Plott Hound Breed Information Guide: Photos, Traits, & Care

Written by: Casey Estorque

September 14, 2019

Meet the Plott Hound, a curious and courageous dog that hails from North Carolina. A member of the Hound Group, this breed boasts many hound staples, such as pendant ears, long tails, short and smooth coats, and noses that won’t quit! Plott Hounds are notably intelligent dogs. However, their hound-like stubbornness may pose roadblocks in training.

Plott Hounds are loyal companions who are protective of their families. They are people-pleasers who love being part of the pack! While Plott Hounds can be couch potatoes indoors, they’re incredibly active and athletic outdoors. Read on to learn more about North Carolina’s official state dog!

Breed Overview

  • Height: 20–25 inches
  • Weight: 40–60 lbs
  • Lifespan: 11–13 years
  • Breed Size: Medium
  • Colors: Black, brown brindle, black brindle, blue brindle, red brindle, tan brindle
  • Good With: Kids, other dogs
  • Temperament: Bright, courageous, confident

Are Also Known As…

Plott. Plotthund. Plott Dog. (Fun fact: Plott Hounds are named after the family that developed the breed.) “The Plottiest of the Hounds! Whatever that means!”

What Is The History Of The Plott Hound?

Unlike the other six coonhound breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, the Plott Hound is not a descendant of the English Foxhound. Rather, Plott Hounds descended from German “Hanover hounds.” In 1750, Johannes Plott, a German immigrant, brought Hanover hounds to North Carolina. Nestled in the Carolina mountains, he and his hounds hunted big game such as bears and wild boar. Plott’s son eventually bred the family’s Hanover hounds with local dogs. This resulted in the big-game hunter we know and love: the Plott Hound.

This pack-hunting dog breed has now been around for over 200 years. Now, the Plott Hound is North Carolina’s official state dog breed.

How Big Do Plott Hounds Get?

Height: 20-25 inches

Male Plott Hounds are typically 20 to 25 inches tall at the withers while female Plott Hounds are typically 20 to 23 inches tall at the withers.

Weight: 40-60 pounds

Weight: Female Plott Hounds weigh 40 to 55 pounds on average. Male Plott Hounds weigh 50 to 60 on average.

How Long Do Plott Hounds (Generally) Live?

Plott Hounds typically live 11 to 13 years. The Plott Hound is not prone to any major health concerns. However, some Plotts do succumb to canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify this condition early, a veterinarian may recommend hip exams for this breed of dog.

What Is a Plott Hound’s Temperament & Personality Like?

Plott Hounds are bright, courageous, confident, and loyal. They are pack hounds who enjoy being part of a family. Plotts love their people and are eager to please. These devoted pups are protective of the home and family, making them excellent watch dogs. They are also generally friendly towards other dogs due to their pack hound background.

Plott Hounds are laid back inside, but transform into fierce athletes outside. Outside the home, Plotts are fearless, bold, and relentless. This hardy breed has incredible endurance and stamina. They are highly active dogs who enjoy roaming terrain and tracking scents to burn off the energy.

Plott Hounds are brains and brawn! They are quite intelligent and crave mental stimulation. While their intelligence and desire to please make them quite trainable, Plott Hounds can also be stubborn and dominant. Therefore, Plott Hounds respond best to experienced and confident pup parents.

Are Plott Hounds Good With Kids? Dogs? Cats?

Plott Hounds are loyal companions who are protective of their homes and families. Because of this, they make excellent watchdogs!

Plotts generally do well with children! However, children around Plott Hounds must be taught how to interact respectfully with dogs. This breed can be very possessive of their food (#relatable). This possessiveness can pose a risk to kiddos who attempt to play with Plotts during snack time.

Given their pack-hunting background, Plott Hounds are generally friendly towards other dogs. In fact, many prefer to live with canine companions. Plott Hounds love belonging to a pack!

This naturally territorial breed is typically wary of strangers at first. However, Plott Hounds will quickly warm up to a new friend.

Plott Hounds may learn to get along with cats that they are raised with. However, Plotts may have a tendency to tree cats that they see outside. (Fun fact: treeing is a hunting tactic where dogs force prey to run up a tree.)

Bred as hunters, Plott Hounds have a very strong prey drive. Because of this, Plotts may pose a risk towards other pets and smaller animals. It is recommended to avoid mixing Plott Hounds with small pets, such as hamsters and guinea pigs.

Are Plott Hounds High Energy?

While Plott Hounds are mellow indoors, they are bursting with energy outdoors! Plotts are a very active and athletic breed. These rugged and relentless dogs are known for their admirable stamina and endurance. Given this, Plott Hounds require lots of physical activity and outdoor time to stay happy and healthy.

Plotts either need acres of fenced land for exploration or an hour of physical activity per day. While this may sound daunting, there’s no need to be a marathon runner to keep up with a Plott Hound. Their daily exercise can be broken up into two or three play sessions or long walks. Like most hounds, the Plott Hound loves being swept away by a scent. Because of this, Plotts much prefer to sniff and wander than to sprint.

Are Plott Hounds Noisy?

Plott Hounds make some pretty distinctive noises. Often described as a “chop”, their loud, staccato bark is quite resonant. The purpose of their booming bark is to let hunters know that they are on the trail or have located some prey. While this is certainly practical for hunting, nearby neighbors may not find it as helpful. This is not completely unavoidable, but good training can minimize the amount of barking your Plott Hound makes.

Are Plott Hounds Hard To Train?

As mentioned, Plotts are a brainy bunch! They are very intelligent, confident, and alert. Because of their intelligence, Plotts require mental stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive behaviors. Training and playtime are great solutions to keep a Plott Hound puppy occupied.

Because of their intellect and eager-to-please temperament, Plott Hounds are fairly trainable. However, like many hounds, Plotts can be stubborn. This breed in particular tends to be domineering and is not suggested for novice or timid pup parents. For best results, start training early, and keep training sessions short and focused.

Plott Hounds need a trainer who is consistent and firm, but never harsh or cruel. Instead, these food-loving hounds respond best to treat-based positive reinforcement. This means showering your Plott Hound with love and treats when she performs the desired behaviors, rather than punishing when she performs undesired behaviors.

Ideal Environment For Plott Hounds

Early Plott Hounds enjoyed venturing through acres of forests in the Carolina mountains. This has instilled a love for roaming and adventure in this breed. A Plott Hound’s ideal environment would be living out in the country with room to roam.

Not the owner of a large ranch? Not a problem! Plott Hounds should do well in any house, as long as they are given an hour of physical activity every day. Because of their strong prey drive and roaming instinct, it is very important that Plotts are only unleashed in securely-fenced yards.

The people-loving Plott does not do well being confined for extended periods of time. They should not be crated for more than a few hours at a time, unless during sleep time. Additionally, this active and adventurous hound breed is not well-suited for apartment living.

Do Plott Hounds Have Any Health Issues?

Pet health is extremely important. Like all breeds, Plotts are susceptible to certain health conditions. Thankfully, the list for this breed is quite short: hip dysplasia and ear infections. An iconic hound dog staple, the floppy pendant ear is prone to infection. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your Plott Hound’s ears for signs of infection.

Do Plott Hounds Have Health Issues?

Plott Hounds are generally healthy, but they have some health conditions you should be aware of. With their deep chest, they can be prone to bloat, or gastric torsion, what Plott breeders call “twisted gut.” Some Plotts have been diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

Do Plott Hounds Need To Be Groomed?

Let’s be honest, the Plott Hound’s coat is #hairgoals. This breed boasts a flashy, brindle coat made of smooth, glossy hair. Don’t let the length fool you, the Plott Hound’s thick double coat offers effective protection from cold and wet weather.

Plotts can be any shade of brindle, including tan, chocolate, orange, gray, yellow, buckskin, live, blue, black, and brown. Sometimes, they are a solid color, such as black or black with a brindle trim.

Grooming a Plott is fairly simple, and can be done at home if you choose: regular baths, brushings, nail trimmings, and ear cleanings will keep these pups in tip-top shape!

How Much Does It Cost To Care of A Plott Hound?

The exact cost is difficult to determine, but at a minimum, expect to spend around $1000+ per year.

Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)

Take into account the cost of maintaining proper vet care as well. The average veterinary appointment will run you at least $50 each visit, not accounting for treatment (vaccines ($20–30/dose, heartworm tests (~$45), etc.) Vets typically recommend a yearly wellness visit, and that doesn’t include treatment that may pop up for issues along the way, like x-rays, antibiotics, or surgeries.

Dog Food

Like with all dogs, Plott Hounds should be fed high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate (e.g. puppy, adult, senior). Expect a quality bag of food to cost around $40–$100+ per bag every month or so depending on how much they eat.

Because of this breed’s susceptibility to hip dysplasia, a supplement is recommended to bolster the health of your Plott Hound’s bones and joints.

Preventative Medications for Plott Hounds

Monthly heartworm, flea, and tick medications typically cost several hundred dollars for a year’s worth of doses depending on your pup’s weight.

Plott Hound Grooming Costs

Grooming costs for a Plott Hound are on the lower end if you choose to groom yourself. You’ll need a dog-friendly shampoo for bathtime, a brush designed for their coat, tooth-brushing supplies, toenail clippers, and an ear-cleaning solution with cotton balls, at minimum. If you choose to have a groomer take care of these tasks, a single session may cost around $40–$90. This will vary depending on location, services, and size of the dog.

Other normal costs associated with caring for a Plott Hound include:

  • Dog walker (~15–$25/visit)
  • Daycare/boarding (~$25 min for one day of daycare)
  • Training classes (~$200+)
  • Supplements, like hip & joint or skin & coat ($25+/month)
  • Unexpected costs, like emergency care (~$500–1000+)

Toys Plott Hounds Would Like Best

Given that Plott Hounds are expert trackers, food-motivated, and intelligent, treat-dispensing Super Chewer Toys are a perfect option for them.

If your Plott loves to run and chase balls, Fetch Toys like the “Lady Liberty Ball” are a safe bet, too.

For a more extensive list, check out the following post: What Are The Best Puzzle Toys For Dogs Who Get Bored Easily?

Recommended Products for Plott Hounds

For Plotts with joint issues – or any dog who just loves to lie around! – a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.

Orthopedic Ultra Plush Memory Foam Dog Bed

This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination of ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)

Notable Rescues To Find The Plott Hound Of Your Dreams

It is a common misbelief that uncommon breeds can only be bought through breeders. There are plenty of deserving, adoptable Plott Hounds ready to be a part of your home! Check out these admirable rescues and resources to find the pawfect Plott for you:

Featured image via Penny_The_Plotthound/Instagram

Want More Hound Breed Guides Like This?

Bloodhound Breed Information Guide

English Foxhound Breed Information Guide

Basset Hound Breed Information Guide

Redbone Coohhound Breed Information Guide

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Written by: Casey Estorque

September 14, 2019


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


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