There are a few different types of Coonhounds, but one of the most distinctive is the ever-beautiful black and tan Coonhound.
The black and tan Coonhound is a gorgeous dog with an obvious color pattern.
But is there any truth to coat color’s correlation to temperament and health in dogs?
And if so, what is it that a prospective owner should know about the black and tan Coonhound?
Let’s learn about the black and tan Coonhound, including how coat color, temperament, health and more all tie into genetics.
Meet the Black and Tan Coonhound
Intelligent, laid-back and one of a kind, the black and tan Coonhound is a breed all his own.
A hunting dog at heart, this stealthy pooch does most of his work after the sun goes down.
He enjoys spending lazy days sleeping contently so long as his family is somewhere nearby.
And yes, the black and tan Coonhound is a Coonhound through and through.
Described by the American Kennel Club as “a real American original,” the black and tan Coonhound is a favorite for those looking for an easygoing, family friendly dog.
But what about his coloring? What should potential owners know?
The Black and Tan Coonhound–Does Color Affect Temperament?
The black and tan Coonhound is, in fact, black and tan.
And since this is the only color pattern he comes in, we think it is safe to say that this is not a rare color combination for this breed.
Still, that doesn’t mean it’s favored.
Black Dog Syndrome
Have you ever heard of what’s known as the “black dog syndrome”?
Many experts have studied it and continue to debate whether it is a real phenomenon.
And to some, it is.
Many speculate that black or darker-colored dogs are adopted or purchased less due to the stigma of their black fur.
Superstitions and rumors are to blame for the myth that black or dogs with dark fur are more aggressive and represent negative entities.
Some also speculate black-coated animals are an omen of death.
The Science of Black Coats
However, according to Stanley Cohen, Ph.D., there is no real correlation between coat color and temperament.
No legitimate scientific studies prove that dark coat colors in dogs are colors to fear.
In fact, many studies show that dogs with black fur, like the black Labrador Retriever, actually rate lower on a scale of aggression.
You can read Cohen’s article for yourself here.
Furthermore, veterinarian Lynn Buzhardt writes that coat color in dogs is determined by two different foundation colors: black and red.
And the variation of colors that stem from these foundation colors are due to the DNA of the parent breeds.
If you want to find out what the best dog breed would be for you and your family, researching a reputable breeder is recommended.
But when it comes to actual behavior, doing research on training and socializing your dog is highly recommended.
Follow these steps below, and you will surely have a much happier and healthier dog regardless of coat color.
What Is the Origin of the Black and Tan Coonhound?
The American Kennel Club refers to the black and tan Coonhound as an American original.
One can assume without much research that this breed hails from the good old US of A.
But what is his background?
Deriving his name from the prey he hunted, the black and tan Coonhound was a raccoon’s worst nightmare and a hunter’s best friend.
He stalked raccoons at night using his one-of-a-kind Coonhound howl to lead his human to his catch.
The raccoon skin cap is a famous American staple.
The black and tan Coonhound, and his other Coonhound counterparts, are to thank for this interesting fashion statement.
How Did the Black and Tan Coonhound Come To Be?
The mix resulted in a well-mannered, lazy dog by day who turns into a fearless, musical hunter by night.
The black and tan Coonhound was the first Coonhound type to be registered by the American Kennel Club in 1945.
Today he sits at number 130 out of 194 on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds.
How Do You Groom a Black and Tan Coonhound?
Grooming your black and tan Coonhound is simple.
While this is a shedding breed, weekly brushing should be enough to keep loose hair from covering your furniture and clothing.
This is a wash-and-wear dog whose short coat lays flat to his skin. He sheds most once or twice a year during shedding season.
Black and tan Coonhound shedding is easy to maintain so long as he is brushed weekly and bathed occasionally.
Of course, like all dogs, the black and tan Coonhound will need his nails trimmed regularly.
Your black and tan Coonhound’s ears need special attention. They are prone to ear infections if not properly cared for.
Keep them clean and dry with a high-quality ear cleaning solution.
Be careful during bathing not to get excess moisture in his deep ear canals.
How Big Do Black and Tan Coonhounds Get?
The black and tan Coonhound size can vary, depending on gender and genetics. But they are usually leggy dogs.
A male black and tan Coonhound can grow to be between 25 and 27 inches tall.
A female black and tan Coonhound can grow to be between 23 and 25 inches.
A black and tan Coonhound weight can vary as well.
Some black and tan Coonhounds weigh anywhere from 65 pounds to a whopping 110 pounds.
What Does a Black and Tan Coonhound Look Like?
True to his name, the black and tan Coonhound is an unmistakable hound breed.
His dense, smooth coat lays flat on his skin.
The breed has long ears; loose skin around his face, muzzle, and back; expressive brown eyes; and a long tail.
He is primarily black with tan markings around his nose, on his paws and the underside of his back legs.
His tail is long.
He is a proportionate dog with a sweet face to match his even-tempered personality.
Health Issues and Life Expectancy of the Black and Tan Coonhound
Like many larger breeds, the black and tan Coonhound’s life expectancy is nothing exceptional.
Living anywhere from 10 to 12 years, this breed is relatively healthy.
Still, like all dogs, the black and tan Coonhound can be prone to some genetic health issues a potential owner should be aware of.
Keep an eye out for ectropion, hypothyroidism and canine hip dysplasia.
And, as we mentioned above, the black and tan Coonhound can be especially prone to ear infections due to his long, floppy ears.
Owners should check and clean his ears regularly to keep them free of any excess moisture or debris.
Your black and tan Coonhound can also be predisposed to dental issues, so his teeth should be looked after and cleaned often.
What Is the Black and Tan Coonhound Temperament Like?
When you encounter a black and tan Coonhound puppy, your heart will surely melt.
Maybe it’s the doleful eyes, those too-long ears or that big personality.
Playful and clumsy, an American black and tan Coonhound grows up to be mellow and mild-mannered.
He is a devoted companion who does well with children, and exhibits patience and affection.
However, he will not be as playful as his puppy-self once was.
He prefers to watch the action from the fireside rather than partake.
Still, this is a pooch who requires exercise every day, although not as much as you may think.
Black and Tan Coonhound Exercise
He will do great with a good play session in the backyard or a nice long walk on a leash.
Remember, the black and tan Coonhound is a hunting dog at heart.
He will chase instinctively after smaller animals like squirrels and rabbits.
He will always need to be walked on a leash when outside of the home.
His backyard should be securely fenced in with a nice, tall fence.
Socializing the Black and Tan Coonhound
The black and tan Coonhound is social, and he can be prone to boredom and loneliness.
This is a vocal breed who will let you know if he is missing a companion.
There is no ignoring a black and tan Coonhound bark.
Doggy siblings are a great way to keep this breed happy if you are unable to be home with him and keep him company.
And while the black and tan Coonhound personality is even-tempered and affectionate, he should be trained and socialized early on.
Training the Black and Tan Coonhound
A prospective owner should also note that while intelligent, the black and tan Coonhound can have a stubborn streak.
He will not so much want to follow rules but will instead tolerate them.
Positive reinforcement works wonders, but we should note that this breed is stuck in his ways.
Once he learns to do something, he will stick with that routine and not sway.
Black and tan Coonhound training should be done right the first time.
As an AKC black and tan Coonhound search will tell you, stick to your techniques and teach him behaviors correctly the first go around.
Re-teaching this old dog with new tricks will not come easily.
Is the Black and Tan Coonhound Dog Right for Your Family?
If you are looking for an easygoing dog who is patient with children and enjoys being around his family, then look no further.
This dog is not aggressive or dominant, although he can be stubborn and set in his ways.
He will do well with children, but keep in mind that he will certainly grow out of his playful puppy stage into a calm, mellow dog.
Less playful and more stoic, the black and tan Coonhound is a great companion for easygoing families.
Enjoy walks and romps in the backyard with him. His family should not be opposed to being home often with this dog.
Or, at least get the black and tan Coonhound a doggy companion to keep him company.
The ideal home for this breed is a large, securely fenced-in backyard where the black and tan Coonhound can run and play without escaping.
Otherwise, he will spend his days scaring birds and squirrels that dare set foot on his territory.
Tips on Choosing a Black and Tan Coonhound Puppy
For the healthiest and happiest of puppies, go through a reputable breeder or shelter.
Remember, black and tan Coonhounds are easygoing dogs who are relatively healthy.
But that doesn’t mean breeding isn’t important.
Reputable breeders health screen their litters, and are able to offer you proof that their puppies are healthy and adoptable.
Most black and tan Coonhounds can be purchased from a breeder for approximately $300 to $400.
Sometimes a black and tan Coonhound can cost more, depending on the quality of his parents and the reputation of the breeder.
If you prefer to rescue your black and tan Coonhound, adoption fees are typically $50 to $100.
Are you a fan of the black and tan Coonhound? Tell us what you love about this breed in the comment section below.
Also make sure to check out our guide to Coonhound mixes!
References and Further Reading:
Buzhardt, L., “Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs,” VCA Hospitals
Coren, S., “Are Black Dogs Less Lovable?” Psychology Today
“Genetics of Coat Color In Dogs May Help Explain Human Stress and Weight,” Stanford University Medical Center, Science News
Howell, T.J., et al., 2015, “Puppy Parties and Beyond: The Role of Early Age Socialization Practices on Adult Dog Behavior,” Dovepress, Vol. 6, pgs. 143-153
Ruvinsky, A. and Sampson, J., 2001, “Genetics of Coat Color and Hair Texture,” The Genetics of the Dog, pg. 61
Schmutz, S.M. and Berryere, T.G., 2007, “Genes Affecting Coat Color and Pattern in Domestic Dogs: A Review,” Animal Genetics