Plott Hound Overview
- Dog Breed:
- Plott Hound
- Breed Group:
- Loyal, alert, confident, independent and tenacious
- 20-25 inches
- 40-60 pounds
- Life Span:
- 12-14 years
- Coat Colors:
- Area of Origin:
- Best For:
- Experienced dog owners /Large living spaces/Older children
Plott Hound Characteristics
Plott Hound Gallery
About The Plott Hound
Powerful and athletic dog
Not recommended for novice owners
Fearless and protective
The Plott Hound is known for their powerful and athletic body, combined with intelligence and loyalty. Bred to track bear and wild boar, they have to be confident, powerful, and independent hunters. This doesn’t always translate well to the average pet home, and so this is not a breed that is often recommended for novice owners.
Although this is a fearless and protective hound, they adore their people and others they get to meet. Careful training and socialization are needed from a young age to ensure that they grow up to be well balanced and polite members of the family.
The Plott Hound is still relatively rare, with most living in the wild parts of the country, such as the mountains of Appalachia, where their hunting skills are appreciated.
Plott Hound Breed History
Developed in the US
Developed from the Hanoverian Schweisshunds
Recognized by the AKC in 2006
Although the Plott Hound was developed in the US, they descend from five Hanoverian Schweisshunds brought to North Carolina in the mid-1700s. Their owner, a German immigrant, called Johannes Georg Plott, trained his dogs to hunt bears, even though they had initially hunted boar back in their home country.
When Plott passed away, his family continued to breed the dogs, and they became known as Plott’s hounds. Their popularity grew across the Smoky Mountain region, where they hunted mountain lions as well as for their original quarry, wild boar.
In attempting to develop the Plott’s working abilities further, the breeders also crossed some with black-and-tan hounds. This resulted in the Plotts amazing scenting talent and their black-saddled brindle pattern. The breed became registered by the United Kennel Club in 1946 and the American Kennel Club in 2006.
Plott Hound Size & Weight
Strong and athletic
Males 20-25" and 50-60 pounds
Females 20-23" and 40-55 pounds
The Plott is described as being strong yet quick and agile, powerful, well-muscled, and streamlined.
Males should measure 20 to 25 inches at the withers and weigh between 50 to 60 pounds. While females should measure between 20 and 23 inches and weigh 40 to 55 pounds.
Plott Hound Personality & Temperament
A fearless hunter
Loyal and loving dog
Protective of home and family
The Plott Hound is a dog with two distinctive sides to their personality. On the one hand, it has a reputation for being a fearless hunter. A dog who never gives up and thinks nothing of grappling with a 500-pound bear. On the other, they are a loyal and loving family dog. It’s essential that you’re fully aware of this immense hunting instinct and drive before you consider introducing a Plott hound to your family.
When kept as a pet, you’ll need to invest in secure fencing, which reaches into the ground and is at least 6 feet tall. Plotts are well known for their ability to both dig and climb their way to freedom.
These dogs where independent thinking is a definite requirement, they need to keep on the trail and hold game while the hunter catches up. This does mean though that they need patient training that has a strong element of ‘what’s in it for me’ for the lesson to sink in.
You can expect the Plott Hound to be protective of his home and family, and they make an excellent watchdog. Do be warned though that they have what’s called a ‘big bawl mouth” which is a long and drawn out bark. So not only you know that someone is walking past, but the rest of the neighborhood will too.
This is a breed that is very loving with the children within the family. They can also get on with other dogs, but they are best introduced when they are pups. Likewise, with cats, they can learn to live with the family felines, but they’ll still chase any who dare to enter the yard.
The Plott copes better with warm weather than the cold and care needed to ensure they get dry and warm after being out on wet winters day.
Plott Hound Health & Grooming
Generally, a healthy breed
Breeding dogs should be screened for hip dysplasia
Minimal grooming requirements
Plotts are generally a healthy breed of dog. Responsible breeders will have dogs checked for hip dysplasia before breeding from them. This condition, which can be passed from the parents to the pups, happens when the socket and ball of the hip don’t sit tightly together. This then results in lameness and pain for the affected dog.
The Plott’s smooth, fine coat needs minimal grooming, requiring just a weekly brush to remove dirt and loose hair.
Plott Hound Training
An intelligent breed
Socialization needed from a young age
Very strong prey drive
The Plott is intelligent, alert, and confident though some dogs can be a little aloof with people they don’t know. With this in mind, it’s essential to adequately socialize a young pup to a wide range of people and other animals. A well-run puppy class can be a great way to start this process off.
This is a dog who has been bred for strong working ability. If they are kept as a pet at home, then they will need the opportunity to use their brains and get enough stimulation; a bored Plott Hound will find ways to amuse themselves, you have been warned!
The Plott is usually seen walking with their nose firmly fixed to the ground, using that fantastic scent tracking ability they were bred for. This does mean that given a chance, they will chase prey far into the horizon as you run behind to catch up.
Plott Hound Exercise Requirements
An intelligent breed
Socialization needed from a young age
Very strong prey drive
Plotts are high energy dogs who need lots of exercises every day. Their breed standard describes them as being relentless athletes who are noted for their stamina and endurance. This is not a dog who will come home and settle after a quick walk around the block!
In an ideal world, the Plott would accompany their owners jogging each morning or run alongside a cycle on quiet trails. They will, for sure, need to be able to really stretch their legs and run every day. However, with their immense prey drive, off-leash exercise needs to take place within a securely fenced area.
This isn’t a breed known for being overly playful, though young dogs may be more up for a game than older, more serious adults.
Plott Hound Diet & Feeding
Speak to your vet for personalized nutritional advice for your Plott
Choose food suitable for a dog's age, size and exercise intensity
Be aware of the risks and signs of bloat
For personalized advice for your Plott Hound, do speak with your veterinarian who can advise on your dog’s nutritional requirements.
Generally, young dogs are feed on specially formulated puppy food to ensure they receive all the nutrients needed by their growing bodies. Then at around 6 months of age, they move across to adult food, which should be selected based on their age, size, and exercise intensity.
This is a breed that suffers from bloat. This condition, which can be fatal, happens when their stomach becomes full of gas, which can’t escape. As the pressure builds, it stops the blood from the hind legs and abdomen from returning to the heart. Immediate veterinary attention is needed,
Although the exact reason for bloat happening still isn’t clear, it is thought that allowing dogs to exercise immediately before and after a large meal may be a risk factor. Feeding two smaller meals away from exercise times may help reduce the risk.
Plott Hound Rescue Groups
This is a relatively rare breed, and so there are few rescue organizations across the US. Wayward Plotts is an advocacy and rescue effort for Plotts needing a new home, and they can be contacted via their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/WaywardPlotts/.
For further information on the breed, take a look at the website for the American Plott Association – www.americanplottassociation.com