The Breed History
This breed was developed by the Plott family in the southeastern region of America during the late 1700s, and refined over seven family generations. The breed originated from imported German Hanoverian Hounds. One documented outcross to the American Blevins black saddle hound is recorded. AKC recognized this breed in 2006.
Breeding for Function
Originally developed for bear, mountain lion and boar hunting, the Plott hound became a valued coonhound because of their treeing instinct and ability to track a cold scent. Noted for their stamina and courage during the hunt, they are slow to tire and use a distinctive loud ringing high-pitched voice during the hunt. They can tolerate extreme terrain and weather. They can also do water work. Still primarily kept for hunting in the southeastern United States; coyotes and wildcats are also common quarry.
Height at Withers: female 20-25" (51-58 cm), male 20-23" (51-58 cm).
Weight: females 40-55 lb (18-25 kg), males 50-65 lb (23-30 kg).
Coat: A short to medium length dense haircoat set close to the skin surface is standard. Sometimes these dogs are double coated. Some have a black saddle. The most common color pattern of brindle may be any shade (including yellow, brown, chocolate, red, black, gray, Maltese, blue or tan); some brindles have a black saddle. Other accepted colors include solid black, black with brindle trim, and buckskin (rarely). A small amount of white on the chest and feet is permissible; in older dogs a graying effect is also accepted.
Longevity: 11-14 years
Points of Conformation: The Plott is a muscular athletic medium-sized dog. Points include a moderately flat skull with a moderate stop, high head carriage, and prominent hazel to brown eyes with alert expression. The large pendulous high-set ears are semi-erect when working. They have a medium length neck and it is free of dewlap or throatiness. Palpebral margins, flews, nose, and lips are black. The muzzle is almost square, moderate in length and flews are present but not pendulous. The thorax is moderately deep with well sprung ribs. The topline is higher at the withers than the hip, merging into slightly arched loins and a well tucked up abdomen. They possess fine, medium length straight boned limbs, with compact feet, toes well knuckled up. Nails are usually dark, but if white feet markings are present, there may be white nails and in brindles, reddish brown is permissible. A very long, medium weight curving tail tapers, and is normally held high in a saber like carriage. There can be a slight brush. Their gait is long, low, rhythmic, smooth and appearing tireless.
Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Active, intelligent, bold, eager to please, vocal and responsive, alert. They are fearless on the hunt, and some variation in temperament occurs between strains. Plotts are generally good with children if socialized at an early age. They have very high exercise needs, and are generally suited to a hunting lifestyle only. They tend to drool, have low grooming needs, and have a moderate shedding tendency.
Normal Physiologic Variations
Hip Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing degenerative joint disease and hip arthritis. Too few Plott Hounds have been screened to determine an accurate frequency.
Patella Luxation: Polygenically inherited laxity of patellar ligaments, causing luxation, lameness, and later degenerative joint disease. Treat surgically if causing clinical signs. Too few Plott Hounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. Too few Plott Hounds have been screened by OFA to determine an accurate frequency.
Mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPS-I): A rare autosomal recessive disease discovered in three Plott Hound littermates was found to be associated with a profound and specific deficiency of alpha-L-iduronidase (mucopolysaccharide alpha-L-iduronohydrolase) in fibroblasts and leukocytes. Clinical signs of neurological, skeletal, and corneal abnormalities appear around 6-9 months of age. A direct test for MPS is available from PennGen.
Hypothyroidism: Inherited autoimmune thyroiditis. 6.3% positive for thyroid autoantibodies based on testing at Michigan State University. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%).
Ocular Disorders: Too few Plott Hounds have been CERF examined to determine accurate frequencies for inherited ocular disorders. The Plott Hound is a rare breed, and there is little documented in the literature on health issues. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus has been reported in the breed.
Isolated Case Studies
Tests of Genotype: Direct test for MPS is available from PennGen.
Tests of Phenotype: Recommend hip and elbow radiographs, CERF eye examination, patella evaluation, thyroid profile including autoantibodies, and cardiac examination.
- Breed name synonyms: Plotts.
- Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, NKC (National Kennel Club).
- AKC rank (year 2008): 127 (220 dogs registered)
- Internet resources: The Plott Hound: http://www.akc.org/breeds/plott/index.cfm
Plott Dogs: www.plottdogs.com
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