The Plott Hound isn’t necessarily a well-known or common breed, but it is one to be proud of. In terms of this dog breeds history, nature, and abilities, this is a dignified, loyal breed. The Plott Hound is well suited to strong dog lovers. If you are looking for a dog that is tough, active, loyal, independent, and intelligent, read on.
A Brief History of this Boar and Bear Hunting Breed!
The Plott dog breed was “born in the USA”, but like many Americans today they have ancestral origins on another continent. A German immigrant named Johannes Georg Plott brought the ancestors of the breed we know today to the Cabarrus County in the United States in the mid-1700s.
Plott’s foundation dogs were the “Hanoverian Schweisshund” or “Hanoverian Hound”. This is a German dog breed used for wild boar hunting.
Subsequent generations of the Plott family continued breeding from these lines in Haywood County. To give you an idea of the terrain these dogs originated in, Plott Balsam, a peak in the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina is also named after the same family.
Originally bred for hunting boar and as a bear hound, the Plott family also utilized this powerhouse breed as farm dogs for herding and as guard dogs for their homes and families. As hunters, these dogs are more suited to hunting big game or bigger animals.
Nowadays you’ll find Plott hound talents used in a variety of ways. They can engage in search and rescue work, big-game hunting and tracking, and dog sports.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Plott Hound breed in 1946, followed by the American Kennel Club in 2006. The Plott Hound has been the official State Dog of North Carolina since 1989. So, you will also often hear them referred to as the North Carolina Plott Hound.
The Appearance of These Hounds
The Plott is a strongly built, long-legged, athletic, agile, and muscular dog. Their body is well proportioned and suited to the stamina, speed, and endurance needed for the activities they enjoy.
Plott Hounds tend to exude an air of inner confidence and attentiveness. They usually have an alert and intelligent expression in their brown or hazel eyes. Their ears are medium length, and their tail is long.
Average Plott Hound Size and Weight!
Males are bigger than females in this medium-sized breed. The average height and weight for both genders of the Plott dog are:
- Females: 20-23 inches (50-58 centimeters) and 40-55 pounds (18-24 kilograms)
- Males: 20-26 inches (50-66 centimeters) and 50-60 pounds (22-27 kilograms)
The Coats and Colors!
Plott Hounds are outstandingly good looking dogs! They have a distinctive short-medium length coat, with smooth, glossy hair. Their coats are fine but dense enough to withstand the outdoor elements. Some Plott Hounds are double coated, but this is not common.
Plott hound coats can be any of the many shades of brindle. Colors under the AKC breed standard include yellow, tan, red, orange, liver, gray, chocolate, brown, blue, black, buckskin and Maltese. Their markings may include a black saddle, brindle trim, and graying on their muzzle and jaw. Plotts may also have white chest and feet markings.
Grooming these dogs is a relatively easy task. Just give them a brush once a week to remove loose hair and dirt, and a bath occasionally to get rid of any doggy smell.
Temperament and Personality: What to Expect!
You can expect one very spirited, independent, yet stubborn dog if you are considering a Plott Hound! This dog is gentle, loyal and affectionate with their human companions, including older kids and pets they have been raised with.
However, always remember that they are bred to hunt big animals in the wild and they know their own mind. Without proper training and socialization, Plott hounds can be aggressive, fierce, and fearless. They do need proper training and an experienced dog owner.
Plott hound dogs are also pack animals, and their human family is part of their pack. If not in the company of other dogs or pets, they like to be around humans and not left alone or in isolation.
Early Socialization and Training are Non-negotiable!
A Plott Hound puppy is full of energy and extremely smart. They need a lot of attention and consistent training with a lot of positive reinforcement. Socialization with other people, pets, and situations from when they are young is a must.
These dogs can be very protective over food bowls and toys! Both the owner of a Plott Hound and the Plott pup itself usually need to learn appropriate handling methods for the exchange of both items! This is a dominant breed, so firm but calm and consistent training is vital.
Plott Hounds are not usually town or city dogs. They are especially not suited to apartment living. They don’t have a lot of road sense and should be trained to walk on a leash, especially around traffic. These dogs also have a loud bark, so are usually better suited to rural areas where your neighbors are not literally just over the fence!
A Plott’s urge to hunt and explore is compelling – so they need a well-fenced yard to keep them in. The Plott also needs plenty of regular exercise. They are walkers rather than runners and will hike with you for miles and miles.
The Lifespan of Plott Hounds
The average lifespan of a Plott Hound is 12-14 years.
What About a Plott Hound Mix?
Plott Hounds are often found, especially in shelters, mixed with other breeds. Sometimes this is a deliberate creation of a hybrid or designer dog, other times it is just a result of nature taking its course.
With any type of mixed breed, the physical appearance, temperament, and personality of the dogs will depend on the genetic mix it inherits.
The Beautiful Plott Hound Lab Mix!
The mix of a Plott Hound with a Labrador is likely to result in a friendly and personable dog – both are “people” pets and like being a part of a pack.
As working dogs, the combination of a hunting dog with a retriever is likely to result in a dog very determined to do the job at hand!
4 Potential Health Issues to Be Aware Of!
Plott Hounds are generally healthy, but health conditions they are susceptible to include:
- Injuries: These are active dogs that like to explore and be active, and avid explorers can sustain injuries. Especially if used as hunting dogs, Plott Hounds can come into contact with and be injured by wild animals during the hunt.
- Ear Infections: Plotts have medium length floppy ears and are active dogs. This means you need to ensure their ears are clean and dry to prevent bacterial and yeast infections.
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a degenerative disease in the hip joints that can cause pain, discomfort and mobility problems if the joint has not developed properly.
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus, aka gastric Torsion: This is a serious condition that the Plott breed is at risk of due to being deep-chested, and a fast eater! Gastric torsion or a twisted stomach results in bloat. This is a life-threatening condition for a dog that needs immediate veterinary treatment.
Plott Hound Puppies for Sale!
Are you thinking a Plott Hound may be perfect for you? Always do your homework and a little research on breeders when you are looking to buy any breed of dog.
Helpful places to start are the breeders listed with the American Kennel Club, the American Plott Association, the National Plott Hound Association, or your veterinarian.
Be Sure to Get Your Puppy from a Reputable Breeder!
Finding a good breeder is a must, especially with a breed such as the Plott that needs placing with the right home and right people.
Reputable breeders will provide you with information on the health certifications of their dogs, what socialization they have had, and their dogs’ temperaments. Avoid puppy mills that offer deals like free two-day shipping like the plague!
Adopt, Don’t Shop! Find a Plott Hound Rescue Group!
Plott Hounds and mixed breeds can find their way into shelters and rescue groups, often as adults. Dogs wind up needing rehoming for many reasons. Previous owners may find they didn’t have the skills to care for a particular breed. Or their living circumstances changed and they couldn’t give their dog the type of accommodation it needed.
Again, check with the AKC and the National Plott Hound Association, or with local rescue groups in your area. Adopting a rescue pet is not only about the feel-good factor.
With a rescue dog or pup, you are likely to be able to ascertain any existing health conditions, training requirements and whether you are a match with the dog’s personality and temperament.