Plott Hound: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

Plott hound

 

spotsygirl / Getty Images

The Plott hound is a medium-large hound dog breed from the United States with a short, shiny coat that’s typically brindle. The dog’s ears are medium-length and hang down, and its eyes are usually brown or hazel. Its skin lacks the droopiness and folds of many other hound dog breeds, such as the bloodhound. Overall, it has a muscular build with long legs that give it both speed and stamina. The Plott hound is generally loyal and eager to please, and it can be a dedicated and fearless hunting dog. 

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Height: 20 to 23 inches (female), 20 to 25 inches (male)

Weight: 40 to 55 pounds (female), 50 to 60 pounds (male)

Coat: Short, smooth

Coat Color: Any shade of brindle, black, buckskin, or maltese with/without black saddle, gray muzzle and jaw, white chest and feet, or brindle trim

Life Span: 12 to 14 years

Temperament: Loyal, alert, active

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: United States

Characteristics of the Plott Hound

Plott hounds generally have a devoted and protective temperament with their family, though they can be wary of strangers. With proper socialization they can get along with other dogs, but they might view smaller household pets as prey. High energy also helps to shape this breed’s personality, and it prefers an active lifestyle.

Affection Level Medium
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Plott Hound

Unlike many hound breeds that have their roots in the United Kingdom, the Plott hound has German ancestors. In the mid-1700s a German named Johannes Plott came to North Carolina with five Hanover hounds, a German dog breed that’s known for its impeccable nose. 

The Plott family used these dogs to hunt big game, such as wild boar and bears. And they eventually bred their Hanover hounds with local hunting dogs, which allowed the Plott hound to take shape. The breed is known not only for its scent hound abilities but also its loud, musical bay that can be heard over a great distance.

As of 1989, the breed is the state dog of North Carolina. The American Kennel Club first recognized it in 2006.

Plott Hound Care

Plott hounds are smart and energetic, which means they need lots of daily activity to be happy and well-adjusted. Their grooming requirements are basic. And they should receive training and socialization from an early age.

Exercise

Plan to give your dog at least one to two hours of vigorous exercise every day. A bored Plott hound without an outlet for its energy might become destructive or engage in other undesirable behaviors. Long walks, running, cycling, and play sessions all are great ways to burn some of this breed’s energy. Plus, dog sports, such as tracking and agility, can provide mental and physical challenges. And puzzle toys can help to provide mental stimulation, as well.

Make sure to keep your Plott hound on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outdoors. The breed’s high prey drive can cause it to take off running after perceived prey, and your dog might not always listen to your recall commands.

Grooming

The Plott hound’s short coat stays relatively clean and only needs basic grooming. Brush weekly with a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt to remove loose fur and distribute skin oils. Shedding can increase seasonally, often in the spring and fall, during which you'll have to brush more frequently to keep up with the loose fur.

Bathe your dog every month or so, depending on how dirty it gets. But make sure to check its ears at least weekly to see whether they need cleaning, as wax and debris can build up especially in pendant dog ears. Also, dry the ears well whenever they get wet. In addition, check your dog’s nails roughly once a month to see whether they’re due for a trim. And aim to brush its teeth every day with a canine toothpaste.

Training

Plott hounds can be somewhat stubborn when it comes to training. Begin training and socialization ideally when your dog is a puppy to prevent bad habits from forming. Always use positive-reinforcement training methods, such as treats and praise. And try to keep training sessions fun and varied to hold your dog’s attention.

In addition, aim to expose your dog to different people, other dogs, and various locations from a young age. Having lots of positive experiences can help to curb its wariness of strangers. 

Plott hound running on grass
Brian Huneycutt / Getty Images

Common Health Problems

Overall, the Plott hound is a healthy dog breed. But it is still prone to some hereditary health issues, including:

Plott hounds as pets illustration

The Spruce / Emilie Dunphy

Diet and Nutrition

Always have fresh water accessible for your Plott Hound. And feed it a high-quality diet with balanced nutrition. It’s typical to feed two measured meals per day to make sure your dog is getting the proper amount. Always discuss both the quantity and type of food with your vet to ensure that you’re meeting your dog’s individual needs. Diets can vary based on age, activity level, and other factors. 

Where to Adopt or Buy a Plott Hound

The Plott hound isn’t an exceptionally common dog breed, but it is still possible to find one available for adoption. So check your local animal shelters, and see whether there are any breed-specific rescue groups in your area as well. For a puppy from a responsible breeder, expect to pay around $300 to $700 on average.

For more information to help you find a Plott hound, check out:

Plott Hound Overview

Pros
  • Good running companion

  • Low-maintenance grooming

  • Generally loyal and loving with family

Cons
  • Requires rigorous daily exercise and mental stimulation

  • Not suitable for apartments

  • High prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

As with any breed, do thorough research on the Plott hound before bringing one home to make sure it will fit with your lifestyle. Talk to Plott hound owners, rescue groups, reputable breeders, and veterinary professionals to learn more.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential dog breeds out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

FAQ
  • Are Plott hounds good family dogs?

    Well-trained and socialized Plott hounds are moderately tolerant of children. They can be good with respectful older children, but they might be too large and energetic for young kids.

  • Are Plott hounds aggressive?

    Plott hounds have an alert and protective nature, and they can be wary of strangers. However, with proper training and socialization this typically does not turn into aggression.

  • Are Plott hounds good apartment dogs?

    Plott hounds do best in a home with a securely fenced area in which they can run freely. They often are too energetic and vocal for apartment living.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Plott Hound. American Kennel Club.

  2. Plott Hound Puppies and Dogs. Adopt a Pet.