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Coonhounds


Background

Structure

Health Issues

Temperament

Activity Level

Household Pets

 

 


Background

The Coonhound Black and Tan-is one of the few breeds that claim the title of All-American. Although the exact origins are unknown it is probably that many of the European hunting hounds went into the basic make-up of the early Coonhounds, including Bloodhounds and Foxhounds of the time, and possibly the Kerry Beagle and the French Bleu Gascogne hounds. At any rate the evolution and development of the Coonhound Black and Tan took place in America, By the turn of the century the breed was here to stay.

 

This is a hunting dog, Years, upon years of selective breeding have gone into the dog's background and though he does not need to hunt to be happy, most all possess strong hunting instincts. He is first and fundamentally a working dog, a trail and tree hound, capable of withstanding the rigors of winter and the heat of summer and the difficult terrain over which he is called to work. Used principally for trailing and treeing raccoon, the Black and Tan runs his game by scent. The characteristics and courage of the Coonhound also make him proficient on the hunt of deer, bear, mountain lion and other big game. The general impression is that of power, agility and alertness. He immediately impresses one with his ability to cover ground with powerful rhythmic strides.


Structure

The average size of a male coonhound is 25 to 27 inches, when measured at the shoulders. The female is 23 to 25 inches tall. Considering their job as a hunting dog, the individual should exhibit moderate bone and good muscle tone. Males are heavier than the females. The average weight of this dog is 65 to 100 pounds.

 

The head is cleanly modeled. From the back of the scull to the nose the head measures from 9 to 10 inches in males and 8 to 9 inches in females. Their expression is alert, friendly and eager.  The skin is devoid of folds. Nostrils are well open and always black. The flews are well developed with typical hound appearance. The eye colour ranges from hazel to dark brown. Ears are low set at eye level or even lower and well back. They hang in graceful folds, giving the dog a majestic appearance. In length, they extend naturally well beyond the tip of the nose.

 

The Black and Tan's coat is short but dense to withstand any rough goings on in their environment.  As the name implies, the colour is coal black with rich tan markings above the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, feet, chest,  legs and breeching and with black pencil markings on its toes.


Health Issues

They are a sturdy dog, not prone to average canine disorders, some degree of hip displasia has been recorded. Many breeders screen breeding stock by means of x-ray and have the hips graded by either OFA or OVC.

 

Ear problems, as with any pendulous type ear, are a consideration, particularly with a hunting hound. Having the dog's ears checked weekly and with the cleaning of the ear, there is little need to worry. As with other hounds, there is a tendency toward a "houndy" odour, but regular bathing eliminates this problem.. A few Black and Tans will occasionally slobber, but never to the extremes of the heavy flewed hounds.

 


Temperament

The Black and Tan Coonhound is the quintessential even tempered dog, they are easy going, layed back, and very friendly. As a working scent hound, traditional hunting was carried out large packs making it imperative that all the dogs got along. Today that has shaped the coonhound into a dog that is very comfortable with having other dogs around, although they are just as happy viewing their human family as their pack members.

friends

Activity Level

The Black and Tan was traditionally rasied to hunt by scent. This required great stamina and determination. Unlike the sight hound members of the group that hunt what they can see and more prone to short fast sprints, the coonhound can track a scent for hours or even days. Once a coonhound is on a scent, very little much will distract them from it, making it imparetive, that left unattended, they are in a well fenced area. The great stamina also makes them fantastic jogging partners, pretty much guarenteeing you will run out of gas before they do. Possessing such stamina however does not make them as "high strung" as many other breeds, they will also be quite content with lazing on the porch or couch as long as they do get some form of a daily walk.

 


Household Pets

As House dogs, the B&T's tend to be very laid-back, and they enjoy their creature comforts. If you do not want your dog on the couch, you will be fighting an uphill battle. Black and Tans are good travelers and enjoy car rides. The B&T may not be as frivolous in his play as some of the other breeds, but have a sense of humour. They tend to chase and tree small animals and neighbours may object to their deep booming voice. A securely fenced yard or area is essential for the safety of the Black and Tan.

 

 Basically, the Black and Tan is a happy-go-lucky dog, adapting fairly easily to most situations. They are very people orientated and enjoy being with humans. They are very good with children and are seldom quarrelsome with other animals. They are playful yet gentle despite their size. The breed is slow to mature and requires patience and a firm loving hand. Independent by nature, obedience from the Black and Tan is not always exact. It is rather the compliance from a loving friend.

 

The Black and Tan gives true definition to the term "Man's best friend". He is faithful, non-judgmental, and true to his word. If only the rest of humanity could learn an ounce of compassion that the Black and Tan Coonhound possess, the World would be a happier place to dwell..



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