AKC Hound Group
The powerful brindled Plott comes from a line of dogs bred by generations of the Plott family in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. In 1750, young Georg Plott created the first family hounds by mating the boar-hunting bloodhounds he had brought from Germany. The result: a brindled (sometimes saddled) hound with an excellent treeing and fighting instinct. Because North Carolina didn’t have boars, the Plott family used their fleet-footed, tenacious hunters for bear hunting. Today, because there are more coon hunters than big game hunters in this country, most Plotts are used for coon hunting, although some are bred and raised to hunt big cats, bears, coyotes, and wild boar.
The Plott is the North Carolina State Dog and is one of only a handful of dogs known to be of American origin. The Plott joined the AKC Hound Group in 2007.
Like other scent hounds, the Plott tends to be a powerfully built animal with a confident and determined air. The head should be carried high and the neck and topline should be long, lean, and muscular. The prominent eyes are brown or hazel; the drop ears are broad, soft, and set moderately high on the dog’s head. (They should not droop like the ears of a bloodhound.) The muzzle is slightly squarish and the teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The coat is smooth and glossy. The ideal coat color is any shade of brindle, including yellow, buckskin, brown, liver, red, light or dark gray, or blue, although Plotts can also be solid black, black with brindle trim, or buckskin. The dog’s gait should be graceful, agile, and speedy; the legs should be long and straight and the feet should be tight. The dog’s call is described as both bugle-like and having a ringing chop, which means it is short, loud, and bright in tone.
- Height: 20 to 25 in. (male); 20 to 23 in. (female)
- Size: Medium
- Weight: 50 to 60 lbs. (male); 40 to 55 lbs. (female)
- Availability: Very difficult to find
- Talents: Tracking, hunting, watchdog, and guarding
This is a robust breed that has no known prevalent health problems. Hip dysplasia has been reported but is not common. Fairly quiet except when hunting.
The Plott is an aggressive fighter in the field and is widely known for its enduring desire to “mix it up” with dangerous game. That doesn’t mean the hounds don’t make great pets—indeed, these dogs can be loyal, smart, and enthusiastically affectionate in the home and are becoming increasingly popular as family dogs. But potential owners should proceed with care. As pack dogs bred to fight, Plotts need lots of socialization and early training so they learn their place. Even then, they will need to be monitored around other dogs, as they are capable of fighting to the death—even over a bowl of food or killed game. This can be especially hazardous around children, other dogs, or even a cat who might innocently sample a Plott’s food. If you’re interested in hunting, the Plott is a tried and true pack dog known for its ability to track, tree, and fight many kinds of game—a breed that won’t let you down.
- Children: Best with older, considerate children
- Friendliness: Fairly friendly with strangers
- Trainability: Very easy to train
- Independence: Not particularly dependent or independent
- Dominance: High
- Other Pets: Do not trust with other pets
- Combativeness: Can be a bit dog-aggressive
- Noise: Not much barking
- Indoors: Moderately active indoors
- Owner: Not recommended for novice owners
- Grooming: Almost no grooming needed
- Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed
- Coat: Short coat
- Shedding: None (or very light)
- Exercise: Needs lots of exercise
- Jogging: A good jogging companion
- Apartments: Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
- Outdoor Space: Needs an average-size yard
- Climate: Does well in most climates
- Longevity: Average (10 to 12 years)
AKC® Plott Breed Standard
Plott Breed Club
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