Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

Plott Hound Dog Breed - Characteristics, Facts, & History

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15 min read


On This Page

  • Plott Hound Dog Breed History
  • Plott Hound Personality and Temperament
  • Plott Hound Dog Breed Diet and Nutrition
  • Plott Hound Dogs as an Emotional Support Animal

Who doesn’t love dogs?

Dogs are the most loyal creature on the face of this earth, and when they provide you love and affection, you want no other animal. Right?

Though Plott Hound was originally developed and trained to be a hunting dog, he has some characteristics of a perfect companion. People who are looking for dog breeds that are perfect-for-all jobs, Plott Hound is the one for them.

Continue reading this blog to learn more about the Plott Hound dog breed.

Plott Hound Dog Breed History

Plott Hound dog breed originated in North Carolina, America. These dogs were large scent hounds, originally bred and trained for hunting big games like boar and bear. The North Carolina General Assembly designated this breed as an official state dog of North Carolina in 1989. In 1946, this breed was first registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC) and recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2006.

Plott Hound is a unique breed among AKC coonhound breeds and descended from “Hanover hounds”. In 1750, Johannes Georg Plott -a German immigrant- brought five Hanover hounds to North Carolina. In Germany, these dogs were used for hunting boars and known as boarhounds. Johannes settled in the mountainous region of North Carolina, where he raised his family and used Hanover to hunt bears.

Henry, Johannes’s son, bred the Hanover hound to local stock and developed big game hunters. Henry and Johannes trained this new breed to hunt big games like bears, bores, foxes, and dears. They named this breed “Plott Hound” and spread them throughout the Smoky Mountains. Each new hunter added his own touch to the breed, but the breed has returned to its roots after a period.

Initially, they were used for hunting bears and boars, but later they are trained to hunt mountain lions and, with better treeing ability, raccoons. In the early 1900s, Gola Ferguson crossed his Plotts with some black-and-tan hounds known as Blevins or Great Smokies. He produced two hounds, “Tige” and “Boss”, with additional scenting talent and black-saddled brindle patterns. Today, almost all Plotts trace their pedigrees back to the Tige and Boss.

After being accepted by UKC, the breed finally got his official name, “Plott Hound”. It is the only UKC recognized coonhound breed that does not trace back to foxhound.

This breed started to make its way in the show ring and was first exhibited at Westminster Show in 2008. Though being relatively rare, Plott most often found in the mountainous regions of the counter where his skills are appreciated. They are currently ranked 134th among the breed registry by the AKC.

Plott Hound Personality and Temperament

Plott hound is usually described as a courageous, confident, and kind breed. These dogs are very loyal to their families and somewhat wary of strangers but warm up quickly to them. They are also good with dogs and other pets but not as much as other hound breeds. They get along with almost everybody, but they are not very friendly.

For the most part, they get along well with cats and other pets if they are brought up with them. However, every dog is an individual like a human being, so each has its own personality traits. Their disposition towards animals varies depending on whether they have been bred for hunting big games or raccoons. Big game hunters are more aggressive than those who are trained to hunt tree raccoons.

Plotts are attention seekers, so you need to be giving them plenty of attention, love, and affection. You can spend quality time with them by taking them for a long walk or playing with them. It will not just keep them happy but also allow them to shake out the fidgets.

These dogs are headstrong, smart, and love and protect the kids he’s raised with. They make a perfect companion and great family dog. Particularly independent is a typical hound’s trait, which is why they can be stubborn at times. Therefore, they are not a good choice for novice owners because they need a trained, patient, and firm leader to bring out their best.

Plotts are tough and fast enough on trails that you can call them all-terrain vehicles of coonhounds. They are also good water dogs and always ready to hunt any type of terrain, from swamps to mountains. They start barking when catching the scent of their prey. The closer they get to the prey, the more and louder they bark.

Plott Hounds need to be trained with patience and positive reinforcement. Moreover, you need to train them regularly with a dog whistle because they like to forget what they have learned if they do not get regular practice. They learn well and quickly through repetition and by following the lead of a more experienced dog.

Plotts create noise and bark when they are bored, hungry, scent their prey, or just want to hunt. One of the biggest traits is generally known as “a big bawl mouth”, which means a long-drawn-out bark.

You’ll also observe a difference in temperament between Plotts bred to hunt tree raccoons and bred for going after big games. Just like other hound breeds, Plott has his own mind and needs consistent and firm guidance. He loves to please his people, very protective of his family and home and makes an excellent watchdog.

Plotts are excavators and explorers as well. Their excessive curiosity combined with stunning agility makes them excellent escape artists. If you haven’t built a strong fence and secured it well, it won’t be a problem for them to climb or dig out of it.

Like other dog breeds, Plott Hounds need early socialization. They need to be exposed to different sounds, experiences, sights, and people while they are young. Take them to busy parks, invite visitors regularly, visit stores with them, or go on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors. It helps your canine grow up to be a well-rounded and well-mannered dog and helps him polish his social skills.

Plott Hound Dog Breed Physical Traits

Generally, Plotts are known as dogs of different colors. They stand out from other hound breeds not just because of their variety of colors but also because they are not descended from foxhounds. They are very intelligent, powerful, have a streamlined body, and eager to please all nature.

They have a streamlined and agile yet powerful appearance. The hair length is short to medium and finely coarse in texture. They are confident and bold and never back down from a challenge. Below you can find a complete physical description of the Plott Hound dog breed.

  • Brown and hazel
  • Prominent
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Red haw
  • Medium-sized
  • Fairly broad
  • Length extending beyond the tip of the nose
  • Moderately tight skin
  • Carried well up
  • Folds or dewlap
  • Too tight skin
  • Moderately flat
  • Rounded at the crown
  • Sufficient width
  • Narrow-headed
  • Square
  • Oval or domed
  • Moderate length
  • Square shape
  • Bluntly squared
  • Pointed
  • Muscular and sloppy
  • Square elbows
  • Well muscled and straight forelegs
  • Strong and erect pastern
  • Tight and firm feet
  • Splayed feet
  • Muscular
  • Medium-length
  • Free of ponderous dewlap
  • Wrinkled
  • Loos or folded skin
  • Gently sloping
  • Higher at wither than at the hips
  • Roached
  • Long & Strongly tapered
  • Heavy in appearance
  • Deep chest with deep and well-sprung ribs
  • Strong and well-muscled back
  • Round and smooth hips
  • Muscular and long legs
  • Well muscled and powerful thigh
  • Firm and tight feet and strong toes
  • Glossy, fine, and smooth
  • Double coated
  • Soft, short, but thick inner coat
  • Longer and stiffer outer coat
  • Any shade of brindle including orange, yellow, buckskin, red, chocolate, brown, or dark grey.
  • Solid black, black saddle, brindle trim, light cream, and golden tan are also acceptable.

Plott Hound Dog Grooming Needs

Plott Hounds have a distinct glossy and fine coat. Even if it is smooth and fine, the double coat is enough to protect the dog in rough, wet, and cold conditions. However, it requires minimal grooming and is very easy to groom. Weekly brushing with a rubber curry brush is enough to remove dead hairs and distribute skin oils.

They do not shed excessively. But, you might want to brush them often to keep their hair on the brush and off your clothes and furniture. Moreover, they do not need frequent bathing and keep the aroma under control by washing them with a dry or foam shampoo. Plotts have a must odor which is a usual scenthound which you should be prepared to live with.

The rest is basic care. Remove the dirt and loose hairs with a hound glove, trim the nails every week or two or as needed. Clean the ears with a soft piece of cloth or cotton buds to prevent yeast and bacterial infection. Frequently brush the teeth with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for overall dental hygiene and fresh breath.

Plott Hound Dog Breed Diet and Nutrition

Like any other dog breed, Plotts do well on high-quality dry or wet dog food. You can provide them both a well home-prepared or commercially manufactured dog food. Consult your vet for choosing the best food for your canine and get his approval before feeding your dog any kind of food.

Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s size, weight, and age. Dogs get overweight if you feed them more than necessary, so you need to keep a check on your dog’s caloric intake. Do not overfeed them by giving them extra treats as a training reward. Giving too many treats and feeding your dog too many times a day can cause obesity.

Discuss with your vet the sufficient amount of food that you should be providing your dog. The recommended daily amount is 2 - 3 cups divided into two meals. However, a highly active dog needs more than a couch potato dog. So you need to determine the quantity accordingly.

The quality of food makes a huge difference; the better the quality, the further it will nourish your dog. Divide their meal into portions rather than feeding them at once. Moreover, fresh and clean water should always be available for your dog. But never let them drink water immediately after having a meal.

Exercise and Training

As Plott Hounds specifically bred for hunting, they need constant training and a lot of exercises. They love to forget things they have learned, so you need to make sure to train them repeatedly. Moreover, they are relentless and tough athletes and require plenty of outdoor time playing or hunting animals.

This breed has been noticed for determination, agility, endurance, and high stamina. Plotts are aggressive, powerful, and courageous while hunting. You may have to train them to walk on a leash because of their extremely high prey drive. Training can reduce or entirely remove the aggressive behavior.

Training a Plott is very easy due to his high level of intelligence and smartness. He is highly confident and focused and can learn anything or everything quickly. They can be people-loving, tail-wagging dogs, but maybe a bit standoffish. Daily exercise and play sessions keep them physically and mentally healthy.

You need to expose them to different people, environments, situations, and sounds to socialize them thoroughly. Start socializing at the early stages so that you do not have any problem when your puppy grows up. He also needs constant mental stimulation to keep him busy; otherwise, he will find some other ways to amuse himself that might be undesirable.

General Health Problems

Plott Hound is generally a healthy dog breed. However, they are specifically prone to gastric dilatation-volvulus. It is a life-threatening condition in dogs and is commonly known as bloat. It can be caused by a sudden influx of air into the stomach that twists or distends it, eventually leading to death if left untreated.

When you are buying a Plott Hound, you need to find a breeder who will ensure the health clearance of both parents. Other than bloat, you may have to see the following health clearance for Plotts:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elbow dysplasia

You can easily confirm the health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF).

Plott Hound Dogs as an Emotional Support Animal

Now that you know everything that you should know before getting a Plott hound. Let’s learn what kind of emotional support animal.

Even though Plotts were bred and trained for hunting, they are very loving and affectionate. They make a perfect family dog and a fabulous companion. If you want a pet who gives you love, attention, and care and be your protector at the same time, Plott is the one for you.

People who experience mental health problems need constant support, care, and attention. They need someone to be by their side all the time so that they do not feel alone or lonely. A strong companion and a friendly breed can help them with that.

Plott hounds are highly affectionate and a perfect choice for people with mental health problems. These long-tailed and light-footed hunters get along with everyone, even with strangers. They might be wary of strangers initially but warm up to them quickly.

Moreover, you don't have to worry about your kids or pets, because Plotts love kids and are very friendly with cats or other pets. Ask your doctor to provide you an ESA letter so that you don’t have any trouble bringing your Plott home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Plott Hounds talk?

FAQ Icon

Yes, Plott hounds enjoy thoroughly talking with kids and everyone in the house. They usually talk more when they are bored or need something or want your attention.

Are Plott Hounds dangerous?

FAQ Icon

As Plott Hounds bred and trained for hunting, they are known to be aggressive. They have a wild side due to their high prey drive and usually a passionate fighter in the field. But, they are not dangerous for people, kids, or pets. In fact, they are loyal and protective towards their family.

Do Plott Hound like to cuddle?

FAQ Icon

No, they are not cuddly and do not enjoy cuddling as much as other dog breeds. Moreover, they won’t be helping you with any house chores. But they would love to chase bears every day.

Do Plott Hounds stink?

FAQ Icon

Yes, Plott Hounds stink occasionally and have a bit of unpleasant odor. They have a usual scenthound which can be reduced or eliminated with a bath. Bath them every month or so to prevent any bad odor.

Are Plott Hounds hard to train?

FAQ Icon

No, Plott Hounds are very intelligent, and they learn quickly. You can easily train them to walk on a leash, or potty trains them. However, they are notoriously independent, which makes them stubborn at times and impossible to train.

Do Plott Hounds like to swim?

FAQ Icon

Yes, Plotts love swimming, hiking, or hunting. All in all, they will enjoy any outdoor activity for as many hours as they can get.

Are Plott Hounds hypoallergenic?

FAQ Icon

No, Plott Hounds are not hypoallergenic. They shed occasionally. People who have allergies should not get Plotts.

How fast can Plott Hounds run?

FAQ Icon

Plotts have an average speed of 36 mph. These dogs are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. They need a lot of space to run and get their energy out.

At what age do Plott Hounds stop growing?

FAQ Icon

Plott Hounds reach their full height and weight at about 12 months of age. Their average height and weight are 23 inches and 55 pounds, respectively.

Can you train a Plott not to howl?

FAQ Icon

Yes, you can easily train your Plott not to howl. However, you need patience and time to train your canine. Pushing your dog will only cause anxiety and depression, and the training will not be effective for them.

Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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