Black and Tan Coonhound

Breed History / Description

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a trail and tree hound – that is, a scent hound developed to hunt racoon (hence the derivative in the breed’s name). He is one of several Coonhound varieties and is distinguished by his black and tan markings. The origin of the breed trace back to the early colonial dogs and probably contain the blood of Foxhounds taken from England to North America in the 17th Century. In fact, until relatively recent times the Coonhounds were regarded as a variety of Foxhound. However, with the infusion of other breeds and types such as the Pointer, Setter, Bloodhound and French Hunting Hounds several varieties of Coonhound developed, often distinguished by colour, such as the Blue Tick Coonhound, the Redbone, the Treeing walker and the Plott. The Black and Tan was the first to be split from the American Foxhound. 

The racoon was a source of meat and fur for the early colonist and hence the dogs that could hunt them became much valued. The Coonhound was developed to track the racoon by scent and the scenting prowess of the Coonhound are immense and he gives voice when on the trail, is capable of going through water. Whilst the Black and Tan Coonhound does have the courage to kill, he often ends up “treeing” the racoon - that is holding the racoon at bay when it takes refuge up a tree. 

The stamina, strength and courage of the Coonhound also made him useful for hunting bigger prey such as wild boar, bears, deer and mountain lion


The characteristics and courage of the Coonhound also make him proficient in the hunt for larger game. The general impression is one of power, agility and alertness. Impressive ability to cover the ground with powerful rhythmic strides. 


Even temperament, outgoing and friendly. A working scent hound, able to work in close contact with other hounds and people.

Club, K., 2018. The Kennel Club's Breed Standards. 5th ed. London SW1V 2SA: Ebury Press.

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