^^e Black and Tan Coonhound has a long history dating back to early England. Descended from the Bloodhound (which was known as the St. Hubert Hound) and the Talbot Hound, the ancestors of today's Black and Tan were treasured as early as the 11th century. In the United States, the Black and Tan was bred both for her distinctive color and her ability to hunt raccoons and opossums. She is not limited to small game, however. The breed has also been used to trail larger game, including deer, bears, and mountain lions. The Black and Tan is not a fast hunter, but instead trails her game as her Bloodhound and Virginia Foxhound ancestors do. She is a deliberate, persistent hunter, giving voice (baying) when her quarry is found (or chased) up a tree. The Black and Tan is first and foremost a hunting dog. This breed stands 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing between 50 and 70 pounds, with females slightly smaller than males. They should give the impression of alertness, power, and stamina. This dog is well-muscled yet not blocky or heavy; she must be able to run for hours. The eyes are round, dark brown, and expressive; the ears are hanging and, if pulled forward, reach beyond the tip of the nose. The coat is dense but thick, so as to be impervious to brush and brambles during a hunt. The coat is black with rich tan markings on the muzzle, over the eyes, and on the chest, legs, and toes.
Grooming a Black and Tan is easy. The short but dense coat needs twice weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or curry comb. Although these dogs do shed, primarily in the spring and fall, regular brushing will help keep the shedding under control. The breed's heavy ears require weekly cleaning, or more if the dog is outside a lot.
The Black and Tan requires daily exercise. A long walk morning and evening, a run alongside a bicycle, and a chance to chase squirrels in the backyard will keep most dogs happy. They are not known to be retrievers, so fetch is not a favorite game. Hide-and-seek games are great favorites, though. Hide a toy (or one of the family kids) and send your Black and Tan after it. During exercise, the Black and Tan must be leashed at all times when outside of a fenced-in yard, as the breed's hunting instincts are strong. If she catches a scent, she will be gone, and no amount of calling will bring her
Breed in Brief back.
Black and Tans are social animals, both with people and other dogs. A puppy class with socialization opportunities to other people and other puppies will bring out the best in a Black and Tan puppy. Training can be a challenge, however, as Black and Tans have minds of their own. They are naturally fairly well-behaved but can also be stubborn and independent. A puppy class followed by a basic obedience class is always a good idea, although motivating this hound to follow directions can keep an owner on his toes.
Black and Tans can be good family dogs; they are patient with children and good with other dogs. They can bay and howl, though, which can cause problems with neighbors. All interactions with other small pets should be supervised; remember, this is a hunting hound! Major health problems include hip and elbow dysplasia and hypothyroidism.
Registries: AKC, UKC Occupation: Hunter, trailer Size: 23 to 27 in tall; 50 to 70 lbs
Longevity: 10 to 12 years Exercise: Moderate to vigorous daily exercise Training: Challenge; never trust off leash Grooming: Easy
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n the 3rd century, Claudius Aelianus wrote about dogs with scenting abilities far better than those of ordinary dogs. These dogs were determined to follow a trail and would never give up. Those scenting dogs were probably the ancestors of the dogs that later became known as St. Hubert Hounds. In fact, in French-speaking countries, Bloodhounds are still known as St. Hubert Hounds.
Bloodhounds are known for their scenting abilities, as they should be, because they have the best noses in the canine world. Several individual Bloodhounds have brought about more arrests and convictions than the best human police officers. Some dedicated dogs have followed trails of more than 100 miles. But unlike German Shepherd Dogs and other law enforcement dogs, the Bloodhound does not bite or take down the person she has trailed; as far as she is concerned, her job ends when she finds the person she was trailing. Search and rescue organizations also treasure the breed's abilities.
The Bloodhound is large, with heavy bones and long hanging ears. The breed stands between 23 and 27 inches tall and weighs between 90 and 130 pounds. The head is long, and the ears are very long and hang in folds. The nose is large, and the flews are deep. The skin hangs loose and looks as if there is enough extra skin for another dog to fit inside. The chest is deep, the body is strong and fit, and the tail is long. The coat is short and is either black and tan or liver and tan.
The Bloodhound's short coat is easy to groom; it needs only twice weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or curry comb. The heavy ears need regular cleaning, however, to prevent ear infections.
Although the Bloodhound isn't as active as some other breeds, she still needs daily exercise. A brisk long walk morning and evening is fine, but she also needs a chance to run and play. These playtimes should be only within the confines of a fenced-in yard; if the Bloodhound catches a scent she wishes to follow, she could be gone faster than you can catch her.
Training the Bloodhound can be a challenge. Although many Bloodhounds have successfully competed in obedience and other canine sports, the Bloodhound's owner must first figure out what motivates his dog to want to learn. Then, and only then, can the dog be trained. The training should be firm and structured, yet fun. The dog's owner must be patient and persistent.
A Bloodhound needs a very special owner. The Canadian Bloodhound Club says, "Not everyone should own a Bloodhound. The swing of a Bloodhound's head can spread saliva across a 20-foot room, and years of antiques can be destroyed by her stroll across your living room." The same dog who slobbers all over you and knocks your knickknacks to the floor with one sweep of her tail will adore you and your children with all her heart, showing that love in her eyes for the world to see. She is not a good dog to leave in the backyard; she needs to be with her people. The Bloodhound is usually good with other dogs and small pets. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, ear and eye problems, bloat, and torsion.
Breed in Brief
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC Occupation: Scenthound Size: 23 to 27 in tall; 90 to
130 lbs Longevity: 9 to 11 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Challenge Grooming: Easy
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