Plott Hounds anyone?

Anyone have experience with the breed? We just adopted an adult male who was rescued from a shelter in Tennessee and brought to Canada by a local group.

It’s not a breed I had ever heard of but I understand it’s quite common in the southern US? Would be interested to hear what is typical for the breed and any particular health issues to watch out for.

So far he is a lovely, mellow, super affectionate boy in the house, and smart as a whip. Very easy to train and very treat motivated.

Outside he is intense. Doesn’t appear to have ever been on a leash and is a typical hound - so focused on scenting that he is oblivious to the human at the other end of the leash and very difficult to distract / redirect. We’re working on just saying his name and rewarding him every time he makes eye contact, and have made good progress in just a few days. I’m basically long lining him with two leashes - one on a body harness and one on his flat collar - to give me some extra control when he gets a little too exuberant.

He is very respectful of my grumpy older dogs in the house and pretty much ignores them completely, as they do him. Outside on leash he is quite reactive to other dogs. It looks like excitement and not fear or aggression, but there has been a little snapping / snarling when he’s gotten nose to nose with another one.

Not Plott hounds specifically, but strong prey drive hounds and shelter dogs in general: I wouldn’t let him interact with other dogs when leashed and walking, especially if he reacts as you describe. Bear in mind, too, you haven’t had him long enough to understand what behaviors you are dealing with and he is still coming out of his shell. Protective dogs act this way too, and you don’t want to find out any lessons the hard way.


We won’t. The nose to nose incident was only because my neighbour brought her dog right up to him while he was still jumping and barking, despite me asking her not to. We haven’t let another dog approach on leash since and won’t for some time yet.

That being said, we took him for a long hike yesterday and he did very well with passing dogs on the trail. We moved him off the trail each time and kept him distracted with treats, which worked. A big improvement over his first day where nothing could distract him.

He doesn’t seem at all concerned about running kids, bicycles, skateboards, etc zooming by, or even small animals like squirrels. Humans are very exciting, as are other dogs, and a coyote that I assume he thought was a dog. Open car doors are nearly irresistible and he would jump into any open car we pass if allowed. Garages are almost equally intriguing.

Inside the house he is the very definition of lap dog / couch dog. Not bothered by people or noise out on the street. Of course that could change as he starts to feel more at home here and more territorial about it.

Not sure how long you’ve had him, but I’m surprised the rescue didn’t tell you to follow the 2 week shut down rule.
You may well be beyond this now or it may not all apply to you, but there is a lot of good info on having a (new) rescue in your home.

As for Plotts, they can be protective of their space/people & be resource guarders, but normally are pretty social.
Due to the nature of their ears, they are prone to ear infections. Ears should be cleaned regularly.
They are (usually) controlled by their nose & shouldn’t be allowed off lead in open spaces, as their recall tends to suck once on a scent/prey.
Overall they are a hardy, easy to maintain breed.

I don’t have any experience with Plott hounds but I do have lots of experience with beagles and I find their temperament to be similar to what you are describing. They are very sweet and obedient in the house but just go into overdrive once they are outside. I have also found them to be good with other dogs off leash but a bit defensive on leash.

I love hounds but they are not for everyone. I’ve never known one to stick around off leash and they are so focused on the scent they will run right into a truck. That said, if you can tire them out, life is easier for everyone. I recommended one of these to help exercise them. My current beagle loves it!

He’s been in a foster home for 8 weeks since leaving the shelter and made a really smooth transition. We are keeping him on the same routine of walks, crate at night, etc as his foster mom (who is a friend of mine) did.

We’ve had many rescues / shelter dogs over the years so I’m pretty familiar with the various stages of adjustment, but he’s my first Plott Hound :slight_smile: Or any type of hound, for that matter.

Thanks for the tip about the ears - that’s great to know. So far he shows no sign of guarding, but every day we reinforce waiting for his food before he’s allowed to eat it, and I take up his bowl a few times while he’s eating just so he realizes food and all good things come from me.

Another good walk this morning - he was easily distracted from all other dogs and by the last couple we encountered, didn’t even bark or pull. And when he’s more tired he’s quite walkable, until he gets a scent he likes.

He will never be an off leash dog, due to his breed, and we are spending a lot of time working on WAIT when the door opens. My other two dogs are both trained to stay inside until invited out no matter what, so I can go in the garage or unload groceries from the car with the front door wide open. Since all the humans in the house are so used to that, I put signs on the door reminding us to check where the new dog is, because he will bolt out given the chance. We also got a GPS tracker for his collar with no range limit, just in case.


You know we need pics!

Happy to oblige! I assume he’s mixed with something else…but have no idea what! He’s not brindle but in the light you can see his coat has a lot of reddish brown through it. image|375x500


Getting them from a foster home rather than straight from a shelter/rescue, really does make the transition so much smoother :blush:

Glad he’s found a soft landing with you.
He’s cute.


He’s beautiful ! I really love the hounds. Never had a plott but did have a catahoula and a black mouth cur. In my experience they were so very docile around people very focused and driven but not untrainable. Good with my usual pack of dogs. what is his name? Sorry if you already said lol

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PS. The first picture where he is smiling warms my heart. He’s so happy to be in his new home !

His name is Bart. It’s the name the rescue gave him and, though we had planned to change it to Barney, it just kind of stuck.

He is quite possibly the happiest and the snuggliest dog we have ever had. And that’s saying a lot!



Rescue dogs are high risk for being lost within the first couple of weeks. If you drop the leash for any reason you may not be able to recover this dog - they run and keep running. They absolutely should not be out hiking and definitely should not be around running kids and other dogs.

Just editing to add: I know the dog was fostered but it takes time to settle in any time a change is made. A breeder I know placed an adult dog with a hunting home, and their dog loved hunting, so it was a great match. The new owner took the dog hunting within the first couple of weeks and somehow she was lost; most likely because she did not recognize the new owner as her “owner” once they were apart in the woods for a while, and went searching for her real owner. She was gone for 28 days in the woods…many, many, many sightings, but lost and scared dogs can turn “feral” and just run. (Good news story - she was finally trapped. The breeder took her home again; it was so traumatic for her she couldn’t return her to the new owner.)

Please be careful…I would stick close to home for a while.

Thanks for that. We are being very VERY careful. I suspect even after a couple of years, were he to get loose I’m not sure we’d have much luck getting back either. On balance, getting him good and tired and keeping his brain busy seems to be good for him at this point. And our long hikes may be long in terms of time but not necessarily distance. We have lots of woodland and trails near us so we’re sticking within a few kilometres of home. The running kids, bikes, etc. he’s seeing on our street as we hang out on the porch or front lawn, just learning to chill with us. But knowing the risks of losing one in the early days, we got the GPS tracker as an extra level of security. We definitely want to keep him safe!

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The tracker is a great idea! I alway clip my hound’s leash to itself (not my belt loop) around my waist so I won’t risk dropping the leash if I trip or fall. Learned that the hard way. I tie a knot and clip it to that so he won’t squeeze my guts out if he gets pulling. My 9 year old hound gets loose about once a year and I am always able to catch him because I can follow his baying. It terrifies me every time but so far he has stayed safe in these adventures. A couple of times he has come back home. We once had police stop traffic for him when he escaped out of my car. Now he wears a seatbelt in the car. A part of me looks forward to when he gets old and slows down :wink:. But I do love him!

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He’s such a lucky pup! Pics made my day.