Black And Tan Coonhound Breed Information Guide: Quirks, Pictures, Personality & Facts

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 7, 2019

Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.

Intro / Overview

Black and Tan Coonhounds are an American breed developed from a cross between the Bloodhound and the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound. As their name suggests, they are mostly black with tan markings. They’re hunting dogs, mostly used for coon hunting, so they have the high energy levels of this class of dogs.

However, they’re also calm indoors and like to relax with their owners, making them good for families. B&Ts have a “cold nose,” which means that they can track a trail even once the scent has gone cold. They also have the ability to hunt in difficult terrains. They’re great pets because of their temperament in addition to being great hunting companions.

Also Known As…

American Black and Tan Coonhound. Black and Tan. B&T. “Holy moly, those ears! It’s some kind of…Hound creature!”


Black and Tan Coonhounds were developed in the late 18th century in the Southern United States. They were bred from American Foxhounds, Bloodhounds, and Virginia Foxhounds to develop a breed that would be a perfect hunting companion. Their Bloodhound ancestry can be seen in their long ears. They were bred mostly to track raccoons and possums, but they hunt some other mammals, as well. Because of their task of hunting raccoons and possums, most of their hunting was done at night, giving them a great sense of smell. In 1945, this breed was the first Coonhound breed to gain AKC recognition.


Black and Tan Coonhounds are usually 21 to 27 inches tall (male) and 21-25 inches tall (female).

Weight Range

Black and Tan girls range from 40 to 65 pounds, while the boys range from 50 to 75 pounds.


Black and Tan Coonhounds are very friendly and outgoing, so they love to be around people. Like many hunting dogs, they are very loyal and energetic and are able to focus on the task at hand. They love to explore outside and use their nose!

However, unlike many hunting dogs, they can be very calm while inside and want to have some downtime in addition to their outdoor activity. This mix in personality makes them a good fit for families who want to have a dog they can spend time with outdoors. Their loyalty makes them a loving pet to have. This means they will also be defensive of their family, making them a good watchdog. They are prone to barking and howling when they want to alert their family of something.

Intelligence / Trainability

Black and Tan Coonhounds can be a bit difficult to train as they are known to be stubborn, but they’re intelligent dogs. With early socialization and firm training, training is still possible! Their independent personality means that they might want to make decisions by themselves, so it’s necessary to be patient and encouraging when working with Black and Tans.

Remembering that their independence comes from their intelligence will make them easier to work with so that both dog and owner can be happy. With their mix of intelligence and energy, tasks that are mentally stimulating are important for keeping Black and Tans happy and for training to be effective.

Best Training Techniques For Black And Tan Coonhounds

Positive reinforcement is very important in training this stubborn, independent breed. By encouraging your dog in the training process, everything can go much more smoothly. They’re motivated by food, so using small treats for positive reinforcement can help with the training process. They sometimes want to make their own decisions, so training them takes being firm and consistent throughout working with your dog.

Consistency is necessary for this breed to have successful training. Thanks to their great memory, this breed tends to become stuck in their ways, so it’s important to teach them early on in life before they get pick up a bad habit. Additionally, once something is taught a certain way, that is how the Black and Tan Coonhound will complete the task.

The training sessions should be short and engaging, in order to get the most out of the time. This will keep their attention the whole time so that the training is most effective.

Ideal Environment

Black and Tan Coonhounds like to have time indoors and outdoors, so living somewhere with a big yard would be ideal for them. This breed really like to track down scents, so make sure that the yard is well enclosed. It’s possible that they would try to escape to follow a scent! They also would enjoy being able to go on walks in nature, so that they can be around a lot of interesting scents and use their natural hunting tendencies. This breed isn’t really made for apartment and city life.

Good For Families And Kids?

All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!

Black and Tan Coonhounds are great with kids, but may not do well with toddlers, as young kids may not respect their boundaries. This breed’s loyalty means that they will be protective of the kids they grow up with. They have a gentle personality, so with good socialization they will be patient with their family. Their high energy levels when outdoors can also make them a great play companion for children.

Average Lifespan

Black and Tan Coonhounds often live between 10 to 12 years of age.


Black and Tan Coonhounds are pretty healthy dogs, but they are predisposed to some health conditions. These include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, eye and ear problems, and Hemophilia B. In addition, they are predisposed to Coonhound paralysis which occurs from exposure to raccoons. In order to keep Black and Tan Coonhounds healthy, a vet should perform regular tests for these conditions.


This hunting breed requires moderate exercise daily, as it was bred for outdoor activities. However, they aren’t super high energy all the time and will still enjoy relaxation. You’ll be able to see changes in a Black and Tan Coonhound’s activity level depending on whether they’re inside or outside.

Inside, they’ll be mellow and friendly with your family, but outside, their hunting instincts emerge. Going on walks and playing in a yard are good options are good alternatives to actual hunting. With too much boredom, B&Ts may resort to chewing on household items or howling loudly, so it’s important they get an adequate outlet for their energy.

Friendly With…Dogs? (Strangers? Cats/Other pets?)

With proper socialization, Black and Tan Coonhounds can get along with other pets and people. If they are raised with other dogs and animals, they can get along with them well, but small animals in the wild will lead to the dog’s hunting instincts to come out. Their friendly personality means that they do well with strangers, though they may be a bit reserved at first.

Coat And Grooming

Black and Tan Coonhounds have a short coat that is relatively easy to groom. However, these dogs shed a lot, so brushing the coat multiple times per week is necessary to remove the excess hair. Because their ears are extra droopy, keeping them clean and dry is important for their health. Make sure to clean the ears regularly and dry them off when they get wet.


The bark of a Black and Tan Coonhound is a loud, baying howl. This howl can help notify their owners that there is an animal they are tracking. Each dog’s howl is unique, allowing owners to know if their dog is howling to them.

Toys Black And Tan Coonhounds Would Like Best

Let’s talk toys! Black and Tan Coonhounds need durable toys – like Super Chewer Dog Toys – that are also intellectually stimulating. Most hunting dogs enjoy toys that give them a task, as that is what they were bred to focus on. Toys that have food and treats hidden are especially fun for them, as they get to use their sense of smell to figure out a puzzle.

These types of toys are a way to keep your Black and Tan Coonhound busy and intellectually stimulated. Plus, their chasing instinct means that playing fetch with a durable ball is fun for them. They can use their tendency to chase small animals to chase small balls instead. Make sure the ball is durable, though, as their strong jaws can break small balls.

Recommended Diet Or Supplements

Black and Tan Coonhounds sometimes have problems with overeating, so giving them food twice daily in limited amounts will help keep them healthy. They also might try to eat food off the table or look through the trash can, so make sure to keep food and trash out of reach so they don’t eat anything they’re not supposed to!

Supplements to support eye health can help keep your Black and Tan Coonhound from developing possible eye problems. And of course, supplements can help this large dog stay strong throughout their life (as always, consult a veterinarian first).

Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil

Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

BARK’s Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is made of organically grown whole plants, grown in Colorado, and is non-psychoactive. It comes in 100mg, 250mg, and 500mg varieties, and can help with pet anxiety and pain relief. ($17.99-22.99.)

Glucosamine Supplement For Hip & Joints

This joint supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your Boston Terrier with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)

Recommended Products

Every dog needs a good dog bed, especially Black and Tans who’ve been out running around all day long!

Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Bed

This dog bed is great for supporting your pup’s tired body. A high quality combination of ergonomic memory foam and gel foam helps ease body aches, joint pain, hip dysplasia and arthritis. This bed offers the best therapeutic support for your hardworking pal. ($27.99-64.99.)

Notable Rescues To Find the Black and Tan Coonhounds

Notable Instagram Black and Tan Coonhounds




***Looking for a gift to blow your Black and Tan Coonhound’s mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription! 🙂

gifts for big dogs 2018

Featured image via Monkeybars_Chloebear/Instagram

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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 7, 2019


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.