History of the Black and Tan Coonhound Breed
The black and tan coonhound is considered to be an American breed. Many agree that the breed was likely the result of crossing the bloodhound with the foxhound, and that the coloring of this breed probably comes from the Virginia foxhound, which is also black and tan. In particular, some history suggests that the black and tan coonhound is a descendant of the St. Hubert bloodhound and the Talbot hound. It is believed that the black and tan coonhound was used for hunting animals such as bears and raccoons. The breed's origins can be traced to the somewhat rough landscapes of the Appalachian, Blue Ridge, Ozark and Smoky mountains. Research suggests that in the late 1700s this breed was owned by Indian fighters and scouts. Like its bloodhound ancestors, the black and tan coonhound trails with its nose close to the ground, but this breed is quicker on the trail. Even though the black and tan coonhound concentrates its talent on opossums and raccoons, this dog tends to track any mammal, and it prefers to trail at night. The black and tan coonhound will bay at the animal it has successfully treed until the hunter finds and shoots the quarry. While it was recognized by the AKC in 1945, the black and tan coonhound has always enjoyed more popularity as a hunting dog than as a pet or show breed.
Size and Appearance of the Black & Tan Coonhound Breed
Slightly longer than it is tall, this square-proportioned dog features powerful shoulders and straight front legs. The hindquarters are muscular and well-boned. The front and back feet are compact and offer thick pads for trailing through rough terrain and strongly arched toes. Ranging from hazel to dark brown in color, the eyes of this breed are almost round and show an eager and alert, yet friendly expression. The black nose has well-opened nostrils. Long and hanging in graceful folds, the ears of the black and tan coonhound are usually set at eye level or lower. The teeth meet in an even scissors bite.
The muscular neck is of medium length and slopes gracefully into the strong, level back.
The strong tail is carried free when the dog is on the move. The gait of this breed is commonly described as effortless and graceful. Short and dense, the coat of the black and tan coonhound allows the dog to withstand rough terrain. The color of the coat is a deep black with tan markings found above the eyes, as well as on the muzzle, legs, and chest.
Black & Tan Coonhound Temperament
While not the usual house pet, the black and tan coonhound can be an amiable part of the family. This breed is generally calm when indoors, while outside it is a strong hunter, and its instincts tend to take over. This breed is usually very gentle with children, but it is not particularly playful. It tends to be reserved with strangers, and it is known to be aggressive with strange dogs. Intelligent and loyal yet stubborn, a firm owner and on-going training is recommended. This dog has a tendency to bay or howl, especially if left alone for too long. The black and tan coonhound may also drool or slobber.
Black & Tan Coonhound Recommended Maintenance
The short, dense coat of this breed is easy to maintain. Weekly brushing is all that is necessary. Because of its tendency to drool, regular wiping of the face may be necessary. It is important to regularly check the long ears for infection and debris. This active breed requires quite a bit of exercise. This is a dog that can run for long distances, so it will enjoy long walks or jogs with its owner. It is important to keep this breed on a leash because if it picks up a scent, the dog will wander off. The black and tan coonhound will not do very well in an apartment because it needs plenty of space for running and roaming. A large, fenced-in yard is highly recommended. Socialization and training should begin at a young age.
Black & Tan Coonhound Health
Life span: 10 - 12 years
Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: ectropion
Occasionally seen: hemophilia B
Suggested tests: hip, (eye)