Let's talk Black and Tan Coonhounds

With huge silky, strokable ears and big brown eyes, Black and Tan Coonhounds look like big softies. And – spoiler alert! – that’s exactly what they are. Although the breed was originally developed to hunt raccoons, these XXL canines (they can weigh as much as 50kg (110 lb)!) now make lovely gentle family pets. They have a playful side but, providing they get enough exercise, Black and Tan Coonhounds are usually placid at home, as long as their beloved humans are near. 

Official name: Black and Tan Coonhound

Origins: United States

Black and white portrait of a Black and Tan Coonhound sat looking up
 Drooling tendencies

Medium

Warm weather? High
 Shedding level Very high
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy level * Medium Family pet ? *
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Very high
Can stay alone? * Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
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Illustration of a Black and Tan Coonhound
Male
64 - 69 cm Height
29.5 - 50 kg Weight
Female
58 - 64 cm Height
29.5 - 50 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2-15 months
 Adult age  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

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Get to know the Black and Tan Coonhound

All you need to know about the breed

An all-American hound, the Black and Tan Coonhound was bred by 19th century frontiersmen for the ferocious pursuit of hunting raccoons. In the 21st century, this even-tempered and placid breed now makes a wonderful family pet. Their shiny coats with richly coloured markings (black and tan, since you ask) coupled with extravagantly droopy and velvety ears, make for a harmonious whole.

Personality-wise, they’re just as appealing, although these noble hounds do have some perhaps less appealing qualities - Black and Tan Coonhounds shed quite a lot, have a tendency to bark (or sometimes bay or yowl) and, whether you ask for interior design input or not, are likely to festoon your home with strings of drool. These are minor details, however, far outweighed by their gentle-natured charm.

Black and Tan Coonhounds thrive on human company, getting on well with children once trained, although their size means they shouldn’t be left unsupervised with little ones. Their still-strong prey instincts and extraordinary sense of smell mean they are not suitable for households with small pets such as guinea pigs or hamsters and need a safely enclosed space for off-the-lead runs (and sniffs).

These hounds were bred for their stamina, and need a decent amount of exercise, but Black and Tan Coonhounds also relish time spent snoozing at home.

Black and Tan Coonhound stood alert by water in front of a skyline

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2 facts about Black and Tan Coonhounds

1. Singing dog

Black and Tan Coonhound aficionados often talk about the breed’s “song” – and while those less familiar with the breed might not describe it in quite such melodious terms, it’s true that they have a very distinctive baying or yowling tone and timbre.

2. Pumpkin seeds

The Black and Tan Coonhound’s richly coloured markings are a big part of the breed’s charm – and the smallest spots are the most distinctive. This handsome hound sports two tan spots at the inner corners of their eyebrows – often known as pumpkin seeds because of their shape. 

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History of the breed

The Black and Tan Coonhound breed’s origins are the embodiment of the pioneering American spirit. Lacking a dog that could hunt raccoons, enterprising 19th century frontiersmen decided to develop one–prioritising a super-sniffing nose alongside endurance for that rugged early mission. The crossing of foxhounds and bloodhounds in rural parts of the southeastern US eventually led to the emergence of the Black and Tan Coonhound, just one of several different coonhound breeds and the largest, as well as the first to be recognised by the American Kennel Club, in 1945.

Black and white portrait of a Black and Tan Coonhound puppy

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Black and Tan Coonhounds

1. Head

Elegant long muzzle with huge, low-hanging ears.

2. Coat

Shiny short black coat with tan markings.

3. Body

Large muscular body with long legs.

Close-up with a Black and Tan Coonhound with head cocked

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Black and Tan Coonhounds
Black and Tan Coonhound reaching front paws into a pool to catch a ball

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Caring for your Black and Tan Coonhound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Year-round, that super-shiny and strokable coat just needs a weekly brush to remove dead hairs and keep it in good condition. Black and Tan Coonhounds shed more substantially once or twice a year. While the dogs themselves may try to convince you otherwise, the occasional bath is also a good idea. Though strong and muscular, these hounds don’t need as much exercise as perhaps you might imagine. A decent walk or run a play session are good options – because of their built-in prey instinct and powerful sense of smell, it’s vital that they are only let off the lead in a safely enclosed space. Black and Tan Coonhounds are intelligent – good news for training. But they can also have an independent streak … less good news. Patient and consistent training needs to start early to establish good habits rather than bad ones which would be hard to break.

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All about Black and Tan Coonhounds

Black and Tan Coonhounds are devoted to their human families and don’t respond well to being left alone for long periods: in this situation, barking will result. As loyal canine companions, they will also let you know by barking or baying if strangers approach your home. Just so you know, the definition of “strangers” can also include squirrels, birds or neighbours’ cats. In short, yes, they bark. If silence is your priority, this is not the breed for you

Yes – as long as you have the space for such a large dog. Black and Tan Coonhounds are affectionate and friendly, get on well with children once trained (although because of their sheer size, they shouldn’t be left unsupervised with them) and make a great addition to the family. 

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/