Country of Origin: The Black and Tan Coonhound (also known as the ‘American Black and Tan Coonhound’) is an American breed likely deriving from crosses between the Bloodhound and the black and tan Virginia Foxhound. It was bred to ‘tree’ (track through the treetops) bears and raccoons over rugged terrain in the Appalachian and Ozark mountain ranges. The Black and Tan Coonhound hunts by scent with its nose to the ground like a bloodhound. It was usually deployed at night, trained to chase its prey up a tree and bay at it until the hunter arrived for the kill. In 1945, the Black and Tan Coonhound became the first Coonhound variety to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. The Redbone Coonhound and Plott Hound were later recognized in the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class; other varieties are the Treeing Walker Coonhound, Blue Tick Coonhound, and English Coonhound. Today, the Black and Tan Coonhound is a more popular hunting dog than show dog or pet. Competitive night raccoon hunts with Black and Tan Coonhounds are a popular practice.
Size: The Black and Tan Coonhound has a shoulder height of 58-69 cm (23-27 in) and weighs 23-34 kg (50-75 lbs). It has large upper lips (‘flews’), wide, black nostrils, round hazel or brown eyes, long, folded ears, and a scissors bite. Black and Tan Coonhounds have unwrinkled skin and long, highly carried tails. Male Black and Tan Coonhounds are larger and heavier boned than females.
Coat: The Black and Tan Coonhound has a short, dense, weatherproof coat. The coat is black with a tan chest, muzzle, and legs, similar to a Rottweiler’s markings. Only black and tan are allowed, or it just wouldn’t be a Black and Tan Coonhound!
Character: The Black and Tan Coonhound is mellow, calm and unobtrusive indoors, provided it is sufficiently exercised. Outdoors, the Black and Tan Coonhound’s hunting instincts take over and it becomes strong, independent, and stubborn, following its nose wherever it leads. Black and Tan Coonhounds each have a distinctive voice which some owners can recognize from a great distance. Most drool. The Black and Tan Coonhound requires frequent human companionship, and may howl if it feels lonely.
Temperament: The Black and Tan Coonhound is gentle and tolerant with children, but somewhat reserved around strangers. The Black and Tan Coonhound can be aggressive towards strange dogs, but as a pack hound, will grow comfortable with them over time.
Care: The Black and Tan Coonhound requires only occasional brushing. Its ears should be checked regularly for infection. The Black and Tan Coonhound has a lifespan of 10-12 years and litters of 7-8 puppies. It is prone to hip dysplasia (malformed hip joint which can cause lameness or arthritis) and obesity. Proper nutrition and exercise are important.
Training: The Black and Tan Coonhound’s intelligence makes training a fairly simple process, but it can be easily distracted by opportunities to follow a scent. Black and Tan Coonhounds require lots of encouragement.
Activity: The Black and Tan Coonhound can run for great distances, but will also be content with moderate jogs or long walks. Its favorite activity is following a scent, so the Black and Tan Coonhound should be walked on a leash or in a fenced-in yard to prevent it from running into roads.
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