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Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a breed of dog used principally for trailing and treeing raccoon. It's a cross between the Bloodhound, and the Black And Tan Virginia Foxhound. The Black and Tan Coonhound runs its game entirely by scent. The courage of the Coonhound also make it proficient on the hunt for deer, bear, cougar and other big game, although many US states are restricting the hunting of antlered animals with dogs. The general impression is that of power, agility and alertness, with the ability to cover ground swiftly with powerful rhythmic strides. Each hound has its own distinctive voice which is often recognizable to its owners from great distance.


The breed standard for Black and Tan Coonhounds is as follows:

Eyes are hazel to brown
Ears extend past the tip of the nose.
Their black and tan markings are similar to the Doberman Pinscher and the Rottweiler but have key distinguishing differences from these breeds. The most prominent are the long tails and ears, and their loud, baying bark.
23 to 27 inches (58 to 68 cm) at the shoulder
8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) head (back of skull to tip of nose)
65 to 130 (29 to 45 kg) pounds
Males are typically larger and heavier boned than females.

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a gentle, adaptable, and lovable dog. Many are easygoing and people-friendly, and the Black and Tan Coonhound is happiest when performing the work it has been bred for. Easily distracted by their incredible sense of smell, these dogs require patient handling and encouragement. Though most are trusting and sweet-natured, Black and Tan puppies require a fair amount of encouragement to boost their confidence, especially when living indoors as pets. Black and Tan Coonhounds are happy to be couch-potatoes when given plenty of exercise, and they enjoy the company of their human family. Black and Tans may seem cautious or nervous around strangers or unfamiliar dogs, but will socialize well with time, as they are bred to hunt and work in packs. They don’t become senior citizens until about ten years old, and will be active, fun-loving buddies for their first decade.

The nose of the Black and Tan Coonhound will often lead it to trouble, and it must therefore be kept on leash when outdoors. When tracking, the Coonhound may work methodically, but the untrained and off-leash Coonhound will sometimes race off after a scent. Patient training is essential.


Black and Tan CoonhoundCountry of origin: United States
Weight: 50-75 pounds (45-64 kg.)
Height: 23-27 inches (58-68 cm.)
Coat: Short, sleek
Litter size: 8 puppies
Life span: 10-12 years

The Black and Tan is best known as a raccoon hunter, the breed has also been used very successfully to hunt other types of game such as bear, stag, opossum, deer and mountain lion - even on difficult terrain. It withstands well the rigors of winter as well as intense heat. Some of the Black and Tan Coonhound talent's include hunting, tracking, watchdogging, and agility. Black and Tan Coonhounds are the only breed officially recognized as Coonhounds by the American Kennel Club.

This breed drools and slobbers, a trait that can be troublesome. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “the way you deal with your coonhound’s slobber can perhaps be the most telling way of how you handle your everyday problems, after all he is your best friend.” This breed is not well-suited for someone who is looking for a quiet dog; Black and Tan Coonhounds, like all coonhounds, are quiet vocal and will bark and howl often.

Black and Tan Coonhounds are effective at warning their owners when a stranger enters the yard. Their bark sounds threatening to strangers, but they are unlikely to actually bite unless they sense danger or they or their pack are threatened.

It can be difficult to find a Black and Tan Coonhound for sale, and when found, they are usually quite costly. Litter size and ability to show can both be factors in the price, as can the fact that the breed is generally more rare than most others. As with most pure breeds of dogs, some breeders will set a low price point in an effort to introduce the breed to newcomers, while others breed the dogs purely for profit.

In 1945, the Black & Tan became the only one of the six varieties of Coonhound to be recognized in the Hound Group by the American Kennel Club. The Redbone Coonhound and the Plott Hound have since been recognized in the Miscellaneous Class. The other three varieties of Coonhound are the Bluetick Coonhound, the English Coonhound, and the Treeing Walker Coonhound.