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  • Temperament: Easy-Going, Bright, Brave
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 128 of 194
  • Height: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 65-110 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Black and Tan Coonhound head facing left
Black and Tan Coonhound sitting facing forward
Black and Tan Coonhound coat detail
Black And Tan Coonhound

Find a Puppy: Black and Tan Coonhound

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Black and Tan Coonhound is first and fundamentally a working dog, a trail and tree hound, capable of withstanding the rigors of winter, the heat of summer, and the difficult terrain over which he is called upon to work. Used principally for trailing and treeing raccoon, the Black and Tan Coonhound runs his game entirely by scent. The characteristics and courage of the Coonhound also make him proficient on the hunt for deer, bear, mountain lion and other big game. Judges are asked by the club sponsoring the breed to place great emphasis upon these facts when evaluating the merits of the dog. The general impression is that of power, agility and alertness. He immediately impresses one with his ability to cover the ground with powerful rhythmic strides.

HEAD

The head is cleanly modeled. From the back of the skull to the nose the head measures from 9 to 10 inches in males and from 8 to 9 inches in females. Expression is alert, friendly and eager. The skin is devoid of folds. Nostrils well open and always black. The flews are well developed with typical hound appearance. Penalize excessive wrinkles. Eyes are from hazel to dark brown in color, almost round and not deeply set. Penalize yellow or light eyes. Ears are low set and well back. They hang in graceful folds, giving the dog a majestic appearance. In length they extend naturally well beyond the tip of the nose and are set at eye level or lower. Penalize ears that do not reach the tip of the nose and are set too high on the head.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

The neck is muscular, sloping, medium length. The skin is devoid of excess dewlap. The back is level, powerful and strong. The dog possesses full, round, well sprung ribs, avoiding flatsidedness. Chest reaches at least to the elbows. The tail is strong, with base slightly below level of backline, carried free and when in action at approximately right angle to back.

FOREQUARTERS

Powerfully constructed shoulders. The forelegs are straight, with elbows turning neither in nor out; pasterns strong and erect. Feet are compact, with well knuckled, strongly arched toes and thick, strong pads. Penalize flat or splayed feet.

HINDQUARTERS

Quarters are well boned and muscled. From hip to hock long and sinewy, hock to pad short and strong. Stifles and hocks well bent and not inclining either in or out. When standing on a level surface, the hind feet are set back from under the body and the leg from pad to hock is at right angles to the ground. Fault-Rear dewclaws.

COAT

The coat is short but dense to withstand rough going.

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black and tan coonhound illustration

About the Black and Tan Coonhound

Black and Tans have an amazingly sensitive nose, long, velvety ears, and a sweet disposition. The coal-black coat features rich tan accents, including the distinctive “pumpkin seeds” above keenly expressive eyes. These are big, strong hounds: A good-size male can stand 27 inches at the shoulder and cover ground with effortless, eager strides.

B&Ts are sociable hounds. A lonely B&T will serenade the neighborhood with loud, mournful “music.” B&Ts can keep pace with the most active family, but they also can hog the sofa for hours on end. Hounds will be hounds: A passing squirrel can arouse B&T prey drive in no time flat, so a strong leash and sturdy fence are must-haves. B&Ts might be too much hound for the lifestyle of every owner.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Black And Tan Coonhound

Find a Puppy: Black and Tan Coonhound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Black and Tan Coonhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Black and Tan Coonound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Black and Tan Coonhound has a short, dense coat that is shed once or twice a year. Weekly brushing with a medium-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove will remove the dead hair before it can fall onto the furniture. Grooming also promotes new hair growth and distributes skin oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy. Black and Tans should be bathed occasionally to keep them from developing a doggy odor. As with all breeds, the Black and Tan’s nails should be trimmed regularly, because overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

Black and Tan Coonhounds require a moderate amount of exercise every day, whether it’s a play session in the yard or a long walk. Of course, these hounds were bred to hunt and have a very strong instinct to chase after any small animal they smell, so the yard has to have a tall, solid fence, and the walk has to be on a leash. An obvious option for exercise is, of course, a hunting trip, and not just for raccoons—the Black and Tan can be trained to help out hunting just about any kind of game, from squirrels to deer, if local ordinances permit. And, as one might expect, Black and Tans also enjoy participating in coonhound field events.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

As with all breeds, early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Black and Tan Coonhounds are intelligent, affectionate, and devoted and also have an independent streak. They can be trained, but it’s best to expect compliance rather than blind obedience. Once they learn to do something, they’ll be inclined to do it that way for the rest of their lives, so it’s important to train the behavior correctly the first time. Black and Tans want to be with their families, and a dog left alone in a yard for long periods, bored and ignored, is likely to complain—loudly.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

The Black and Tan is typically a sturdy breed with few health problems, and a responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for health conditions such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, and thyroid issues. The Black and Tan’s ears should be checked weekly for any signs of infection. As with all breeds, the teeth should be brushed regularly.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound
Black and Tan Coonhound

History

The raccoon is an unsung hero of American history. These plump, nocturnal creatures were a steady source of meat, fur, and fat for settlers who tamed the wild continent.

The frontiersmen who lit out for the western and southern territories in post-Revolutionary times hoping to carve their fortune out of the wilderness faced a challenge: There was no dog breed fully equipped to hunt raccoon. The closest thing at hand were the foxhounds used by the landed gentry of the South on traditional English-style foxhunts. But foxhounds, bred to run at straightaway over the gently rolling acres of a plantation, were unsuited to the task. What America required was a whole new hound.

With typical Yankee ingenuity, the frontiersmen crossed European hounds—foxhounds and Bloodhounds were surely in the mix—to create a uniquely American breed type, the coonhound. These hounds trail raccoon scent through moonlit woods and swamps until they “tree” their quarry, bawling along the way in a clear, musical voice to mark their location to rifle-toting hunters.

To this day, the activity of treeing raccoons with hounds is called a “nite” hunt, with the intentional misspelling meant by the sport’s devotees as a tip of the coonskin cap to the untutored backwoodsmen who developed the B&T and America’s other coonhound breeds. Among the early coonhound enthusiasts was the legendary explorer, huntsman, and “cooner” Daniel Boone, whose beloved Kentucky became a hub of coonhound breeding. Truly, the B&T and his coonhound kinfolk are America’s dogs.

In 1945, the B&T became the first coonhound breed registered by the AKC.

Did You Know?

The Black and Tan Coonhound was accepted for AKC registration in 1945.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is believed to be derived from Bloodhounds and Foxhounds.
Though not particularly fast, the Black and Tan trails much like a Bloodhound, entirely by scent, with nose to the ground, "barking up" or giving voice upon locating quarry.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is actually a fairly old breed, descended from the Talbot Hound which was known in England during the reign of William I, Duke of Normandy, in the 11th century.
The Black and Tan Coonhound is selectively bred on a basis of color and for proficiency on possum and raccoon.
Although labeled a "Coonhound", the Black and Tan is equally proficient in hunting deer, mountain lion, bear, and possibly other big game.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Black and Tan Coonhound is first and fundamentally a working dog, a trail and tree hound, capable of withstanding the rigors of winter, the heat of summer, and the difficult terrain over which he is called upon to work. Used principally for trailing and treeing raccoon, the Black and Tan Coonhound runs his game entirely by scent. The characteristics and courage of the Coonhound also make him proficient on the hunt for deer, bear, mountain lion and other big game. Judges are asked by the club sponsoring the breed to place great emphasis upon these facts when evaluating the merits of the dog. The general impression is that of power, agility and alertness. He immediately impresses one with his ability to cover the ground with powerful rhythmic strides.

HEAD

The head is cleanly modeled. From the back of the skull to the nose the head measures from 9 to 10 inches in males and from 8 to 9 inches in females. Expression is alert, friendly and eager. The skin is devoid of folds. Nostrils well open and always black. The flews are well developed with typical hound appearance. Penalize excessive wrinkles. Eyes are from hazel to dark brown in color, almost round and not deeply set. Penalize yellow or light eyes. Ears are low set and well back. They hang in graceful folds, giving the dog a majestic appearance. In length they extend naturally well beyond the tip of the nose and are set at eye level or lower. Penalize ears that do not reach the tip of the nose and are set too high on the head.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

The neck is muscular, sloping, medium length. The skin is devoid of excess dewlap. The back is level, powerful and strong. The dog possesses full, round, well sprung ribs, avoiding flatsidedness. Chest reaches at least to the elbows. The tail is strong, with base slightly below level of backline, carried free and when in action at approximately right angle to back.

FOREQUARTERS

Powerfully constructed shoulders. The forelegs are straight, with elbows turning neither in nor out; pasterns strong and erect. Feet are compact, with well knuckled, strongly arched toes and thick, strong pads. Penalize flat or splayed feet.

HINDQUARTERS

Quarters are well boned and muscled. From hip to hock long and sinewy, hock to pad short and strong. Stifles and hocks well bent and not inclining either in or out. When standing on a level surface, the hind feet are set back from under the body and the leg from pad to hock is at right angles to the ground. Fault-Rear dewclaws.

COAT

The coat is short but dense to withstand rough going.

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black and tan coonhound illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 018

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