone. Its long ears may help stir up ground scents. Its deep muzzle allows room for olfactory apparatus. Its deep voice enables the hunter to locate the dog when it has treed its quarry. Its hair is short but dense, providing an all-weather-protective coat. Its expression is alert, friendly and eager. Its stride is easy and graceful, with head and tail held high.

Not the prototypical house dog, the black and tan coonhound, nonetheless, makes an exemplary pet. It is mellow, amiable, calm and unobtrusive indoors. Outdoors, its strong hunting instincts take over, and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to turn from a track after it starts trailing. As befitting a dog with its heritage, the black and tan is strong, independent and stubborn. It is gentle and tolerant with children, but it may be too independent to satisfy a playful child. It is reserved with strangers. It may bay and howl.

AKC RANKING 136

FAMILY scenthound

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

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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

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The black and tan is a dog that can run for miles, although it is usually content with a moderate jog or long walk, with an occasional excursion into the field. It can wander if it catches a scent, so a safe area is mandatory. Its coat needs only occasional brushing. Most coonhounds drool to some extent, and the face may need regular wiping. The ears should also be checked regularly.
• Major concerns: CHD
• Minor concerns: ectropion
• Occasionally seen: hemophilia B
• Suggested tests: hip, (eye)
• Life span: 10 – 12 years
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A true American breed, the black and tan coonhound probably originated from crosses of the bloodhound and the foxhound, particularly the black and tan Virginia foxhound. The black and tan coonhound developed mostly in the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, Ozark and Smoky mountains, where these dogs were used to hunt raccoons and bears over fairly rugged terrain. They trailed in the fashion of their bloodhound ancestors, with nose to ground but at a somewhat swifter pace. Although they will trail any mammal, they specialize in raccoons and opossums, often trailing at night. When the quarry is treed, the dogs bay until the hunter arrives and shoots the animal. The AKC recognized the breed in 1945, but the black and tan has always been much more popular as a hunting dog than as a show dog or pet. Organized night hunts are extremely competitive and popular, and the United Kennel Club holds many bench shows for coonhounds only, in which black and tan coonhounds, blue tick coonhounds, redbone coonhounds, English coonhounds, Plott hounds and treeing Walkers compete.
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