The 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 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.
Coat and color
The Plott Hound's fur should be fine to medium in texture, short or medium in length, and with a smooth and glossy appearance. According to the National Plott Hound Association, the dog's fur should be brindled. Brindled: "Finely streaked or striped effect or pattern of black or tan hairs with hairs of a lighter or darker background color. Shades of colors accepted: yellow brindle, red brindle, tan brindle, brown brindle, black brindle, grey brindle, and maltese (slate grey, blue brindle)." Acceptable colors are any of the above mentioned brindles. Black with brindle trim in the alternative. The Association dictates that while some white on chest and/or feet is permissible, white anywhere else, except on chest and/or feet, is a fault.
Plott Hounds are approximately 22 to 27 in (55 to 71 cm) at the withers for males, 21 to 25 in (53 to 63 cm) for females. Males should weigh 50 to 75 lb (23 to 27 kg). Females should weigh 40 to 65 lb (18 to 25 kg).
This 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.Of the seven breeds of United Kennel Club (UKC) registered Coonhounds, the Plott Hound does not trace its ancestry to the foxhound. And, of those seven breeds, we can be most certain of the Plott’s heritage and the men most responsible for its development.
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.
Other crosses possibly took place around the year 1900. G.P. Ferguson, a neighbor of the Plott family in North Carolina in those days, was a major influence on the Plott breed. He made a careful study of the Blevins hounds and the Cable hounds of that era. To what extent he used these bloodlines in his Plott breeding program is not known.
The Plott Hound was first registered with the United Kennel Club in the 1946. Plotts were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2006.