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Discover the Plott Hound: History, Traits, and Care Tips

August 24, 2023

Are you looking for a loyal and affectionate hunting companion? Look no further than the Plott Hound - a breed with a rich history and unique qualities that make them stand out from the rest. Developed in North Carolina by German immigrant Johannes Plott in the mid-18th century, the Plott Hound is known for its incredible tracking skills and versatility in hunting different types of game.

But the Plott Hound is more than just a hunting dog. They are also known for their loyalty, intelligence, and gentle nature with their families. In this article, we'll dive deep into the world of the Plott Hound. We'll explore their history, physical and behavioral traits, training and socialization tips, health considerations, and much more. So, if you're considering adding a Plott Hound to your family, keep reading to learn everything you need to know!

Plott Hound in the woods

Key Takeaways:

  • The Plott Hound is a versatile breed known for its exceptional tracking skills and loyalty to its family.
  • The breed was developed in North Carolina by German immigrant Johannes Plott in the mid-18th century.
  • The Plott Hound's unique qualities make it an excellent choice for families and hunters alike.

A Brief History of the Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is a breed of scent hound that originated in North Carolina in the United States. The breed is named after the Plott family, who were German immigrants and brought their own hunting dogs with them when they emigrated to America in the 1750s. The Plott Hound was developed from these dogs, which were used for hunting boar, bear, and other large game in the Appalachian Mountains.

The Plott Hound is the only coonhound breed to have been developed in North Carolina, and is named after Johannes Plott, who was a member of the Plott family and played a significant role in breeding and developing this hunting breed. The Plott family bred their original dogs with a variety of other breeds including the Bloodhound and the English Foxhound to create the Plott Hound that we know today.

Plott Hound Characteristics

The Plott Hound is a medium-sized breed, standing 20-25 inches tall and weighing between 40 and 60 pounds. They have short, dense coats that come in a range of colors, including brindle, black, and tan.

Their keen sense of smell and natural hunting instincts make them well-suited for tracking and hunting game. They are known for their bravery and determination in the field, and their loyalty and affectionate nature with their families.

Plott Hounds have a loud and distinctive bark, making them excellent watchdogs. They can be independent in nature, but respond well to positive reinforcement training methods and enjoy participating in activities with their owners.

Temperament and Personality

The Plott Hound is a loyal and dedicated companion with a strong work ethic. They are intelligent, determined, and brave, making them excellent hunting dogs. However, they also have a gentle and affectionate nature, making them wonderful family pets.

Plott Hounds are known for their loyalty to their family and their fierce protectiveness. They are independent dogs with a strong prey drive and a need to be active, so it's important to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

With their high energy and natural instincts, Plott Hounds can be challenging to train. They require a consistent and positive approach, with an emphasis on socialization from an early age. It's important to establish yourself as the pack leader and use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage good behavior.

Despite their independent nature, Plott Hounds thrive on attention and affection from their families. They are known for their playful and fun-loving personalities, making them an excellent choice for families with children.

"Plott Hounds are loyal, intelligent, and determined, with a gentle and affectionate nature."

Training and Socialization

Training and socializing a Plott Hound is essential for ensuring they become well-behaved and friendly dogs. However, it's important to understand their independent nature and need for consistent, positive reinforcement training methods.

Early socialization is vital for Plott Hound puppies. Exposing them to different people, places, and other animals will help them develop into well-rounded, confident dogs. It will also help prevent any potential aggression or fearfulness.

When training a Plott Hound, keep in mind their natural hunting instincts and senses. They may be easily distracted by smells and sounds, so training in a quiet and controlled environment is crucial. Utilizing games and positive reinforcement methods will help keep their attention and make training more enjoyable for both you and your dog.

Remember, Plott Hounds are loyal and affectionate dogs, and they respond best to praise and positive training methods. With consistency, patience, and love, you can train your Plott Hound to be a well-behaved and happy companion.

Care and Grooming

The Plott Hound has a short, dense coat that requires minimal grooming. However, regular brushing is necessary to remove loose hair and keep their coat shiny and healthy. It's also important to check their ears weekly and clean them with a damp cloth to prevent infections.

As an energetic hunting breed, the Plott Hound requires daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. A brisk walk, jog, or hike is ideal for their physical and mental stimulation needs. Providing puzzle toys and interactive games can also keep them mentally engaged.

Exercise Needs

A Plott Hound requires at least 40-60 minutes of exercise daily. They're known for their high energy levels and need for regular physical activity. A fenced yard is ideal for allowing them to play and run safely.


A well-balanced, high-quality diet is essential for the Plott Hound's health. A diet rich in protein and nutrients is recommended to keep them strong and active. Avoid overfeeding, as Plott Hounds can easily become overweight.


Brush your Plott Hound's coat once a week to remove loose hair and keep it healthy. Trim their nails monthly and brush their teeth regularly to maintain good oral hygiene.

Regular veterinary check-ups are important to monitor your Plott Hound's overall health. Their lifespan is typically 12-16 years, with some living longer with proper care.

Health Considerations

Plott Hounds are generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they are prone to certain health concerns. As a pet parent, it's important to be aware of these potential issues and take the necessary steps to keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

One common health concern among Plott Hounds is hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint doesn't develop properly. This can lead to arthritis and mobility issues later in life. To reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, it's important to feed your Plott Hound a healthy, balanced diet that promotes proper growth and development. Regular exercise can also help keep their joints strong and healthy.

Plott Hounds are also prone to ear infections, so it's crucial to keep their ears clean and dry. Regular grooming can help prevent ear infections, as well as other skin issues. Additionally, Plott Hounds may be at risk for bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists. To prevent bloat, avoid feeding your Plott Hound large meals and discourage them from eating too quickly.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch any potential health concerns early on. It's also important to keep up with routine vaccinations and preventative care, such as flea and tick medication.

Plott Hound hunting dog

Plott Hound as a Hunting Dog

The Plott Hound is a highly skilled and driven hunting dog that is particularly well-suited for tracking big game. Their unique history as a breed developed for hunting wild boar and bear in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina has given them a tenacity, endurance, and determination that makes them stand out among other hunting breeds.

Plott Hounds are known for their exceptional sense of smell and their ability to track game for long distances, making them popular with hunters who need dogs that can work independently and cover a lot of ground. They have a distinctive baying howl that is used to alert their human hunting companions to the location of the prey, and they are fearless and rugged enough to take down even large animals.

As with any breed of hunting dog, it is important to train and socialize your Plott Hound properly from an early age. This will help to ensure that they develop the discipline and skills needed to be successful hunting companions, while also reinforcing the bond between dog and owner. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement training methods, you can help your Plott Hound reach their full potential as a skilled and reliable hunting partner.

Tracking and Hunting:

Plott Hounds are bred for hunting and tracking big game. As a result, they have a strong prey drive and are particularly adept at tracking scents over long distances. They are also excellent tree dogs and have been known to bay loudly at the base of a tree as they wait patiently for their prey to come down.

When hunting with a Plott Hound, it is important to ensure that they have adequate exercise and mental stimulation. This will help to keep them physically fit and alert, which is essential for a successful hunting dog. You should also ensure that your Plott Hound has access to plenty of fresh water and food, as well as a safe and secure place to rest when they are not actively working.


Training a Plott Hound for hunting requires patience, consistency, and a good understanding of the breed's unique traits and characteristics. Positive reinforcement training methods, such as the use of treats and praise, are generally more effective than punishment-based techniques, which can undermine the trust and bond between dog and owner.

As with any breed of dog, it is important to socialize your Plott Hound from an early age to help them develop good manners and a well-rounded personality. This will also help to ensure that they are comfortable around other dogs and people, which is important when hunting in groups or public areas.

Remember that while Plott Hounds have a natural instinct for hunting, they still require training and guidance to become skilled and reliable hunting partners. With patience, consistency, and a positive attitude, you can help your Plott Hound reach their full potential as a hunting dog.

Plott Hound Puppies: Tips for Bringing One Home

If you are considering bringing a Plott Hound puppy into your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Choose a Reputable Breeder

The first step in finding a Plott Hound puppy is to look for a reputable breeder. A good breeder will provide you with health certificates and genetic testing records for the puppy's parents. They will also allow you to visit their facility and meet the puppies in person.

Avoid buying from pet stores or online sellers, as these sources are often associated with puppy mills and other unethical breeding practices.

Early Socialization

Plott Hounds are social dogs that enjoy being around people and other animals. Therefore, it's important to start socializing your puppy at an early age. Introduce them to new people, places and experiences in a positive and controlled way.

Socialization helps your puppy become a well-adjusted adult dog that is comfortable with a wide variety of people and situations.

Puppy Care

Plott Hound puppies require basic care, such as vaccinations, deworming, and regular veterinary check-ups. Establish a feeding and exercise routine and ensure that your home is safe for your new puppy.

Provide plenty of love, attention, and positive reinforcement to help your puppy develop good behaviors and habits.

Prepare Your Home and Family

Before bringing a Plott Hound puppy home, ensure that your family and home are ready to welcome a new addition. Stock up on essential supplies, such as food, toys, bedding, and grooming tools.

Designate a space for your puppy to sleep and eat, and ensure that your home is secure with no potential hazards. Discuss responsibilities and expectations with family members, including training and care for the puppy.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your Plott Hound puppy has a smooth transition into your home and a happy, healthy life with your family.

Training Challenges and Tips

Training a Plott Hound can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. Due to their independent nature and strong hunting instincts, Plott Hounds require consistent and positive reinforcement training methods.

One of the biggest challenges with training a Plott Hound is their tendency to become easily distracted. To combat this, it's important to start training early and gradually increase the level of distractions as they progress.

Another common challenge is the Plott Hound's stubborn streak. They are intelligent dogs that like to do things on their terms, so it's essential to establish yourself as the pack leader early on. Consistency and patience are key.

Avoid using harsh or physical punishment during training, as this can damage the trust and bond between you and your Plott Hound. Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and play to reward good behavior.

Enrolling your Plott Hound in obedience classes can also be helpful, as they provide a structured learning environment and can help socialize your dog with other people and pets.

Remember, training is an ongoing process that requires patience, consistency, and a good dose of humor. Keep training sessions short and fun, and always end on a positive note.

Living with a Plott Hound: Family and Home Compatibility

The Plott Hound is a loyal and affectionate breed that makes a great addition to many families. They are adaptable to different living situations and enjoy being part of the family unit. However, there are some factors to consider when determining if this breed is the right fit for your family and home.

Living SituationCompatibility
Apartment LivingPlott Hounds can adapt to apartment living as long as they receive plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. However, they may not be the best fit for small apartments due to their size and energy levels.
House with YardPlott Hounds love to run and play, so a home with a fenced yard is ideal. They need ample space to stretch their legs and release their energy.

Plott Hounds are great with children and make loving family pets. However, due to their hunting instinct, they may not be suitable for families with smaller pets such as cats, rabbits, or guinea pigs. With proper socialization and training, they can get along well with other dogs and pets.

It's important to keep in mind that Plott Hounds are independent and may exhibit stubbornness during training. They need a patient and consistent trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques. They also need daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior.

If you have a busy lifestyle or are away from home for long periods, a Plott Hound may not be the best fit for you. They thrive on human companionship and need daily attention and exercise.

Overall, the Plott Hound can make a great addition to the right family and home. Consider their energy levels, temperament, and training needs before deciding if they are the right fit for you.

Finding a Plott Hound: Adoption and Breeders

If you're interested in bringing a Plott Hound into your home, there are various options available for finding a reputable breeder or rescue organization. It's important to do your research and find a trustworthy source for your new furry friend.

Finding a Breeder

A good place to start your search for a breeder is by contacting the Plott Hound Association or the American Kennel Club. They can provide you with a list of registered breeders who meet their standards for responsible breeding practices.

When visiting a breeder, be sure to ask to see the puppies' living conditions and meet the parents of the litter. This can give you a good idea of the breeder's commitment to the Plott Hound breed and the quality of the puppies they produce.

It's also important to ask the breeder about any health screenings or genetic testing they perform on their breeding dogs to ensure that the puppies are healthy and have a reduced risk of genetic health issues.

Rescue Organizations

If you're interested in adopting a Plott Hound, consider reaching out to a Plott Hound rescue organization. They can match you with a Plott Hound in need of a loving home and provide you with information about the dog's background and temperament.

Adopting a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience, and you'll be giving a dog a second chance at a happy life.

The Cost of a Plott Hound

The cost of a Plott Hound can vary depending on whether you adopt or buy a puppy from a breeder. Adoption fees typically range from $100 to $300, while purchasing a puppy from a breeder can cost up to $1,500 or more.

It's important to remember that owning a Plott Hound also comes with ongoing costs, such as food, veterinary care, and grooming supplies.

Regardless of how you acquire your Plott Hound, be sure to provide them with a loving and safe home where they can thrive as a valued member of your family.

Plott Hound Clubs and Organizations

For Plott Hound enthusiasts and owners, there are several clubs and organizations that offer resources, support, and events to connect with other Plott Hound enthusiasts.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes the Plott Hound as a hunting dog breed and offers a wealth of information on the breed, including breed standards, events, and competitions. The National Plott Hound Association (NPHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving the Plott breed. They offer resources and events for Plott Hound enthusiasts, as well as working to protect the breed's hunting heritage.

Additionally, the Plott Hound Association (PHA) is another organization that exists for the same purposes. It helps connect Plott Hound owners and breeders, provides information about the breed to the public, and offers support and resources to Plott Hound enthusiasts.

Whether you're looking to attend a Plott Hound event, connect with other enthusiasts, or simply learn more about the breed, these organizations can provide valuable resources and support.


The Plott Hound is a remarkable breed that boasts a rich history and incredible characteristics. From their loyal and affectionate nature to their natural hunting instincts, Plott Hounds make excellent companions for those who appreciate a confident, independent dog with a strong work ethic. As with any breed, it's important to consider their exercise, diet, grooming, training, socialization, and healthcare needs.

Whether you're a first-time dog owner or an experienced handler, the Plott Hound offers a unique and rewarding experience. By following the tips and advice provided in this article and researching reputable breeders or rescue organizations, you can find a Plott Hound that fits your lifestyle and personality. Be sure to check out Plott Hound clubs and resources for further information and support.

At the end of the day, the Plott Hound is a breed that deserves recognition and appreciation. They make fantastic hunting partners, loving family pets, and loyal companions. Consider adding a Plott Hound to your life and experience their unique qualities firsthand.


Q: What is the history of the Plott Hound?

A: The Plott Hound has a rich history that dates back to its development in North Carolina by German immigrant Johannes Plott. Originally used for boar hunting, the Plott Hound's ancestral roots can be traced back to Germany before it became a popular hunting companion in America.

Q: What are the characteristics of the Plott Hound?

A: The Plott Hound is a medium to large-sized dog with a muscular build. They have a short, smooth coat that can come in various colors, including brindle and black. Known for their endurance and determination, Plott Hounds possess excellent tracking skills, making them well-suited for hunting.

Q: What is the temperament of the Plott Hound?

A: Plott Hounds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and gentle nature with their families. They are often described as friendly and affectionate, making them great companions. However, they can also be independent and strong-willed, so consistent training and positive reinforcement methods are important.

Q: How should I train and socialize a Plott Hound?

A: Plott Hounds require consistent and positive reinforcement training methods due to their independent nature. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and friendly dogs. Start training your Plott Hound at an early age and expose them to various people, animals, and environments.

Q: What are the grooming needs for a Plott Hound?

A: Plott Hounds have short, low-maintenance coats that don't require excessive grooming. Regular brushing to remove loose hairs and occasional baths are usually sufficient. Additionally, make sure to trim their nails regularly, clean their ears, and maintain proper dental hygiene.

Q: Are there any health considerations specific to the Plott Hound breed?

A: While generally a healthy breed, Plott Hounds may be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia and bloat. It is important to schedule regular veterinary check-ups, maintain a balanced diet, and provide proper exercise to keep your Plott Hound in good health.

Q: Are Plott Hounds good as hunting dogs?

A: Yes, Plott Hounds are exceptional hunting dogs. Their natural hunting instincts, endurance, and tracking skills make them highly suitable for various hunting activities. They have a history as loyal hunting companions and are often used for tracking game such as boar and raccoon.

Q: What should I consider before bringing a Plott Hound puppy home?

A: When bringing a Plott Hound puppy home, it is important to choose a reputable breeder, ensure early socialization, and provide basic puppy care. Prepare your home and family for the new addition by creating a safe and welcoming environment for your Plott Hound puppy.

Q: What are some common training challenges with Plott Hounds?

A: Plott Hounds can be independent and strong-willed, which can present training challenges. Some common challenges include stubbornness and a tendency to follow their own instincts. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, these challenges can be overcome.

Q: Are Plott Hounds compatible with families and different living situations?

A: Plott Hounds can adapt well to different family dynamics and living situations. They can thrive in apartments, but they do require regular exercise and a secure, fenced yard to meet their energy needs. Plott Hounds are generally good with children and can coexist with other pets when properly socialized.

Q: How can I find a reputable Plott Hound breeder or rescue organization?

A: When looking for a Plott Hound, it is important to do thorough research to find a reputable breeder or rescue organization. Consider adoption options and never buy from puppy mills. Reach out to local breed clubs and organizations for recommendations and resources.

Q: Are there any Plott Hound clubs or organizations I can join?

A: Yes, there are several Plott Hound clubs and organizations that provide further information and support for Plott Hound owners. These clubs often organize events and activities where Plott Hound enthusiasts can connect and share their love for the breed.

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