Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound can trace its ancestors back to the scenthounds of medieval Europe. Bloodhounds and Foxhounds brought to America before the Revolutionary War were utilized to develop a hound to hunt raccoons and possum in the Smoky Mountain and Ozark regions. This breed is highly versatile, and today, the Black and Tan Coonhound is used for tracking and hunting a variety of game.

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Breed Standard

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a tough and hardy trail and tree hound, moderate build and athletic, with a smooth-fitting, glossy black-and-tan-coat. The dog’s head is cleanly modeled, with an oval-shaped skull. The shoulders are powerfully constructed, the back is solid and level, and the legs are strong and well boned. The breed has an alert, friendly expression; brown eyes; long, low-set ears; and a long tail carried high when on the move.

Breed Facts

  • Popularity: Uncommon
  • Family group: Scenthound
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Date developed: 1700s
  • Original purpose: Hunting raccoons
  • Today’s purpose: Hunting raccoons, nite hunts
  • Other names: American Black and Tan Coonhound
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Activity level: Moderate. Black and tans are excellent house dogs and relatively well-behaved, especially when they regularly exercise. The dogs love to go on long walks, but be careful because they have a strong prey drive and will pull away to follow different and exciting scents. They will chase small animals and roam if not leashed or securely fenced. Black and Tans can run for miles; however, they’re more than satisfied with a modest walk or jog, with an occasional outing in the field.

Grooming: Black and Tans require five to ten minutes of brushing three times weekly, which will help to minimize shedding. They also need regular bathing to eliminate that hound odor.

Coat: Hard, short, and dense.

Color: Coal-black with rich tan markings above the eyes, on the sides of the muzzle, and the chest, legs, and breeches. There are no black pencil markings on the toes.

Group: Hound

Year of recognition by the AKC: 1945

Black and Tan Coonhound Temperament

The Black and Tans temperament can range from outgoing to aloof, but as a rule, these dogs have the characteristics easygoing nature of a scenthound. They are calm, gentle, tolerant, and typically get along with other dogs. Because of their strong prey drive, they are not to be trusted around small pets. The deep bark and territorial instinct make them excellent watchdogs. Black and Tans are intelligent and superb problem solvers; however, these traits may make training a task. These dogs do things their way.

black and tan coonhound lifespan

Black and Tans are not the typical house dog; However, they make ideal pets. It is amiable, mellow, calm, and unobtrusive within the home. When outdoors, its hunting instincts can takeover, making it almost impossible to turn them away from tracking after it starts trailing. It is independent, strong, and stubborn, befitting a dog with its heritage. Black and Tan Coonhounds are tolerant and gentle with children; however, they may be too independent to satisfy a playful child. The dogs are reserved with strangers and may howl and bay.


  • Main concerns: CHD
  • Minor problems: ectropion, hypothyroidism
  • Rarely seen: hemophilia B, elbow dysplasia
  • Recommended tests: hip, (thyroid), eye, cardiac, (elbow)
  • Life span: 10 to 12 years
  • Weight: 55 to 77 pounds
  • Height: male – 25 to 27 inches; female – 23 to 25 inches
black and tan coonhound puppies

Breeder and Buyer’s Advice

Take the time to educate yourself about the breed and search for a healthy, well-bred puppy for sale.

Parent club: American Black and Tan Coonhound Club (; founded in 1973

Rescue: American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue Inc. (

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