With a history dating back to 1750, the Plott Hound is surprisingly a dog breed less known in the United States – and this despite being the state dog of North Carolina. Commonly known as the Plott, this dog breed is descended from the German Hanover Hound and is one of the best hunting dogs one can have. While it may be eager to please, loyal, intelligent, brave and alert, it has quite the different temperament when put in its natural scenario: wide open spaces. When out in the open, they become aggressive and fearless – skills that come in handy when hunting for animals in the wild. The Plott Hound is a loyal dog with a fierce mentality in the open field.
The history of Plott Hound can be traced back to sixteen-year-old German immigrant called Johannes Plott in 1750. He brought five German-brindle and buckskin hunting dogs to the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina and Tennessee. These dogs possessed exceptional hunting skills for wild boar, deer, mountain lion, bobcat and raccoon. In 1780, Johannes passed on his hounds to his son, Henry. Henry desired to create a dog breed that was really good at hunting bears. What dog breed he used to mix with his father’s hounds is unknown but the resulting hunting dogs possessed the ability to cold track, fight and tree American black bears. The first nature of the Plott Hound is to sniff up a cold trail and follow it all the way to the end. When they are trailing, Plott Hounds are bold and confident and won’t back down from a challenge. It also possesses a unique voice – a loud bugle-like chop or bawl.
Classified as coon hounds, Plott Hounds are hunters by nature. While they may easily switch back to being loving household companions, they let their true nature show when taken out into the open field. This being said, little to no training is required when they are used for hunting. Then again, when Plott Hounds are at home, owners must conduct obedience training early. In fact, it may not be the best breed for novice dog owners. They are dominant by nature and problems may occur if owners can’t exert dominance over the hound.
Just like any other hound, Plott Hounds are athletic, muscular and agile. They bear a brindle- colored coat that is distinct. The shades accepted are yellow brindle, red brindle, tan brindle, brown brindle, black brindle, gray brindle and maltese (slate gray, blue brindle). A Plott Hound grows to approximately 20 to 25 inches at the withers for makes while females grow to about 20 to 23 inches. In terms of weight, male dogs weigh around 50 to 60 pounds while female dogs average 40 to 55 pounds.
Plott Hounds make wonderful home companions as they are kind and loyal. It’s also to be noted that the dog breed can be aggressive owing to its true nature as a hunting dog. In fact, Plott Hounds may not warm up to strangers that easy and may not be as friendly to other dogs – which is quite unlike other hounds. While the Plott Hound makes an excellent choice for a hunting dog, it is best suited in the country where they can have lots of space to roam.
The Plott Hound is considered a very hearty and healthy dog breed. They might be the healthiest example of a coonhound. They are slightly prone to gastrointestinal issues, such as gastric torsion and twisting of the stomach, which are due to their tendency to eat a lot of food in a small amount of time. The average life span is between 12 and 14 years.