Plott hounds are a breed of hunting dog that originated in North Carolina. They are known for their exceptional hunting skills, particularly in tracking and treeing wild boars. However, one of the most distinctive traits of Plott hounds is their howling.

Do Plott Hounds Howl?

Many people wonder why Plott hounds howl so much and if it is a common trait among all members of the breed. The answer is yes, Plott hounds are known for their howling, which is a natural behavior for hunting dogs. Howling is a way for dogs to communicate with each other over long distances, and it is often used as a means of signaling to other members of the pack. So, the question arises: Do Plott Hounds Howl? Understanding their instincts and hunting background sheds light on this unique behavior, emphasizing that howling is an inherent and typical trait of Plott hounds, contributing to their communication and pack-oriented nature.

Despite their reputation for howling, Plott hounds are not always noisy. They are generally quiet and reserved when not hunting, and they make excellent family pets. Plott hounds are so beloved in North Carolina that they were declared the official state dog in 1989. With their unique howling and exceptional hunting abilities, it's no wonder why Plott hounds are such a popular breed among hunters and dog lovers alike.

Breed Origin and History

The Plott Hound is a breed of dog that originated in North Carolina in the United States. This breed was developed specifically for hunting purposes, particularly for hunting wild boars and bears. The Plott Hound is a member of the American Kennel Club's hound group and is known for its keen sense of smell, endurance, and tenacity.

North Carolina Roots

The Plott Hound is named after the Plott family, who were one of the first families to settle in the western part of North Carolina. The breed was developed by Johannes Plott, a German immigrant who arrived in North Carolina in the mid-18th century. Plott brought with him five Hanoverian Schweisshunds, which he used to hunt wild boar and other game in the mountains of North Carolina.

Over time, the Plott family bred their dogs with other breeds, including the Bloodhound and the Coonhound, to create a breed that was better suited for hunting in the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. The resulting breed was the Plott Hound, which became known for its exceptional hunting abilities.

Hunting Dog Evolution

The Plott Hound is part of a long line of hunting dogs that have been bred for specific purposes. Dogs have been used for hunting for thousands of years, and over time, different breeds have been developed for different types of hunting.

The Plott Hound's ancestors, the Hanoverian Schweisshunds, were bred in Germany to hunt wild boar. The Bloodhound, which was bred in England, was used for tracking games. The Coonhound, which was developed in the United States, was used for hunting raccoons. By combining these breeds, the Plott family was able to create a dog that was well-suited for hunting in the mountains of North Carolina.

Today, the Plott Hound is recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club and is used primarily for hunting and as a companion animal. The breed is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and courage, and is a popular choice for hunters and dog lovers alike.

Physical Characteristics

Distinctive Coat Patterns

Plott Hounds are known for their unique brindle coat pattern, which is a mixture of black, brown, and sometimes white fur. This pattern is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves a functional purpose. The brindle coat helps the hound blend in with its surroundings when hunting big game in the forest.

Typical Physical Features

Plott Hounds are a muscular breed with a weight range of 40 to 60 pounds and a height range of 20 to 25 inches. They have large, floppy ears that hang down to their cheeks and can be prone to ear infections if not properly cared for. Their eyes are usually brown and have an intelligent, alert expression.

The Plott Hound's skin is thick and durable, which helps protect them from the rough terrain they encounter while hunting. They are also known for their saddle markings, which are a darker color that runs down their back and resembles a saddle.

In terms of color, Plott Hounds come in a variety of shades including solid black, buckskin, and brindle. Their coats are short and shiny, which makes them easy to groom.

Overall, the Plott Hound's physical characteristics make them well-suited for their role as a hunting dog. Their muscular build and durable skin allow them to navigate through tough terrain, while their brindle coat helps them blend in with their surroundings.

Temperament and Behavior

Plott Hounds are known for their loyal and friendly temperament, making them great family dogs. They are intelligent and require proper socialization and training to ensure they are well-behaved companions.

Do Plott Hounds Howl?

Family and Social Interaction

Plott Hounds are known for their affectionate and loyal nature towards their family. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy spending time with their owners. They are friendly towards other dogs but may display aggression towards unfamiliar dogs if they feel threatened or need to protect their family.

It is important to socialize Plott Hounds from a young age to ensure they are comfortable around people and other animals. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Hunting and Protective Instincts

Plott Hounds were originally bred for hunting purposes and have a strong hunting instinct. They have a natural ability to track and hunt game, making them excellent hunting companions. However, their protective instincts can also make them great guard dogs.

Plott Hounds are alert and confident, making them excellent protectors of their family and home. They require proper training to ensure they do not become overly protective or aggressive towards strangers.

Overall, Plott Hounds are loyal and intelligent dogs that make great family pets. With proper socialization and training, they can be well-behaved companions who are protective of their family and friendly towards other dogs.

Training and Exercise

Exercise Requirements

As highly energetic dogs, Plott Hounds require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They have a lot of stamina and love to go on long walks, runs, and hikes. A minimum of 30-60 minutes of exercise per day is recommended for this breed.

It's important to note that Plott Hounds have a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals, so they should always be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area during exercise.

Training Techniques

Plott Hounds are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques. Consistency and patience are key when training this breed.

It's important to begin training early and socialize your Plott Hound with other dogs and people. This will help prevent any aggressive behavior towards strangers or other animals.

Mental stimulation is also important for this breed. Games such as hide and seek, fetch, and puzzle toys can help keep their minds active.

When training, always use positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and playtime. Avoid using punishment or physical force as it can lead to fear and aggression.

In summary, Plott Hounds require daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Positive reinforcement training techniques and early socialization are important for this breed. Always keep them on a leash or in a securely fenced area during exercise to prevent any accidents.

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Health and Care

Grooming Essentials

Plott Hounds have a short, dense coat that sheds moderately year-round. Regular brushing with a slicker brush or rubber curry brush will help to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. Bathing should be done only when necessary, as frequent bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils. It is important to keep the ears clean and dry to prevent infections, especially since Plott Hounds have long, floppy ears that can trap moisture. Checking and cleaning the ears once a week is recommended.

Common Health Concerns

Like all breeds, Plott Hounds are prone to certain health problems. Hip dysplasia, a genetic condition that affects the hip joint, is a common concern in large breeds like the Plott Hound. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help to prevent or manage hip dysplasia. Bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, is another concern in Plott Hounds. Feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding exercise immediately after eating can help to prevent bloat.

Plott Hounds should have their teeth brushed regularly to prevent dental problems such as tartar buildup and gum disease. Nail trimming should be done every few weeks to prevent overgrowth, which can cause discomfort and even affect the dog's gait. Checking for ticks and debris in the coat after outdoor activities is also important, as it can prevent the spread of diseases and infections. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help to catch potential health problems early on.

Diet and Nutrition

Plott Hounds are a breed of dogs that require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their overall health and well-being. It is recommended to feed them high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for their age, size, and activity level.

When selecting dog food, it is important to read the ingredients list and ensure that the first ingredient is a high-quality protein source such as chicken, beef, or fish. It is also recommended to avoid dog food that contains fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy as they do not provide adequate nutrition and can cause digestive issues.

In addition to dog food, treats can be given to Plott Hounds as a reward for good behavior. However, it is important to give treats in moderation as overfeeding can lead to obesity and other health issues. When selecting treats, it is recommended to choose ones that are low in calories and made with high-quality ingredients.

Overall, a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for the health and well-being of Plott Hounds. By providing them with high-quality dog food and treats in moderation, owners can ensure that their furry companions stay healthy and happy.

Living with a Plott Hound

Plott Hounds are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and hunting skills. They are a great companion for those who enjoy outdoor activities and have a lot of energy to burn. However, before bringing a Plott Hound home, it is important to consider their compatibility with other pets and their integration into the family.

Home and Family Integration

Plott Hounds are social animals and thrive in a family environment. They are loyal and protective of their owners, making them great watchdogs. However, they can be stubborn and require firm training to prevent them from becoming dominant. Plott Hounds are also known for their howling, which may not be suitable for apartment living or close-knit neighborhoods. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the living environment is suitable for a Plott Hound before bringing one home.

Plott Hounds are great with children and enjoy playing with them. They have a lot of energy and require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They are also great companions for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and hunting. However, it is important to supervise children and dogs when playing to prevent any accidents.

Compatibility with Other Pets

Plott Hounds are known for their hunting skills and may not be suitable for households with cats or other small pets. They have a strong prey drive and may chase smaller animals. However, with proper training and socialization, Plott Hounds can coexist with other pets. It is important to introduce them to other pets slowly and under supervision to prevent any aggressive behavior.

In conclusion, Plott Hounds are great companions for those who enjoy outdoor activities and have a lot of energy to burn. They are loyal and protective of their owners and great with children. However, their compatibility with other pets may vary and should be considered before bringing one home. With proper training and socialization, Plott Hounds can make great additions to any family.

Adoption and Breeding

Choosing to Adopt

For those interested in adopting a Plott Hound, there are a few things to consider. First, it is important to research the breed to ensure that it is a good fit for your lifestyle and living situation. Plott Hounds are known for their high energy levels and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

There are many rescue organizations and shelters that specialize in Plott Hounds and other hound breeds. These organizations can provide valuable information about the breed and help match potential adopters with the right dog. Adopting a Plott Hound can be a rewarding experience and provide a loving home to a dog in need.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

If you are interested in buying a Plott Hound from a breeder, it is important to do your research to find a reputable breeder. Look for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and are transparent about their breeding practices.

A good breeder should be willing to provide information about the dog's lineage, health history, and any genetic testing that has been done. They should also be willing to allow potential buyers to meet the puppies and their parents in person.

It is important to avoid buying from puppy mills or backyard breeders, as these operations often prioritize profit over the health and well-being of the dogs. By doing your research and finding a reputable breeder, you can ensure that you are getting a healthy and well-socialized Plott Hound.

Living with a Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is a breed that has gained popularity in American culture due to its hunting skills and loyalty. The breed has been featured in various forms of media such as movies, television shows, and books.

One of the most popular movies that feature the Plott Hound is "Where the Red Fern Grows." The movie is based on a novel by Wilson Rawls and follows the story of a boy and his two Plott Hounds hunting raccoons in the Ozark Mountains. The movie showcases the breed's hunting abilities and loyalty to their owners.

The Plott Hound is also recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a breed that excels in hunting. The AKC describes the breed as a "confident, intelligent, and athletic dog" that is "loyal and affectionate with its family." The breed is recognized by the AKC in the Hound Group and has been since 2006.

In popular culture, the Plott Hound has also been featured in television shows such as "The Dukes of Hazzard." The character Flash, played by a Plott Hound, was the pet of the Duke family and often helped them out of tough situations.

Overall, the Plott Hound has made its mark in popular culture as a loyal and skilled hunting breed. Its recognition by the AKC and appearances in various forms of media has solidified its place in American culture.

State Recognition

The Plott Hound is recognized as the official state dog of North Carolina. This recognition brings with it certain responsibilities for owners of the breed. In North Carolina, it is illegal to allow a dog to run at large, which means that the dog must be kept on a leash or in a fenced area at all times. This law applies to all dogs, including Plott Hounds.

Responsible Ownership

Owning a Plott Hound comes with ethical responsibilities as well. The breed is known for its loud and distinct howl, which can be heard for miles. While this is a natural behavior for the breed, it can be disruptive to neighbors and other members of the community. As a responsible owner, it is important to take steps to minimize the impact of your dog's howling on others.

One way to do this is to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. A tired dog is less likely to howl excessively. Additionally, training your dog to respond to commands such as "quiet" or "stop" can help control their howling.

It is also important to be mindful of your dog's environment. If you live in an apartment or near neighbors, it may be necessary to take extra steps to minimize the impact of your dog's howling. This could include using sound-absorbing materials in your home or investing in a white noise machine to help drown out the noise.

Overall, owning a Plott Hound requires responsible ownership and consideration for others. By taking steps to minimize the impact of your dog's howling, you can ensure that your dog is a good neighbor and a positive member of the community.

Additional Activities and Roles

In addition to their hunting abilities, Plott Hounds are also known for their versatility in other activities and roles. These dogs thrive in outdoor environments and enjoy being active and engaged in physical activities. Their endurance, fearlessness, and ruggedness make them suitable for a variety of tasks.

One of the most common roles for Plott Hounds is as a herding dog. They have an instinct to herd and can work with various types of livestock, including cattle and sheep. Their strong work ethic and stamina make them ideal for this type of job.

Plott Hounds also excel in search and rescue operations. Their keen sense of smell and ability to track scents over long distances make them valuable assets in finding lost hikers or missing persons. They are also used in law enforcement to track down criminals or locate evidence.

In addition to their working roles, Plott Hounds make great companions for active individuals or families. They enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, and swimming. They are loyal and affectionate towards their owners and make great watchdogs.

Do Plott Hounds Howl

Overall, Plott Hounds are versatile dogs that excel in a variety of activities and roles. Their active and fearless nature, combined with their endurance and ruggedness, make them valuable assets in many different situations.

Breed Organizations and Clubs

Plott Hounds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the Hound Group. The AKC is a national organization that maintains a breed standard for each recognized breed, and Plott Hounds is no exception. The breed standard outlines the ideal size, temperament, and physical characteristics of the Plott Hound.

There are also several breed clubs and organizations that focus specifically on Plott Hounds. These clubs provide resources and support to Plott Hound owners, breeders, and enthusiasts. Some of the most notable Plott Hound clubs include the National Plott Hound Association, the United Plott Hound Association, and the Plott Hound Breeders Association.

These organizations often host events and competitions for Plott Hounds, such as conformation shows, field trials, and hunting tests. These events provide opportunities for Plott Hounds to showcase their skills and abilities, and for owners to connect with other Plott Hound enthusiasts.

Overall, breed organizations and clubs play an important role in promoting and preserving the Plott Hound breed. They provide valuable resources and support to Plott Hound owners and breeders and help to ensure that the breed remains healthy and true to its standard.


In conclusion, delving into the question "Do Plott Hounds Howl?" unveils a fascinating aspect of their communication. The howling tendencies, deeply ingrained in their hunting heritage, serve as a distinctive trait among this popular breed. Exploring the vocalization habits of Plott Hounds sheds light on their innate need for communication, especially over long distances.

Owners should embrace this natural behavior, understanding that howling is an integral part of the breed's identity and pack-oriented nature. The unique vocalization habits contribute to the charm of Plott Hounds, making them not only skilled hunters but also expressive and communicative companions. Recognizing and appreciating their howling tendencies enriches the bond between Plott Hounds and their owners, showcasing the intriguing vocal repertoire of this beloved breed.