Plott Hound

Plott

Plott Hound is one of the least known breeds of dog in the United States, even though they are the state dog of North Carolina.

The Plott Hound dog breed is active. They have a superb treeing instinct, take readily to water and are quick to learn. They are often indifferent to other dogs but seek the attention of humans. Voice is open trailing, bawl and chop. They have a clear voice that carries well.

The ancestors of today’s Plott Hounds were used for boar hunting in Germany many years ago. Originally from Germany, Johannes Plott emigrated to the United States in 1750. He brought a few wild boar hounds with him. These dogs had been bred for generations for their stamina and gameness. Plott and his family settled in the mountains of western North Carolina. Though there is no evidence that Johannes ever came to western North Carolina, his son Henry settled there around 1800 and was responsible for the Plott hound legend of an incredible big game dog.

The Plott Balsams are a mountain range that carries the family name to this day. Plott supposedly kept his strain entirely pure, making no outcrosses. In 1780, the Plott pack passed into the hands of Henry Plott. Shortly after, a hunter living in Rabun Gap, Georgia who had been breeding his own outstanding strain of “leopard spotted dogs” heard of the fame of the Plott Hounds and came to North Carolina to see for himself. He was so impressed that he borrowed one of Montraville Plott’s top stud dogs for a year to breed to his own bitches. This single cross is the only known instance of new blood being introduced into the Plott Hound since they first came to this country. Eventually Mont decided not to continue this breeding practice and gave all the leopard dogs away, returning to his original breeding practices.

The Plott Hound should be athletic, muscular, and agile in appearance. It should be neither low-set and heavy, nor leggy and light: it has medium build. Its expression should be one of intelligence, confidence, and determination. Its skin should not be baggy like that of a Bloodhound. The Plott is a strongly built yet moderate hound, with a distinct brindle-colored coat. Their appearance suggests the capacity for speed, stamina and endurance. The Plott may have an identification mark on the hound used to identify the dog when out hunting. Such a mark is not penalized in conformation shows.

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  1. Tricia Macomber says:

    My Plott hound is one of two Plott puppies who turned up on the road in front of my house, about 10 wks, matching pink collars–nearly run over as I watched. When I called them, they came straight to me, so I knew they were someone’s hound dog puppies who had gotten loose. Obvious litter mates, I posted their photos everywhere, but no one claimed them. I had been volunteering for Collie Rescue, so they took them as “honorary” collies if I would foster them. One was black with brindle markings on her chest and legs. She had little brown eyebrows that she could wiggle like she knew exactly what you were saying. She was so composed, so poised, so well-mannered–unbelievable in a puppy. I named her Black Pearl. Her sister was red brindle 100%. Not a speck of white anywhere, but she was as squirrely as they come. Definitely a screwball of a dog. Still, people came from everywhere to try to adopt her, but she wouldn’t have any part of it. Although perfectly normal 90% of the time, she knew which people were coming to visit and which ones were coming to “look at her.” Visitors she a shy with until she warmed up to them; then she was fine. Prospective adopters, however, were greeted with growls, hiding behind me and peeping around–all the hair standing straight up along her spine. That Plott hound bark came out in spades when she seldom barked. Her name – Red Ruby. Moving along, Black Pearl got adopted right away. A year later people were still coming to see Red Ruby, and she wasn’t interested in anybody. The collie people kept telling me, “That dog is all about you – she doesn’t need a home because she already has one.” I, on the other hand, wasn’t impressed. I would say, “I don’t even like this dog. She needs to find a permanent job somewhere.” But as the months passed, I began to accept the inevitable. That Plott hound might not have been my dog, but I was her human. By the time she was three, she had started to grow on me. Now she is eight, and she is without question one of the two or three best dogs I have ever known. That is saying something since I have had dogs my whole life and have fostered about 35 dogs for Collie Rescue. Meet Ruby . . . a very fine dog.

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Plott Hound