Description of a Plott hound. A recognized breed of the United Kennel Club used in hunting of bear and its beauty and characteristics.
A Plott is one of over 300 breeds recognized by the U.K.C. or United Kennel Club. Of those, six breeds are coonhounds. The Plott falls into this category along with the American Black and Tan, Bluetick, English, Redbone, and the Treeing Walker. The Plott became a registered breed in 1946 with the U.K.C.
Brought to America in 1750 by Jonathon Plott from Germany, they are the only one of the six breeds whose breeding does not trace back to the foxhound. Bred originally for boar hunting, upon arriving in the Americas and finding no wild boar to hunt, they quickly adapted to bear hunting.
Since their arrival, a few crosses did occur. A Georgia hunter in the late 1700’s, hearing of the stamina and beauty of these animals, managed to borrow one of Henry Plott’s (then owner of the strain through inheritance) stud dogs, which he then breed to his own bear dogs that were “leopard spotted”. This is actually the only known true cross that took place. Some believe other crosses made included one with a friend of the Plott family, a G. P. Ferguson, in the early 1900’s.
Today’s Plotts are used in hunting and competition sports. Hunters’ train and use them as aids in bear, fox, coyote, even mountain lion hunting. Known for their stamina, strength and aggressiveness while hunting, they are equally known for their beauty, bright minds, and kindness with their owners. They have an endurance that far exceeds many of the other breeds and rarely will you encounter one that does not love the water.
Competition sports, including bench shows and night hunts are another way for owners to enjoy these splendid animals. A bench show gives owners the chance to show off the work that both they and their dog have accomplished. Winners acquire points on everything from overall form to coat and color. Dogs must be of a good temperament and can be disqualified for growling or snapping. The owner or handler must also be of a pleasant demeanor and can be disqualified, either him or her and the dog, for intimidating the judge.
Dogs gain titles with points, first as Champion and then Grand Champion. Night hunts are also a way to gain titles, Night Champion or Night Grand Champion respectively. Groups or ‘casts’ of people take out their dogs in an area where they ‘hunt’ for raccoon, though the raccoon is not killed. Having released their dogs on the scent of a raccoon, the purpose being to earn points on knowing the different barks of their dogs, knowing which bark means they are striking or tracking or have actually treed the raccoon. Many hours must go into working together with dog and handler for this to be attained. When dogs are treed, the cast will approach the tree and if a raccoon is located, and points awarded, dogs are removed from the area and the raccoon is left to go on his way. A judge accompanies each cast, keeping points and rendering decisions, though the group can, by vote, overrule him.
Coloring of these animals varies. Brindle, which means a streaking or striped effect, of black or tan hair with a lighter color. Colors accepted include, yellow, red, tan, brown, black, and a blue or Maltese coloring. While solid color dogs have been frowned upon, they do occur. A white spots on chest or feet area is also acceptable, but no where else.
Size of these animals also varies. Males can run 50 lbs. and up, while females usually are anywhere from 40 to 65 lbs.
If you are looking for a dog that will be friend, hunting partner and much more, you will not go wrong if that dog is a Plott Hound.