Hailing from the mountains of Western Carolina, the Plott falls within the 'hound' breed group and is an all-American working dog. The precise nature of its beginnings are uncertain, although it is widely accepted that the Plott arrived in the United States along with German immigrant Johannes Georg Plott in 1750, whose five Hanoverian Schweisshunden bred with local dogs to produce the breed we recognise today. Primarily bred to hunt large game, protect the homestead from predators and thieves, and drive livestock safely to pasture. It is rumoured that the Emperor of Japan purchased 10 Plotts in an attempt to rid the country of bears that were frightening the villagers. Since 1989, the Plott Hound has been the official State Dog of North Carolina, utilised in hunting boar in the Great Smoky, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Agile and robust in appearance and structure, the Plott Hound boasts the distinctive semblance of its forebears, with moderate-length legs, large pendant ears, a deep chest, a narrow, low-set tail and a short, close coat. The single coat is typically coloured brindle, in deviations of yellow, red, brown, black and grey. It is often said that a Plott should possess a confident, proud and intelligent expression, in line with its temperament. The modern Plott Hound is observed in the show ring, in search and rescue due to its acute sense of smell, and as companion dogs. The Plott Hound is further characterised by a high-pitched voice that carries over long distances.
Well suited to domestic living providing its needs for regular exercise, mental stimulation and human companionship are met. Highly intelligent and eager to learn, the Plott Hound can be trained to a good degree, ensuring an adapted, mannered and easy-going companion dog. Devoted to children and engaging well in play, the Plott Hound is a suitable breed choice for active families or a dedicated sole owner. On average, a Plott at full maturity will weigh 20-25 kg depending on its gender, with a life expectancy of 12-14 years when shown the appropriate love and care.
Typically hardy, the Plott Hound is not known to suffer with any genetic or breed-specific diseases, although the breed is not particularly prevalent, making this slightly more difficult to determine. Documented cases of hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as various associated orthopedic complaints have been identified in the Plott, as have the potentially fatal conditions of bloat and gastric tortion - conditions that are common amongst the large, deep-chested breeds.