A HOUND OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
BY SANDRA MURRAY The Plott
“When is a coonhound not a coonhound? When it’s a Plott Hound.” —David Michael Duffy, Hunting Dog Expert
T he Plott has his own unique look among the scenthounds for a good reason. His ancestry does not include the Foxhound nor does it hold a direct infusion of Bloodhound genes. Rather, the Plott owes his singular appearance to his immediate ancestors, the old Hanoverian Hounds of Germany. Their existence traces back to the 5th century in that country. These German dogs served as efficient boar hounds when the forested lands of Germany and Bavaria held a plentiful supply of wild boars. THE PLOTT FAMILY The Plott family bred and raised these Hanoverian Hounds in the early 18th century. So, when Elias Plott decided to emigrate with his family to the New World, he brought some of his best dogs with him. The family first settled in Pennsylvania within a com- munity of German immigrants, and his son, George (Johannes) Plott (born in Germany in 1743) found a wife within that com- munity who had also come from Germany. Before the American Revolution, George and Margaret joined a large number of fel- low German immigrants who headed for a new life in the wilds of western North Carolina. George took several of his Hanoverian Hounds with him. George and Margaret had nine children, all of whom contributed—both themselves and then through many gen- erations of their offspring, right up to the present—in the creation of a tough, brindle scenthound like no other. “...THE PLOTT OWES HIS SINGULAR APPEARANCE TO... OLD HANOVERIAN HOUNDS OF GERMANY. ” Sandra Murray was a longtime contributor to SHOWSIGHT Magazine who passed away in January of 2017. We are once again grateful to be able to share one of her articles here, which first appeared in the June 2016 edition of Sight & Scent Magazine, for the benefit of new and long-term readers.
A Medieval print of hounds holding a wild boar for the hunter to kill. photo courtesy of Wikimedia
No wild boar existed in North Carolina at that time for the Plott family’s hounds, but plenty of black bears inhabited those mountains. George’s hounds eagerly took to trailing this large game animal. So began the development of this unique hound named after Herr Plott in honor of the multi-generational breed- ing program pursued by him and his large family. The mountainous terrain required a leggier, more agile hound than the old Hanoverian, so the Plotts practiced selective breeding to produce a taller, lighter-framed hound that could navigate the mountainous terrain with speed and agility. However, very little outcrossing occurred, nor did any Foxhound blood ever enter the gene pool. The Plott retained his distinctive brindle coloring from his Hanoverian ancestors.
In 1750, Johannes Plott brought five of these Havoverian Boar Hounds with him from Germany to the mountains of North Carolina. photo courtesy of Wikimedia
228 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2021
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