Plott Hound

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Plott Hound
Other namesPlott
OriginAncestry from Germany, started in United States
Classification / standards
AKC Hound Group standard
UKC Scenthound Group standard
NotesState dog of North Carolina (designated in 1989)[1]
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Plott Hound is a large scent hound, originally bred for hunting bear. The Plott Hound is one of the least known breeds of dog in the United States, even though it is the state dog of North Carolina.[2] In 1989, the North Carolina General Assembly designated the Plott Hound as the official State Dog.[3]

The Plott Hound was first registered with the United Kennel Club in 1946. Plotts were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2006[4] and were exhibited at Westminster Show in 2008.[5]

Chosen for their tracking and hunting abilities, two Plott Hound puppies have been trained as K9 deputies for the Guilford County Sherriff's Department.[1]


The Plott Hound is generally athletic, muscular, and agile in appearance. This breed is rarely low-set or heavy and usually has a medium build. Unlike some other hounds the Plott's skin is not baggy. The Plott is a strongly built yet moderate hound, with a distinct brindle-colored coat. Its appearance suggests the capacity for speed, stamina and endurance. The Plott may have an identification mark on it that is used to identify the dog when hunting. Such a mark is not penalized in conformation shows.

Coat and color[edit]

The Plott Hound's hair should be fine to medium in texture, short or medium in length, and have a smooth and glossy appearance. According to the National Plott Hound Association, the dog's hair should be brindled. Brindled is defined as "Finely streaked or striped effect or pattern of black or tan hairs with hairs of a lighter or darker background color. Shades of colors accepted: yellow brindle, red brindle, tan brindle, brown brindle, black brindle, grey brindle, and maltese (slate grey, blue brindle)." Acceptable colors are any of the above-mentioned brindles. Black with brindle trim in the alternative. The Association dictates that while some white on chest and/or feet is permissible, white anywhere else is a fault.


A Plott Hound should measure approximately 20 to 25 in (55 to 71 cm) at the withers for males, 20 to 23 in (53 to 63 cm) for females. Males should weigh 50 to 60 lb (23 to 27 kg). Females should weigh 40 to 55 lb (18 to 25 kg).[6]


Plotthund Kynnagardens Ziggy Lundamo.JPG

Of the seven breeds of United Kennel Club (UKC) registered coonhounds, the Plott Hound is the only that does not trace its ancestry to the foxhound.

The Plott Balsams, a mountain range in North Carolina, are named for the Plott family, whose ancestor, (Johannes) George Plott (c. 1733-1815), immigrated to North Carolina in the late 18th century from Germany. The Plott Hound breed of hunting dog, is also named for the Plotts.[7]

The ancestors of today's Plott Hounds were used for boar hunting in Germany. Originally from Germany, in 1750 Johannes "George" Plott emigrated to the English colony of North Carolina. He brought a few wild boar hounds (five Hanoverian Hounds, used for bear and boar hunting)[6] with him. These dogs had been bred for generations for their stamina and gameness. George and his wife Margaret with their family settled in the mountains of western North Carolina. Though there is no evidence that Plott ever came to western North Carolina, his son Henry settled there around 1801 to 1810 (as census discloses) and was responsible for the Plott Hound's later development.

Plott supposedly kept his strain entirely pure, making no outcrosses. In 1780, the Plott pack passed into the hands of Henry Plott.[8]

Shortly after, a hunter living in Rabun Gap, Georgia, who had been breeding his own outstanding strain of "leopard spotted dogs" heard of the fame of the Plott Hounds and came to North Carolina to see for himself. He was so impressed that he borrowed one of Montraville Plott's top stud dogs for a year to breed to his own bitches. This single cross is the only known instance of new blood being introduced into the Plott Hound since it first came to this country. Eventually Mont decided not to continue this breeding practice and gave all the leopard dogs away, returning to his original breeding practices.

Other crosses possibly took place around the year 1900. G.P. Ferguson, a neighbor of the Plott family in North Carolina in those days, was a major influence on the Plott breed. He made a careful study of the Blevins hounds and the Cable hounds of that era. The extent to which he used these bloodlines in his Plott breeding program is not known.


  1. ^ a b Libby Bagley; Myra Wright (January 2018). "NC Author is an Advocate for our State Dog". Carolina Country (Volume 50, Number 1). NC Electric Cooperatives. p. 26. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
  2. ^ McCoy, Erin Kathleen. "North Carolina State Dog". State Symbols USA. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Plott Hound: The State Dog". North Carolina History Encyclopedia. John Locke Foundation. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Plott Quick Facts". Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  5. ^ Woodward, Richard B. (12 February 2008). "Great Plott".
  6. ^ a b "Plott – American Kennel Club". Retrieved 2015-06-03.
  7. ^ Marcus Simpson, Harold Pratt, Birds of the Blue Ridge Mountains (University of North Carolina, 1992), p. 182.
  8. ^ North Carolina Office of Archives and History. "Plott Hound Historical Marker". Retrieved 2009-04-08.


  • Strike and Stay: The Story of the Plott Hound, Bob Plott, The History Press, 2007, ASIN: B0061S3YLW, pp. 25– 30

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