Black and Tan Coonhound Dog History, Health And Care

Introduction Of Black and Tan Coonhound Dog

The Black and Tan Coonhound, also known as the American Black and Tan, the Cooner or simply the Coonhound, is one of the few truly American dog breeds, developed in the deep South by hunters who blended the unique traits of a number of hound breeds. These dogs are famous for their exceptional sense of smell, excellent tracking capabilities and unique baying voice. This is not the breed for someone who wants a quiet dog. The Black and Tan Coonhound was accepted for full American Kennel Club registration in 1945 as a member of the Hound Group; it was the first AKC-approved coonhound breed. These are independent and spirited working dogs first and foremost, but normally are exceptionally tolerant of children. Coonhounds are even-tempered, friendly and personable. They are gentle and happy when working, but also are perfectly content to take an afternoon snooze. They form close bonds with their human families. They are extremely scent-driven and can wander if not properly restrained or confined.

The male Black and Tan Coonhound should be between 25 and 27 inches at the withers, while females should range from 23 to 25 inches in height. They typically weigh between 40 and 75 pounds, with females usually being lighter and smaller in stature than males. Their short dense coats require little maintenance, but their long and pendulous ears should be cleaned regularly.

Black and Tan Coonhound Dog Breed Quick Facts

Affection Level 4/5
Apartment Friendly 3/5
Barking Tendencies 4/5
Cat Friendly 3/5
Child Friendly4/5
Dog Friendly4/5
Exercise Need 3/5
Grooming Needs 2/5
Health Issues 2/5
Intelligence 4/5
Playfulness 3/5

Black and Tan Coonhound – Appearance & Grooming


Black and Tan Coonhounds are large, powerful hunting dogs with short, dense coats that protect them from the elements. Their length is usually equal to their height, but some are a bit longer than they are tall. This breed is a descendent of the Bloodhound, and they have the same size and shaped as their forefather. They have large noses, drooping lips, and large, low-hanging ears. They have round, hazel or brown eyes, which often look sad. The Black and Tan’s tail is long and strong, and when he is at work in the hunting field, he carries it upward at a right angle. Black and Tan Coonhounds are, of course, black and tan in color.

Size and Weight

Black and Tan Coonhounds are large dogs, standing 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 75 to 100 pounds. Males are slightly larger than females at maturity. Black and Tans should move with long, rhythmic strides.

Coat and Color

The Black and Tan Coonhound developed a short, dense, oily coat to keep him protected from weather and brush as he worked in the hunting field. This breed is, obviously, black and tan in color. Black is the base color and tan markings appear above the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, on the chest, legs and backs of the thighs. Their feet are often marked with flecks of black.

Grooming Needs

A hound mitt is needed for properly grooming a Black and Tan. They need to be brushed two or three times per week to remove dead hair and distribute the natural oils of the skin and coat. Black and Tans shed year round with heavier shedding coming during the Spring and Fall season changes. Only bathe this breed as needed, stripping the natural oils from the skin can lead to irritation and the development of allergies.

The drop ears of the Black and Tan do not allow for air to circulate, and thus make the dog prone to painful ear infections. Weekly cleaning with a veterinarian-recommended cleanser can keep harmful bacteria from building up in the ears. Other hygiene needs include regular teeth cleaning. Some owners brush their Black and Tan’s teeth daily to prevent bad breath, but weekly cleanings can keep tarter buildup to a minimum.

Black and Tan Coonhound – History and Health


Black and Tan Coonhounds were bred to be working and hunting dogs. While wealthy colonial landowners in the southern United States engaged in organized fox hunts on horseback using imported foxhounds, working-class settlers were developing their own medium-sized working dogs bred for performance rather than appearance and capable of helping put meat on the family dinner table. Coonhounds were developed to locate and hunt their own prey, primarily at night, while making an exuberant baying vocalization during the chase. In North America, the Black and Tan Coonhound has been used to hunt raccoons, bobcat, cougar, deer, elk, wild boar and even bear. They are believed to be descendants of the Bloodhound, the Talbot Hound and the Foxhound which were imported from England. In the United States, Coonhounds have been used for tracking since the late 1700’s. With the advent of urban development and receding rural areas, this versatile dog has continued to be a devoted companion and a willing participant in almost any human-canine activity, including obedience, conformation, agility, jogging, camping, watchdog, babysitter, couch potato and tracker. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1945 and is the most popular of all coonhounds in America.


The Black and Tan Coonhound has an average life span of 10 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include ear infections and hip dysplasia. Overall, this is a very hardy breed.

Black and Tan Coonhound – Temperament & Personality


Black and Tan Coonhounds are a pleasant, laid-back addition to families of all sizes and ages. Playful as puppies, this breed mellows out considerably in adulthood and is happy with moderate exercise and lots of time to relax around the house. Black and Tans are good with children, they are patient and not dominant, but they aren’t particularly playful when the get older. Many Black and Tan Coonhounds think they are lapdogs, despite their size, and can ball up into the tiniest of spaces to sleep next to the people they love.

Activity Requirements

Black and Tans don’t need an excessive amount of vigorous activity, and as adults they quite enjoy relaxing on the living room rug or attempting to curl up next to you on the couch, despite their large size. They can adapt to just about any living situation and will do just fine in an apartment.

While outside, the Black and Tan Coonhound should be kept on a leash or in a fenced in yard. If they catch a scent, their instincts will take off and employ true hound dog “selective deafness,” and will not obey your commands to return home. They make excellent companions for hunters and farmers. They will track an animal across any terrain, in any weather, and won’t stop working until they have that animal penned up a tree.


Black and Tans assume they are the leader and require their trainer to prove otherwise. They can be stubborn and even manipulative with their expressive brown eyes and droopy faces. Training a Black and Tan is not for the soft-hearted.

As with most hound breeds, the Black and Tan is sensitive and needs to be trained with a confident, consistent, but gentle hand. Harsh treatment can lead to avoidance behaviors, and extremely sensitive individuals can shut down completely. Positive reinforcement, treats, and a lot of patience will yield the best results when training a Black and Tan.

Behavioral Traits

Hound dogs tend to be howlers, and Black and Tans are no exception. They like to sing along with fire trucks and police cars, but can take to howling and baying when left alone for long periods of time.

Unless they are at work on a farm, Coonhounds should be kept on a leash or in a fenced in yard at all times. They are far too driven to track small animals to be left unattended.

Black and Tans can be prone to drool and slobber, and can make quite a mess at mealtime. Be prepared to mop up lots of puddles around this breed.

Photo Library Of Black and Tan Coonhound

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