The Plott is a big-game hunting dog with a very unique – and well-documented – history. In 1750, 16-year-old Johannes George Plott immigrated to America from Germany with five Hanoverian Hounds. He settled in the Smoky Mountains of Bute County, North Carolina, where he went on to raise a family and breed dogs. Over the next 200 years, the Plott family dogs were bred to track, bring to bay, or tree big game such as bear, boar and mountain lion. The family seldom put the dogs on the market, however, so they remained rare outside the southern United States. Not until 1946 were they recognized for the first time, by the United Kennel Club (the breed was recognized by the AKC in 2006). Today, the Plott – who is the state dog of North Carolina – is used for raccoon-hunting in addition to his large-game duties.
The Plott Hound is a medium-sized, well-muscled and rather lean dog, developed to be determined, courageous and hardy, with superior hunting instincts. His smooth, glossy coat can be brindle, solid black or have white markings. He needs a lot of physical exercise, which includes a daily brisk walk or jog. He should also have chances to run free, but because of his natural tendency to run off and hunt, he should always be kept in a fenced area when off-leash.
Although not bred to be a companion dog, the Plott can still make a good addition to an active family. He is intelligent and loyal, gentle with children and quick to love. He does, however, need a strong leader in the family who can offer calm, consistent training.
The Plott Hound is a generally healthy breed, but he can still be prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health – and your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses the Plott is prone to include joint problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia; stomach conditions such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat); and musculoskeletal conditions such as mucopolysaccharidosis.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Plott Hound inherits anything more than an urge to run free, you’re protected.