Honored as the state dog of North Carolina where it originated, the Plott dog breed is not exactly well known or high in number. But they are quite popular and highly valued among a select group of dog lovers who have had the opportunity to get to know this extremely well mannered and devoted breed.
These scent hounds are excellent hunters, but when they are not out tracking their prey, they have a very calm and gentle demeanor that makes them excellent companion and family dogs. They are particularly safe to have around kids.
The Plott hounds were developed as a breed in the United States, or to be more specific, in the state of North Carolina. It is named after Joahnnes Georg Plott, a German hunter who brought five of these hunting dogs from Germany in 1750. In their country of origin, these Hanoverian hounds were used for tracking wild boars, but their traditional prey was not available in their new home. Nevertheless, these dogs adapted to tracking bears in the Great Smoky Mountains where their owner hunted. Fearless and daring as they are, they not only tracked the larger prey and kept it at bay for their owner, but occasionally made the kill too.
These dogs remained within the Plott family and were kept pure for the next 30 years until Henry Plott allowed it to crossbreed with the Leopard-spotted dogs of Rabun Gap from Georgia. However, mixing with local breeds was very limited, and all the dogs that now come under the Plott dog breed have descended from the original stock. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2006 as an all American hound breed.
The Plott Hound dog breed has the typical physical characteristics of the hound type of dogs. Their body is muscular, but retains a racy, athletic look. Measuring 20 to 25 inches in height and weighing 50 to 60 pounds, they are neither too lanky nor too bulky. They have a rectangular body with their body being longer than their height.
A brindle coat is a typical feature of this breed. The tan and black brindle coat is the most common, but other brindle colors include red, brown, grey and blue in combination with black or grey. A white patch is often seen on the chest and occasionally on their feet. The coat hugs the body without any folds or creases and may have very short to medium short hair, giving it a shiny and smooth look. The ears are large, lying folded at the sides of the head. The tail is thin, long and tapering.
The Plott dog breed has all the characteristics that make them ideal family dogs, but they are still scent hounds at heart. Given an opportunity, they may take off after a scent when they are outdoors. They are active dogs with a love for water and the open countryside. At the same time, they maintain a low profile indoors, remaining calm and well mannered.
These dogs remain indifferent to or reserved with other dogs, while showing a definite affinity for human company. They are not particularly aggressive, but can rise to the occasion if they find their family threatened in anyway and can offer the best protection any dog can. Even though they are not overly playful, they are good with children. They are quick to learn commands and understand what is expected of them.
Grooming and exercise
The short, shiny and smooth coat of the Plott dog breed requires only minimal grooming. A weekly brushing can keep it free of any dead and loose hair.
The Plott dogs are not too high on exercise needs, but they should have their daily quota of long walks and some amount of activities or games in the yard. These dogs make ideal companions for trekkers as they love walking nature trails with their owners. They have an affinity to water, and it would be ideal if they are given frequent opportunities to swim or play in water.
These hunting dogs have a love for the outdoors and should ideally have free access to large open spaces or protected yards. However, they are rather people-oriented and would love to sleep indoors with their family at night.
Common health issues of Plott dog breed
The Plott dog breed is known for its robust health. These dogs are not known to have any breed related disorders. They are rarely affected by common canine problems, except hip dysplasia which is very occasionally seen. These have a life expectancy of 11 to 13 years, and, more often than not, lead a trouble-free life.