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.
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
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
Common Health Problems
Overall, the Plott hound is a healthy dog breed. But it is still prone to some hereditary health issues, including:
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
Good running companion
Generally loyal and loving with family
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!
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.