Origins and History
The Black and Tan Coonhound is truly a one of a kind dog, and is the only breed of dog registered with the AKC as a Coonhound. This breed was developed from crossing the Bloodhound and the Foxhound, and the resulting colors are what gave this dog its name.
This dog was originally bred to hunt Raccoon; hunt them down and tree them until the hunter arrived. Over the years however, it has been used to hunt all kinds of animals like cougar, deer, and bear among others. Eventually, a law was passed saying that antlered animals were not allowed to be hunted using dogs.
This dog has an interesting history, with more than one famous person having owned and raised it. One of these people was Thomas Jefferson who quoted, "The way you deal with your Coonhound's slobber can perhaps be the most telling way of how you deal with your everyday problems; after all, he is your best friend".
Nevertheless, Thomas Jefferson is not the only famous person to own this dog. George Washington himself is said to be the father of this breed. It is said that he had a very big influence in its development all those years ago.
It is a good-sized dog that is actually very nice looking. It has a black and tan coat resembling a Doberman Pinscher's or even a Rottweiler's. This is just a general description because this dog does have several unique markings that are not found in other dog breeds.
This dog is usually between 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder for the males and 23 to 25 for the females. As it is used in hunting, it is usually not penalized for being a little taller than the standard states, but if it is smaller in size than it should be, it will get penalized. Its face is free of wrinkles and the nose is always black. The eyes need to be hazel to dark-brown in color, a lighter color such as yellow is penalized. The weight is between 65 to 76 pounds. The litter is generally up to 8 pups. This dog has an easy stride that should be effortless as it is originally bred to travel great distances over some pretty rough terrain. The coat of the dog is short, smooth, but also very dense. Males are larger and bigger-boned than females.
If the dog has old scars, it is usually not penalized because it is a hunting breed. It is gentle and loving by nature. If you are considering buying a puppy, never pick one that is aggressive or fearful, because it will most likely grow up to be just that, aggressive and fearful, and that is the kind of dog that bites.
It is friendly, calm, mellow, and unobtrusive. It can tolerate small children well, but may not entertain them much because of its independent nature. It is generally reserved with strangers, and has a tendency to howl.
This dog is a hunting breed that hunts by scent, therefore never let it loose in an area that is not closed in with a big, secure fence. Please use the leash because a dog that can smell so many wonderful things is not going to wait around and ask your permission to go and trail them. Remember, many dogs decide to go selectively deaf when their owner starts calling them.
This breed can run very long distances, but regular walks or jogs do suffice. However, an occasional excursion is a good idea. Although this is a generally-healthy breed overall, it does face issues such as hip dysplasia, ear cancer or other infections, and eye problems.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is becoming more and more rare these days, because it isn't needed as much as it was in the past. Thus, finding a pup might take some time and effort, and when you find one it will probably cost a lot. However, no matter what, it is worth the price.