Black and Tan Coonhound Breed Guide

Breed Group:
Hound Dogs

Middle Age: 5 years

Geriatric Age: 10 years

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

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Black and Tan Coonhound Background Info and History

The Black and Tan Coonhound is a completely American breed. The exact origins of the breed are unknown, but it is believed that they were developed from English Foxhound and Bloodhound stock.

Ancestors of the modern Black and Tan were developed prior to the American Revolutionary War. This breed was created specifically to hunt raccoons and possum in the Ozark and Smoky Mountain regions. The Black and Tan was first registered with the AKC in 1945.

Black and Tan Coonhound Temperament and Personality

Black and Tans are widely regarded as an easygoing and gentle breed. They are known to get along with other dogs and strangers alike. They thrive on human companionship and quickly become a regular part of the family. Black and Tans are equally adaptable to indoor or outdoor living, so long as they get a good amount of attention from their owners.   

Black and Tan Coonhound Training Tips

Black and Tans can be relatively easy to train breed but have some of the same caveats as other scent hounds. This is an extremely intelligent breed that will pick up new commands quickly.

They also have a long memory, so be sure to train consistently from the moment you start. Obedience training and socialization should begin from a young age. Like other scent hounds, Black and Tans will often ignore commands once they are on the scent of a strange animal, which can present a challenge for new owners.

Exercise Needs of Black and Tan Coonhounds

Black and Tans are a moderately active breed. If they are an indoor dog, they will remain well behaved as long as they have daily exercise. This should consist of a long walk, a play session, or training combined with play.

Black and Tan Coonhound Lifespan

Black and Tan Coonhounds live anywhere between 10-12 years.

Black and Tan Coonhound Breed Popularity

Black and Tans are the 128th most popular AKC registered breed.   

Feeding Requirements of Black and Tan Coonhounds

Black and Tan Coonhounds are a medium to large sized breed, with the average weighing between 85-110 lbs. Feeding requirements for this breed will vary depending on the size and activity level. For a moderately active Black and Tan of average weight, expect to feed him between 4 ½ to 5 cups of dry food a day, split into two meals.

Black and Tan Coonhound Grooming

The Black and Tan Coonhounds beautiful, shiny coat will require a bit of work to keep it healthy. This breed will require brushing 3 times a week to minimize shedding. Additionally, regular bathing is recommended to reduce odor.

Are Black and Tan Coonhounds Good With Kids?

Black and Tans are known to be excellent family dogs that make gentle play partners for children. This is not an aggressive breed, but they should be socialized from a young age to take advantage of their naturally gentle personality. They are known to be patient and tolerant, both of which are beneficial in households with children.

Health Problems of Black and Tan Coonhounds

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is rare in Black and Tans but has been seen in some lines. Hip dysplasia in dogs is caused when the fit between the femur and pelvis in the rear hip assembly is too loose. This causes the cartilage that pads these two bones to wear unevenly. Over time, this leads to painful arthritis, bone spurs, and canine lameness in the rear legs.

Ear Infections

Black and Tan Coonhounds are prone towards developing canine ear infections, due to their distinctive floppy ears. This ear structure traps moisture and inhibits airflow, creating the ideal conditions for the development of bacteria.

Signs of an ear infection are a yellowish or brown discharge, a notable smell emanating from the ear, shaking the head, or repeated scratching at an ear. By making sure to check your Black and Tans ears weekly and clean them regularly, you will be able to avoid most ear infections or catch them early if they do occur.


Cataracts in dogs are a condition that affects the lens of the eye. With this condition, the lens becomes cloudy and opaque over time. Although in the early stages of cataracts this cloudiness will not obscure vision, as cataracts progress it will lead to partial loss of vision and eventually complete blindness.

Thyroid Issues

Some research studies have suggested that Black and Tan Coonhounds are prone towards developing hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism in dogs is a condition where the thyroid fails to produce enough of the hormone thyroxine, which is responsible for regulating metabolic function.

Hair loss, weight gain, low energy levels, increased ear infections, and a lower tolerance for cold are all signs of hypothyroidism. This condition is not life-threatening and can be treated. 

Other Resources

National Breed Website: American Black and Tan Coonhound Club

Rescue: American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue

Health Issues Associated with this Breed: