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A plott hound sitting in the grass.

Breed overview

  • Average Weight (Male)* —  54.0 pounds
  • Average Weight (Female)* —  47.6 pounds
  • Breed Size* —  Medium
  • Height — 20-25 inches (male), 20-23 inches (female)
  • Life span — 12-14 years
  • Breed Temperament —Confident, attentive, and elegant
  • Coat length & texture — Glossy, smooth, and short
  • Coat color — Various brindle colors, including gray, blue, black, orange, red, yellow, and brown. The AKC also accepts solid black, buckskin, liver, or maltese coat colors.
  • Exercise needs — High
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Barking — Very vocal
  • Intelligence — High
  • Origin — United States
  • Breed group — Hound group (American Kennel Club)

*Methodology: Average male weight, female weight and breed size are based on calculations from our database of more than 1,400,000 pets. 

Plott hound temperament and characteristics 

Plott Hounds have an eager-to-please temperament and are moderately playful. They are generally kid-friendly, but can be wary of strangers and visitors in the home. Plott hounds do also have a dominant streak and are not recommended for first-time pet owners.

Regarding compatibility with other animals, Plott Hounds can have a high prey drive. They may chase after cats or other small animals. Early socialization and training can help reduce this tendency.

Overall, the Plott Hound is a loyal and affectionate companion. They are best suited for active families willing to provide plenty of exercise and attention to their furry friend.


The Plott Hound is a medium-sized dog with a muscular build and a short, shiny coat. The breed is most recognizable by its coat, which comes in various brindle colors. According to the AKC breed standard, any shade of brindle (a streaked or striped pattern of dark hair imposed on a lighter background) is preferred. This includes the following brindle factors: yellow, buckskin, tan, brown, chocolate, liver, orange, red, light or dark gray, blue or Maltese, dilute black, and black. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, the common coat color for the Plott Hound is (75%) brown.

History of the Plott hound

The Plott hound originated from the mountains of western North Carolina. It is widely believed that the Plott hound was developed in the mid-1700s by Johannes Plott. A German immigrant and avid hunter, he brought five Hanover hounds with him to America for bear and wild boar hunting. Over time, the Plott family crossbred the Hanover hounds with local dogs, developing a new breed: the Plott hound.

Today, the Plott hound is recognized as a valuable and versatile dog breed, prized for its hunting abilities, loyalty, and affectionate nature. Whether tracking prey in the wild or snuggling up to its human family, the Plott hound remains a beloved and respected breed.

Caring for your Plott hound

Having a new puppy is fun, but caring for your Plott hound requires some planning. Schedule your first trip to the vet and prepare for your dog’s vaccinations.

You should also puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething.

No one likes to think about losing their new dog, but you can look at resources like FidoAlert that provide a free Fido ID and tag, so you’re prepared just in case. Here are some other basics specific to Plott hound.


The Plott hound is a strong and muscular breed that requires moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy. Ideally, this breed should receive at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily, including brisk walks, runs, hikes, or games of fetch.

Due to their history as hunting dogs, Plott hounds excel in activities challenging their tracking and scenting abilities, such as agility and nose work. They also enjoy participating in obedience and rally competitions, which help to keep them mentally stimulated.

Plott hounds are adaptable and can adjust to different weather conditions, but it’s crucial for owners to pay attention to their dog’s needs and adjust their exercise routines accordingly.

A Plott hound exercising outside.


Plott hounds should be brushed regularly to remove any loose fur and prevent matting to maintain a healthy, shiny coat. A rubber or slicker brush can remove dead hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. Additionally, Plott hounds only need to be bathed occasionally, as frequent washing can strip their skin and coat of essential oils.

It’s also important to pay special attention to the ears of the Plott Hound, as they are prone to infection and should be cleaned regularly. With the addition of teeth brushing and nail trimming, these dogs can stay healthy and look their best.

Diet and nutrition

The Plott hound is a strong and active breed that requires a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain optimal health. While they don’t have any special dietary requirements, it’s important to provide them with high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs.

Adult Plott hounds typically need between 2 to 3 cups of dry dog food daily, split into two meals. However, the exact amount will depend on age, weight, activity level, and metabolism. You should discuss your pet’s optimal diet with your veterinarian.

Training your Plott hound

The Plott hound is a highly intelligent breed known for its strong work ethic and trainability. These dogs are natural hunters and trackers, but with proper training, they can excel in obedience, agility, and even search and rescue activities.

One effective training strategy for Plott Hounds is positive reinforcement. These dogs respond well to praise, and they are eager to please their owners. Training sessions should be short and engaging, with plenty of opportunities for the dog to succeed and receive healthy treats or other rewards.

A Plott hound training outside.

Breeds similar to the Plott hound

Not quite sure that a Plott hound is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Beagle. The beagle is a breed with a short coat and comes in brown, black, white, or tan colors. Beagles are also more vocal with their barking, just like Plott hounds.
  • Treeing Walker coonhound. The Treeing Walker coonhound is also of the hound group originating in the United States. They are larger than Plott hounds, getting up to 70 pounds.
  • Mountain cur. The mountain cur is another US-based breed that is strong-willed and highly intelligent. They are also very protective and dominant, but can still be excellent family dogs with early socialization and training.

Common Plott hound health problems 

Plott hounds are a generally healthy breed, with a lifespan of up to 14 years. However, they can be prone to genetic predispositions and other health issues that owners should be aware of.

  • Bloat. With deep chests, Plott hounds are susceptible to bloat, or gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV), a life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Hip dysplasia. Plott hounds can sometimes develop hip dysplasia, a hereditary condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit properly into the hip joint. Treatment options include NSAIDs, physical therapy, or surgery.
  • Arthritis and joint pain. As they age, Plott Hounds can develop arthritis and joint pain, making it challenging to move around comfortably. These issues can typically be managed with nutrition or medication.

Ultimately, there is no "treatment" that will fix [hip dysplasia], at least not 100%. But surgery can mitigate pain where other therapies fail.

Dr. Erica Irish

Cost of caring for Plott hounds

Remember, owning any dog is a long-term commitment, and the cost of caring for a Plott hound is just one aspect to consider. For minor cases of arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia, you may only have to spend a few hundred dollars on medications. However, if your Plott hound has bloat and needs emergency surgery as well as hospitalization, you could pay anywhere from $1,500 to $7,500.

While we never want our pups to get sick, being prepared financially helps. Researching options for pet health insurance or opening a pet savings account can lower your out-of-pocket costs.

A Plott hound puppy.

Plott hound fun facts

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Plott Hounds Charlie; Cooper is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Plott Hounds love Luna, then Sadie.

  • A stately breed. The Plott hound is the official state dog of North Carolina.
  • AKC recognized. The AKC first recognized the Plott hound breed in 2006.
  • A loyal breed. Despite their hunting instincts, Plott hounds are also friendly and loyal pets.
A Plott hound standing outside, panting.

Frequently asked questions

Do Plott hounds shed a lot?

One thing to note about the Plott hound’s coat is that it sheds seasonally, typically twice a year. During shedding season, more frequent brushing may be necessary to keep the loose fur under control.

Is it easy to potty train a Plott hound?

Regarding potty training, Plott hounds are known to be intelligent and eager to please their owners, making the process easier than with other breeds. However, training a Plott hound to go potty in the appropriate area takes time, effort, and consistency, just as with any other breed.

What’s the difference between a Plott hound and a bloodhound?

Plott hounds were originally bred to track big-game, while bloodhounds are known for their incredibly sensitive sense of smell over long distances. Bloodhounds are also better for new pet owners, while Plott hounds are not ideal for novice pet parents.

How much does a Plott hound cost?

You can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 USD for a Plott hound puppy from a reputable breeder. However, it’s worth noting that the price may vary depending on the location and availability of the breed. In addition, adoption may be a more affordable option, with adoption fees typically ranging from $50 to $300 USD.