The dog breed black and tan coonhound is as its name implies a raccoon dog, i.e. coon which is an abbreviation of raccoon and hound. It is thought that its ancestors were the talbot, also known as the English hound, which was imported to America and used for a long time in hunting. The talbot was then crossed with the Virginia foxhound and the bloodhound which gave rise to the breed we know today.
It is a very old breed and has only recently been recognised by the FCI. It is little known in Europe, but especially in North America it is very popular for raccoon hunting. At that time the raccoon was much sought after because it had delicious meat and was difficult to catch because it took refuge in the trees, displacing the hounds.
A dog was needed to find its prey and force it up a tree, after which it would bark and run in circles, never letting it down, until a hunter caught up with it and put the animal out of its misery. And the black and tan coonhound is very good at this. However, it is also a suitable dog for big game such as mountain lions, roe deer and bears, as it is also very brave. It is also very hardy and adapts to all temperatures.
A small curiosity: it was this dog that inspired them to create Mickey Mouse’s famous friend Goofy.
Character of the black and tan coonhound dog breed
The coonhound is a lively, inquisitive dog with a docile, friendly and calm disposition. Intelligent, very attached to its owner and family, it enjoys playing with children, but also likes to spend some quiet time and laze around.
Born to work, it is nevertheless a tireless dog that needs daily exercise to release its liveliness; it is therefore not suitable for elderly or sedentary people. It has no problems living with other dogs or animals as it was born to work in packs, but you should be careful with cats as it is a hunting dog and can be dominant with other dogs.
Its training is not difficult, as it is very intelligent and very receptive to commands, but it is not a compliant dog, on the contrary it is rather stubborn, as is normal for all hounds, so it will be good to start its education as soon as possible, with constancy, consistency and even a little discipline. It can be said that the only defect of the coonhound is that it is very easily distracted and tries to chase any prey that comes its way, and for this reason training from an early age will be very useful.
It is not an aggressive or fearful dog for no reason and is also a good watchdog, alerting its owner immediately if it senses danger, and is always very affectionate with strangers.
Appearance of the black and tan coonhound dog breed
The coonhound is a medium-sized dog, classified morphologically as a Braccoid. The body is well-proportioned, robust and solid, but also lean and dry. It gives the impression of great agility and power. This dog is one of the strongest and fastest of the hounds, maintaining a galloping gait for a long time without tiring. It is the typical hound, both in appearance and behaviour. The front limbs are straight with powerful shoulders, the hind limbs are muscular and well bony. The tail is long, strong and sabre-shaped.
Its height at the withers ranges from 63 to 68 centimetres for an average weight of 35 kilograms, the smaller and lighter females reach 63 centimetres for a maximum weight of 25 kilograms.
The head has a skull which tends to be oval. The truffle is black and the nostrils are well open. The eyes are round and not sunken, the colour is generally hazel or dark brown, the ears have a low and drooping hairline, they fall long on the cheeks up to the height of the truffle. The neck is long and massive.
The coat is very dense to withstand the weather; the basic colour is always carbon black, with abundant markings around the eyes, sides of the muzzle, chest, limbs and thighs. This typical colouring also gives rise to its name; black and tan means black in English. It tends to shed throughout the year and therefore needs regular grooming.
Health and care of the black and tan coonhound dog breed
The Black and Tan Coonhound is a hardy, robust dog that can adapt to any environment and any temperature. It can therefore easily withstand the rigours of winter as well as the heat of summer and is at home even on the most difficult and rugged terrain. With this temperament, it is not very prone to illnesses: in a few dogs, however, hip and elbow dysplasia have been found. For this dog it is important to keep the ears under control as they are very large and are a breeding ground for parasites.
Its average life span is 10 to 12 years. However, this breed was born for hunting and instinctively feels the need to be outdoors and does not feel comfortable in enclosed spaces. It needs a lot of daily exercise.
As far as the care of the coat is concerned, it is sufficient to brush it every so often to remove the excess hair and avoid the formation of knots.
As far as feeding is concerned, this hound, like every dog, must follow a diet that is well balanced and contains the essential nutrients for growth, development and maintenance. Obviously, the amount and intensity of the dog’s regular physical activity must be taken into account.