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Choosing a Black and Tan Coonhound

The black and tan coonhound is an excellent hunter that barks when his quarry is in a tree. Their beautiful black and tan coat gives them their name.

History and Origin

The black and tan coonhound is an old breed developed in the American south by crossing foxhounds and bloodhounds based on their colors. It is likely that the Virginia foxhound, a black and tan dog, was also involved. In addition to breeding for color, these dogs were also bred for their ability to track and tree raccoons and opossums. They have also been used to hunt bear, deer and mountain lion. The breed will track his quarry based on scent and will then bark when the animal is in a tree. The black and tan coonhound is also an excellent companion.

In 1945, the black and tan coonhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the hound group.

Appearance and Size

The black and tan coonhound is a large hound with a deep chest, drooping lips and wide nostrils. The ears are pendulous and set low on the head. The skin should be loose all over the body.

The coat of the black and tan coonhound is short and smooth. The color, as the name implies, is black and tan with tan markings on the muzzle, legs and chest. The rest of the coat should be black.

The adult black and tan coonhound stands around 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 50 to 75 pounds.


The black and tan coonhound is an intelligent and loyal dog with an even temper. These dogs are agile and excellent hunters that can work in all kinds of terrain. Some may be aggressive or shy, especially with strangers.

Home and Family Relations

The black and tan coonhound is an excellent family pet that is good with older children and loves spending time with his family. He can live in an apartment as long as he is taken on daily walks but prefers a home with a large fenced yard. This breed is relatively inactive when kept indoors and has a tendency to become obese. Many can do well living outside if shelter is provided. The black and tan coonhound can do well with other pets if raised with them but may chase cats. Some may be aggressive toward other dogs.


The black and tan coonhound will easily learn to follow a scent and tree quarry. Some can do well in basic obedience but if they catch a scent, they will follow it.

Special Concerns

The black and tan coonhound tends to be an inactive dog if kept indoors most of the time and can become overweight. Some drool a significant amount and some howl if left alone for long periods of time. As with other hounds, this breed should not be allowed off leash since he has a tendency to roam and will chase cats and other small creatures.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The black and tan coonhound is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are hip dysplasia and obesity.

The average life span of the black and tan coonhound is 10 to 12 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.