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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Black and Tan Coonhound Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Traits & Temperament

Black and Tan Coonhound Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Traits & Temperament

black and tan coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound originated in the United States and is a good-natured companion animal and a skilled and loyal hunting dog. The breed was created by crossing several European Hounds, including the Bloodhound, to develop a dog that was adept at hunting raccoons, giving the breed their name. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1945, becoming the first coonhound breed to be registered by the AKC.

Breed Overview


23 – 27 inches


55 – 75 pounds


10 – 12 years


Black, tan, white

Suitable for:

Active and experienced owners


Intelligent, active, loyal, gentle, easy-going, friendly

These dogs, as you’d imagine, are powerful hunters with loads of stamina, agility, and energy, and as such, they can be a handful for novice owners. With dedication and patience, they make wonderful companion animals and are as loyal and eager to please as they come. Firm leadership is essential with these large and powerful animals, as well as plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

If you are looking for a hunting dog to join you out in the field or are simply an active owner wanting a running partner, the Black and Tan Coonhound does great in both these disciplines. Read on to find out more about this athletic, truly American breed.

Black and Tan Coonhound Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Black and Tan Coonhound Puppies

Black and Tan Coonhound puppy
Image By: SillyDogPhotos, Shutterstock

Before bringing home a Black and Tan Coonhound, you need to understand that these are highly active and energetic animals that require a great deal of training and dedication to look after. These dogs can do well in family situations, provided that they get plenty of socialization and training, as they are known to be gentle with children, but they can easily accidentally knock them over. They also have powerful hunting instincts, making them a difficult breed to have around with smaller dogs or cats, or other small pets.

Make sure to read the full care guide of Black and Tan Coonhounds so you know what type of food, exercise, and grooming your dog needs to grow into a happy and healthy pup.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Black and Tan Coonhound

black and tan coonhound standing by the pool
Image By: SillyDogPhotos, Shutterstock

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a friendly, outgoing, and loyal dog with a happy-go-lucky attitude and affectionate nature. They are super smart and energetic animals that excel in agility sports and obedience, with a nose that can rival most other scent hound breeds. When on a scent trail, these dogs display a single-minded focus and are not easily distracted, a trait that is great for hunting but can be difficult to deal with during training. These dogs are revered among hunters for their “cold nose” — the ability to pick up on a scent trail no matter how faint.

Their hunting history and time spent out in the field have given these pooches a ton of energy and stamina, making them great for hunting and as running or jogging companions. As long as they are getting the required exercise, they are generally happy and well-behaved dogs, and regular long walks or runs are ideal stand-ins for their usual hunting regimen.

Besides their agility and endurance skills, these dogs also make great watchdogs, with razor-sharp senses and their deep, bellowing howl that is sure to ward off any would-be intruders. That said, they may be intimidating but are not aggressive and are unlikely to bite or attack anyone.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

While Black and Tan Coonhounds can make great family dogs with early socialization and good training, they can be a bit too boisterous for families with small children. They are not aggressive and are actually fond of children in general, but they can be a little high-energy at times. If you have a family with older kids and your Coonhound gets plenty of exercise, they make wonderful, loyal family pets.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

With the Black and Tan Coonhound’s powerful prey drive from decades of hunting, small animals around the home like cats or rabbits may be too tempting for your pooch. That said, they are gentle animals that generally get along well with other animals, and with adequate socialization and training, they are usually great with other pets.

divider-paw Things to Know When Owning a Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a large dog with a ton of energy and has specific requirements that need to be met in terms of diet, training, and exercise.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Weighing in at around 70 pounds, the Black and Tan Coonhound can pack away a surprising amount of food. With their large size and high energy, your Coonhound will do best on a protein-rich diet packed with animal-sourced protein like chicken or beef. Make sure these are the first-listed ingredients on the kibble that you buy, and we recommend supplementing this food with high-quality lean meats occasionally too.

Ideally, you’ll want to split their meals into two smaller meals per day to prevent bloat caused by fast eating — these dogs love to eat, and you’ll need to monitor their food intake carefully to prevent them from getting overweight. Three to five cups of dry kibble per day is ideal, and it should be free from filler ingredients like wheat and soy and free from artificial colorants, flavors, and preservatives. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.

Exercise 🐕

Regular exercise is vital to the Coonhound’s health and happiness, and they’ll need at least 2 hours of exercise per day, whether it be a run, jog, gentle walk, or playtime in the yard. With their hunting history, it’s important to keep these dogs on a leash at all times to prevent them from running off after a tempting scent, and to have high fences around your yard.

Black and Tan Coonhound at the beach
Image By: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Black and Tan Coonhounds are intelligent and eager-to-please animals, which is usually a good aspect in training. However, they are known for their somewhat stubborn and independent nature at times, which can make training a challenge, especially for novice owners. Firm and consistent training is key and should begin as early as possible, along with early socialization. Consistent training from a young age is the best way to get your dog accustomed to commands, and this will be a massive help in future training.

Positive reinforcement training is best with these dogs, as they are loyal and dedicated animals that don’t respond well to harsh training techniques. With plenty of patience and dedicated consistency, they can be well-trained and obedient animals and generally will love the training process.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming a Black and Tan Coonhound is a breeze with their dense, short coat, and weekly brushing is all that’s needed to get rid of dead hair. One thing that all Coonhound owners will tell you, though, is that this breed has serious doggy odor issues, especially when wet! They may need more than usual bathing to keep this at bay. Just be sure to use doggy-approved shampoos that don’t disturb the natural oils in their coat.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Black and Tan Coonhound is typically a sturdy, hardy, healthy breed with few health problems. Responsible breeders are strict about screening breeding stock for genetic health conditions. The main concern with these dogs is hip dysplasia due to their large size and active nature. They are also known to suffer from eye issues like cataracts and thyroid issues occasionally.

Lastly, these dogs have large, droopy ears that are highly susceptible to infection. You need to check their ears regularly for redness or swelling and keep the inside of their ear canal dry and clean at all times.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Ear infections
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Heart problems
  • Bloat
  • Thyroid issues

Male vs. Female

If you’ve decided the athletic Black and Tan Coonhound is the breed for you, you’ll need to decide on whether to get a male or female. Most experts agree that unless you intend on breeding, spaying and neutering your Coonhound is a good idea, and once they have had this procedure, there is little difference between the two sexes, personality-wise. Males tend to be a bit on the bigger side and may have slightly more energy and stamina, but other than that, either a male or female can make a wonderful companion, and it simply comes down to personal preference.

It’s important to remember that your dog’s personality is influenced far more by genetics, training, and upbringing than sex.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Black and Tan Coonhound

1. They are expert trackers

The Black and Tan Coonhound descended from several different Hound breeds and has a powerful nose that they keep close to the ground when scenting an animal. Although they are labeled as “coonhounds” due to their wide use in hunting raccoons, they are just as proficient at hunting a wide variety of other animals, including deer, wolves, and cougar. Their impressive sense of smell has also led to them being used widely for drug and bomb detection too.

2. They are known for singing!

The Black and Tan Coonhound has a one-of-a-kind howl that they use to alert hunters of their catch. They were bred to be vocal when they cornered their prey, and this unique, deep bay sounds like they’re singing a tune. Of course, your neighbors are unlikely to feel the same!

3. They make wonderful companions

While Black and Tan Coonhounds are known for their hunting expertise, these dogs make great companion animals too. They form close, powerful bonds with their owners and are highly intelligent animals with a keen sense of their surroundings. However, they can be a challenge to train, and need a firm hand and loads of consistent training methods. Once they are correctly trained, though, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more loyal companion.


Final Thoughts

The Black and Tan Coonhound is an ideal pooch for active owners who like to have company on the trail or during their running sessions. They are gentle, well-mannered dogs that are exceptionally loyal, form a powerful bond with their owners, and can make wonderful family pets. Despite their hunting history, they get along great with other dogs and pets, provided that they are properly socialized, and are rarely aggressive. They are friendly dogs that make fast friends with everyone, but their imposing appearance and deep baying howl can make them formidable watchdogs too.

If you are an active owner looking for a running partner or you are simply looking for a high-energy companion to keep you company, the Black and Tan Coonhound is an exceptional breed and one that will reward you with loyalty, companionship, and affection for years to come.

Featured Image Credit: WilleeCole Photography, Shutterstock

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