Dog Breed Characteristics and Care for the Black and Tan Coonhound

black and tan coonhound

The black and tan coonhound is a big hound dog that is amiable and gregarious. The breed is noted for its very acute scenting abilities as well as a gentle, easygoing attitude, making it an excellent family dog.

This family dog is still being deliberately bred for color and hunting prowess, notably for raccoon and possum. The black and tan, on the other hand, has shown capable of hunting bigger creatures like deer, bears, and even mountain lions.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 23 to 27 inches

WEIGHT: 65 to 110 pounds

COAT: Short and dense

COAT COLOR: Black with tan accents

LIFE SPAN: 10 to 12 years

TEMPERAMENT: Gentle, lovable, trusting, adaptable, easy-going, even-tempered


ORIGIN: United States

Characteristics of the Black and Tan Coonhound

Black and tans are tough, powerful, and sporty, and they'll go with any active family's wardrobe. They can, on the other hand, be couch potatoes who like nothing more than a lengthy nap on the couch.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Black and Tan Coonhound

The black and tan coonhound was the first coonhound breed to be certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1945, when frontiersmen combined European hound dogs like foxhounds and bloodhounds to create a distinct American breed. The black and tan is an ancient breed, since it is said to have derived from the Talbot hound, a popular breed in England around the 11th century.

These all-American canines were later dubbed coonhounds, and they were entrusted with hunting game—primarily raccoons at the time—to provide a steady supply of meat, fat, and fur for the settlers who flocked to the western and southern areas in post-Revolutionary America.

There was just no breed that was adapted to hunt the nocturnal animals at the time. Although foxhounds were employed in conventional English-style fox hunts, these dogs were designed to race across the flatlands of a Southern plantation and weren't quite suitable to hunting raccoons into the woods or through dark marshes at night.

The new coonhound breed proved equal to the task, as they were able to track the raccoon smell regardless of terrain and then scream out to the hunters in a somewhat melodious howling voice to indicate their whereabouts. They weren't the quickest dogs, but they could follow their target as closely as a bloodhound and then "bark up" when they found it. Legendary explorer and huntsman Daniel Boone was an early coonhound aficionado, and his native state of Kentucky eventually became a breeding center.

Black and Tan Coonhound Care

A considerable amount of daily activity is required for a black and tan coonhound, which might involve playing in the yard or going for a long, quick walk. Because of its breeding, be aware that this breed will find any little animal appealing when out in public. Because of its powerful sniffer, the coonhound is an excellent choice for anybody who likes hunting as a pastime, since it can be trained to pursue almost any type of game.


This laid-back canine only need 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. However, because this dog has a high hunt drive, it should always be walked safely on a firm leash, and every black and tan coonhound owner should have a tall, robust fence. Allow your coonhound to use its nose to sniff about while walking because it was developed to seek out odors.


The black and tan coonhound will require weekly cleaning with items such as a brush or rubber grooming glove to help remove the dead hair before it ends up all over your home due to their short, thick coat that sheds once or twice a year. Grooming them on a regular basis will maintain their coat and skin healthy.

Other fundamental grooming requirements exist for black and tans. Long nails can cause pain for these energetic dogs, so they should be every now and then and their nails clipped on a regular basis. Their teeth, like those of other breeds, should be brushed at least twice a week using canine toothpaste. Ear are possible in this breed, thus they should be and examined on a regular basis.


Though clever and loyal to its family, the black and tan coonhound is also regarded an independent breed, making training difficult at times. These are not canines that will always follow their owners, despite the fact that they can be trained.

This breed benefits from early socialization and puppy training lessons since once they've learnt something, they'll want to keep doing it that way. It is critical to begin training as soon as possible.

Common Health Problems

The black and tan coonhound is generally a healthy breed, although they have been associated with some conditions, including:

  • Hypothyroidism: This breed is prone to this condition, which is an endocrine disease causing a lack of thyroid hormone production.
  • Cataracts: Commonly found in many breeds, this disease causes the lens of the eyes to become opaque.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common canine disease that affects the functionality of the hip joints.

Diet and Nutrition

A high-quality commercial or (under veterinarian supervision) dog food should suffice for the black and tan coonhound. At all times, fresh, clean water should be provided. Treats should be provided in moderation, and their nutrition should be regulated to minimize weight gain and obesity-related disorders, as with all breeds.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Black and Tan Coonhound

When selecting a dog breed, be careful to conduct your research. To discover more about the black and tan coonhound, speak with other owners, trustworthy breeders, and rescue organizations. Consider giving a black and tan a new home. Look for dogs of this breed in need of a permanent home at your local animal shelters and rescue groups. A black and tan coonhound puppy can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,600, depending on the breeder.

Begin your search through these resources:

  • American Black and Tan Coonhound Club
  • American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue
  • American Black and Tan Coonhound Association (also on Facebook)

Black and Tan Coonhound Overview

  • Affectionate

  • Easy-going

  • Intelligent

  • Independent and difficult to train

  • Doesn't like to be alone

  • Strong prey drive

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in learning about similar dogs, consider these other coonhound breeds:

There's a variety of out there to explore and with a little research, you can be sure you'll find the right dog to bring home.

  • Can black and tan coonhounds be left alone for long periods?

    This breed is not suitable for highly active families, owners who are seldom at home, or those who have strenuous jobs outside the home. Black and tan coonhounds seek company and will whine (loudly) if left alone for long periods of time.

  • Are black and tans good for apartment living?

    Despite being a huge dog, this breed thrives in limited areas. This is due to the fact that it is relatively passive indoors and just necessitates regular walks. However, this breed has a habit of barking a lot.

  • Is this a good breed for a first-time dog owner?

    Because it is calm and only requires modest activity, a black and tan coonhound is an excellent first dog. However, it is a huge dog that may be difficult to teach and requires continual attention. If you're a who also happens to be a homebody, this breed could be a good choice for you.