Getting To Know You – Black and Tan Coonhound

According to the Animal Planet website, “the Black and Tan Coonhound was the original First Dog – George Washington had several of these puppies.  Early American colonial settlers valued the Black and Tan Coonhound’s ability to track a “cold” scent or the trail of a long-gone animal.”  As you would expect, the Black and Tan Coonhound is always black and tan in color.  The tan markings can be found above the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, on the chest, the legs, and chest.  It also has black markings on the toes.  There should be no other colors on their short coat.  Their dense coat helps shield the dog from the summer heat and the rigors of summer.  It also serves to protect from the difficult terrain on which this working dog has to work.  Bred primarily for trailing and treeing raccoon, they hunt them using only their nose, while their floppy ears help direct the smell.  These scent hounds are brave, which also makes them proficient when hunting deer, mountain lion, bear and other big game.  This courageous breed is friendly and easy-going at home, while tenacious when called to work.  They are sociable and can easily keep pace with an active family, yet can be couch potatoes, as well.

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a large breed, weighing in at 65 to 110 pounds.  Males are typically between 25 and 27 inches, while females measure 23 to 25 inches.  They have a high prey drive so care must be taken with the neighborhood squirrels.  A strong leash and sturdy, high fence are imperative to avoid a tragedy when their strong prey drive is aroused – which can be often.  Remember that the males are big and strong, and they have the ability to cover a lot of ground effortlessly.  This American treasure is a versatile companion who can excel both in the show ring and in performance sports.  The Black and Tan Coonhound makes a fantastic jogging companion.  Though it is not imperative that you jog with him, keep in mind that he does require a moderate amount of daily exercise.  With a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, that’s 3,650 to 4,380 consecutive days of exercise.

The American Black and Tan Coonhound Club recommends inquiring about the following health issues before adding one of these wonderful dogs to your family: hip dysplasia, abdominal bloat, thyroid issues, heart problems, eye disease, etc.  For more information and for help finding a responsible breeder, go to their website at