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This dog is a Tar Heel: she hails from North Carolina's western mountain region and is the state's official breed. Plotts are coonhounds — the only coonhound, as it happens, not related to foxhounds. Originally bred to bring down big game (think boar or bears), these days many Plotts still work chasing down raccoons and doing specialized hunting tasks like night hunting or cold trailing. This breed can follow a trail more than 48 hours old! Some also work as search and rescue dogs.
Originally from the United States, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 40-60 pounds and lives an average of 12-14 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: 12-14 years
Bark Factor: I love to talk!
Energy level A sprinter
Exercise needs 30-45 minutes per day
Playfullness and Games A few times per day would be divine
Attachment to People Give me some love when you get home, maybe we'll snuggle later
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I'll probably want to chase or will be shy
Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart
Trainability I love to please
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I can be highly protective
Grooming needs Easy maintenance, brushes and baths
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A PLOTT'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Plotts are intelligent, confident, and alert. These dogs are loyal and very sweet with their chosen people, but fearless and unstoppable while they're working. They usually get along well with other dogs. If socialized while they're young, your Plott can get along fine with an indoor cat. Outdoor cats are getting chased up trees, though.
WHAT IS PLOTT BEHAVIOR LIKE?
This is a serious hunting dog: courageous, determined, and tough. Plotts are a very active breed and will need rigorous outdoor exercise every day to satisfy their relentless athleticism. This dog is built to work and keep on working. They are aggressive and determined while on the hunt. Find this breed something to do, or she'll make her own fun.
Plotts are definitely barkers, so it's important to teach them when it's appropriate to use that gorgeous voice (and maybe more important to teach them when it's not appropriate).
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A PLOTT?
Plotts are smart and respond well to training, though they can be a bit stubborn. Start while your Plott is still a pup; don't train for hours at a time; and let her know when she's done a good job.
There is no training this dog not to follow her nose though, so be sure to keep your Plott on leash unless there's a well-fenced area for her to play in. Be sure to discourage possessive behaviors with food and toys.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO PLOTTS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Plott's coat is smooth and glossy. They're easy keepers: weekly brushings and occasional baths will do the trick. They are seasonal shedders.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO PLOTTS HAVE?
As a breed, Plotts are generally healthy. Some may be prone to eye disease or hip dysplasia.
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 PLOTTS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Plotts among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as large as a Plott!
WHAT IS A PLOTT'S BEST DAY?
Plotts want to run or hike or chase or hunt all day. All. Day. Anywhere you want to go, any sort of activity you'd like to try: the Plott is with you.
SHOULD I ADOPT A PLOTT?
The Plott is an all-weather, all-terrain, no-nonsense hunting dog. They're equally comfortable with warm and cool temperatures. As long as they're getting enough exercise, this breed can make for a devoted family companion. Just be aware that what a Plott thinks is “enough exercise” might leave you ready to drop well before she is. If you can keep up with her, though, this dog is a whip-smart, gentle, and sweet housemate.
Have you decided that a Plott 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.