The Plott Hound

I met Dale and owner Jason the other day as they were going for their daily walk. They are my neighbors who live on the street behind me. I’ve never run into them walking before. However, I am glad they stopped to say, “Hello.”

I want to give a shout out to Dale and Jason!

WHAT IS A PLOTT HOUND

Dale is a Plott Hound. I’ve never heard of a Plott Hound before. Have you? This little cutie is 17 months old.  He loves to hike in the Blue Hills and the White Mountains with his dad.

This hound was originally bred to hunt deer and bears. It is a large scent hound. Hey Dale! Did you know that you have the distinct honor of being the official State Dog of North Carolina, since 1989?

You go, boy! Um…I mean…you go dog! High five!  

 

CHARACTERISTICS

The Plott is a muscular, sturdy, and agile hound with a flat skull and square muzzle. His prominent brown eyes give him a confident and inquisitive expression. He has medium length ears and a long tail.

They come in a variety of colors: black, brown, brindle, and tan with variations of each.

Height: 20 – 25 inches (51 – 63 cm)
Weight: 40 – 75 pounds (18 – 34 kg)

 

ORIGIN

The Plott family, two brothers, immigrated to North Carolina in 1750 from Germany. They brought with them their five Hanoverian schweisshunden, which is a type of bloodhound. One of the Plott brothers died on the journey. Plott and his descendants bred a line of dogs for hunting bears and big predators. Eventually, this breed became known as Plott’s dogs and then “The Plott.”

HE’S A RUNNER!

This breed needs plenty of attention and exercise. Take him for long walks daily and allow him to run off his energy. I saw a video of a man who had 4 Plotts and he was raising them as hunting dogs. It was his custom to “road” his dogs, as he called it. He put all of the dogs in the back of the truck then drove to a certain spot on a dirt road. He took the first dog out, put a tracking collar on him with GPS which was connected to his phone. Then he let the dog off the leash behind the truck. He got back in the truck and pulled off. The dog ran behind the truck looking just as happy as he could be. The guy didn’t go too fast, but he ran him for a mile the first few days. Then two miles, then gradually up to 5 miles. This was specifically to condition the dogs for hunting. Then he stopped the truck beside a creek. The dog was allowed to go down and drink, dip his feet in and cool off. After that, the dog was put into the truck then the next dog was brought out, the tracker collar was attached and they were off.  Of the two dogs shown in the video, one chose to run in front of the truck the other ran behind it.

 

I have to admit that at first, I thought it was cruel, but these dogs loved it. They knew just what to do. However, the tracker collar was just in case they caught a scent and veered off course, he could find the dog again. He made sure to run the dogs on the dirt road to protect their feet instead of pavement. So if you are looking to condition your dogs for hunting and you have a quiet open space this might work for you. Unless you can run that fast then you both can get some exercise. *wink

 

TEMPERAMENT

On the trail, the Plott is fast and tough. One article I read called him the “all-terrain-vehicle of the coonhound.” When he catches the scent of his prey he starts barking. This hound has a distinctive howl type sound that he makes when he’s on the trail of a fresh scent. Beware, this hound, like the Beagle, has a one-track mind. Hunt. Or at least to “follow that scent.” Be sure that he is in a well fenced-in area when off-leash. He is a natural-born hunter and tends to wander off.

This is not an apartment-friendly dog. This dog needs open space to run around.  Besides, I don’t think your neighbors would appreciate his barking. He would do well at dog parks as he gets along well with other dogs, however, it is important to socialize him early on and be sure to teach him simple obedience like walking on a leash.

The Plott makes a great watch-dog. He is very protective of his family. They are protective of their territory as well. However, if they meet a stranger with you they are rarely aggressive.

He is loyal, intelligent, and quick to learn. They need a firm, but calm, confident, and consistent handler. Proper canine to human communication is extremely important.

HEALTH

The Plott is a relatively healthy dog. However, like all dogs, there is always a possibility for him to develop health problems. If you go to a breeder and he tells you that they are not prone to health issues, walk away. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. As I said Plotts are relatively healthy dogs however, there are a few health concerns that you should know about. One is “bloat.” It is a condition most often developed by large breed dogs due to their deep chest. Plott breeders often call this condition “twisted gut.” Without going into vivid detail, basically the stomach turns over preventing food and gases from entering or leaving the body. This can be prevented by not allowing the dog to engage in vigorous activity until about an hour after eating. Another issue to watch out for is hip dysplasia. Finally, a major issue with all dogs is obesity. Take care not to overfeed this dog. Keeping him lean and exercised will go along way to keeping him healthy.

PLOTT HOUND GROOMING 101

The Plott has a distinctive coat. While it is smooth and fine it is also thick enough to protect the dog as he hunts in cold or wet conditions. Some Plotts have a double coat which is a short, soft thick under-coat topped by a longer smoother one with stiffer hairs.

Caring for a Plott’s coat is easy. Groom it at least weekly. I recommend using a rubber knobbed grooming glove to remove the dead hair and distribute skin oils. See my review recommendation here. Plotts with a double coat will shed more heavily and need to be brushed more often.

According to vetSTREET

Be aware that scenthounds such as the Plott can have what is often described as a musty odor. Regular baths can help keep the aroma under control, but it’s something you should be prepared to live with.

Trim the nails as needed, keep the hanging ears clean and dry to prevent bacterial and yeast infections. Brush the teeth often with a vet-approved toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.

I want to thank my neighbor for stopping by with Dale. He is a cutie and I wish you well in rasing this hound dog. May your trips to the Blue Hills and White Mountains be many and be always enjoyable. Make sure you do your research into this wonderful breed to make sure you both have a long and happy relationship together.

Until next time! Woof!

2 thoughts on “The Plott Hound”

  1. This is a very captivating article. You were able to mix information giving by telling the story of Dale the Plott Hound. I also never heard of this breed before. Your efforts to describe the nitty gritty information about Dale is very admirable because writing about something you don’t know demands a lot of research. I fell in love with Dale.

    Reply
    • 🙂 Me too! I look out my window every day now to see if he passes by.  When he does I’ll make some excuse to go outside where I’ll just happen to “run into them.” lol Thank you for your kind words.

      Reply

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