"On the Trail"
In 1750, 16 year-old Johannes Plott came to his new home in the Great Smokey Mountains from Germany, bringing with him five Hanoverian Schweisshunds. Valued for their ability to hunt wild boars and to track wounded game over week-old trails, these dogs proved equally adept at finding bears and other large animals and holding them at bay in their new country. For the next seven generations, the Plott family bred these dogs, which gained a wide reputation among mountain area hunters. In the early 1900s, breeders crossed Plotts with other dogs, including two black-saddled Blevins (also known as Great Smokies), a cross that produced two extremely talented and influential dogs: “Tige” and “Boss.” Almost all Plotts can be traced to these two dogs, and this cross also introduced the black saddle some Plotts sport today. In 1946 the United Kennel Club recognized the breed as the Plott Hound, but it wasn't until 2007 that the AKC admitted them into their hound group. They currently rank 108th out of 155 breeds in popularity, but that number will probably decrease after the initial surge of registrations stops. On the other hand, this is a breed that is no doubt more popular in other working-oriented registries compared to AKC, probably because most people use the Plott for hunting.
Plotts love hunting and family, arguably in that order. They love to follow a trail to its end, but at the end of the hunt, they are glad to celebrate with their favorite people. They're willing to please, but like any self-respecting hound, they're independent and can be stubborn. Somewhat wary toward strangers, human and canine alike, Plotts can be tough when pushed – you can see why they have been used to hunt large game like bears. As house dogs, they are actually fairly quiet. They are generally good with children.
Built along coonhound lines, the Plott has a more streamlined shape than most better-known coonhounds. Squarely proportioned, slightly higher at the withers than hips, with a slightly arched loin, he has high-set drop ears of medium length and a rather long, saber-like tail. His short, sleek coat comes in any shade of brindle (dark stripes over a lighter background), including blue; also solid black, brindle with black saddle, black with brindle trim, and buckskin, a colorful term for light cream to red fawn color without any brindle striping.
Plotts tend to view the whole training business as somewhat of an amusing if bizarre idea you've cooked up. They know what to do, so why do you think you need to tell them? However, they like their food, and they are willing to please, so if you use lots of rewards and keep training sessions short, they are quite capable learners. They'll humor you.
Grooming & Care
Brush the sleek coat every week or so to minimize shedding. Keep ears clean and dry, trim nails, clean teeth, and give the Plott a bath if he gets into something stinky. Otherwise, grooming is easy. However, Plotts need to get out for a good long walk every day. They prefer exercise that allows them to go somewhere and sniff around and run a bit rather than staying in the yard and fetching a ball, which they seem to think is a silly waste of time. They like to get out and hunt, so fences must be secure.
The Plott has no major health problems of record, but some occasionally develop hip dysplasia. Ask your breeder or veterinarian about this issue.
Ch Black Monday became the first Plott to earn an AKC conformation championship title.
|Challenges||Needs to hunt things, must spend a lot of time outdoors; will chase small animals.|
|Height||20 to 27 inches|
|Weight||40 to 75 pounds|
|Life||10 to 15 years|
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