Plott Hound Breed Magazine - Showsight



at shows. They typically prefer their mas- ter and aren’t the “social butterfly” of the coonhound world.” For judges of the Plott, their challenge remains to sort through the many varia- tions and styles of Plotts to reward those dogs that best match the breed standard. As Burkett observes, “…Two hounds could easily be of similar conformation qual- ity, but appear as substantially different styles.” Regional separation and type of game hunted with the Plotts created this wide variety, so it will take years to sort out a more uniform breed type that breed- ers and judges can agree should prevail. Achieving that goal for this breed will be well worth the effort. The Plott, with his singular history, appearance, and tempera- ment, deserves a solid future. Grateful thanks to Joe Burkett, DVM, of White Deer Kennel and Amanda Alexander of Alexander Hounds for their invaluable infor- mation and explanations concerning Plotts. RESOURCES: 1. The Plott Hound, Wikipedia Free Ency- clopedia, Plott_Hound 2. Featured Breeder Questions and Answers, Joe Burkett DVM, White Deer Kennel Plott Hounds, Sight & Scent, August 2007. 3. Great Plott! The toughest dog on the plan- et makes its debut at Westminster, Richard B. Woodward, Slate, Feb. 12, 2008 http:// heavy_petting/2008/02/great_plott.html

hyperaware of their surroundings, which is an important trait to have in a hunting dog. If they note a change in their environ- ment, they will fixate on that, wanting to investigate this difference. It becomes dif- ficult to pull their attention back to their human handler.” Alexander noted that when showing a Plott in conformation, if something catches the eye of a Plott in a neighboring ring, she has a challenge in bringing the dog’s focus back on her. Perhaps the most outstanding tempera- ment trait of the Plott is his unmatched courage. He truly is the “terrier” of the scenthounds in his total fearlessness when confronted with an opponent—no matter the size or the ferocity. CHALLENGES FOR BREEDERS AND JUDGES Realistically, most of the die-hard big game hunters using Plotts will not rush to AKC conformation events. For the Plott breeders who want to participate in con- formation competition to retain the cor- rect breed type, their challenge will be two-fold: To retain the legendary hunting ability of the Plott while avoiding the pit- fall of so many hunting breeds; having two distinct strains of Plotts, one for hunting and one for the show ring. If Plott breeders can work cooperatively to ensure the Plott remains a truly “dual dog,” success in both venues will follow. Alexander definitely strives for “dual dogs” in her breeding program. She shared some final thoughts on breeding Plotts: “We do not breed very often, as we feel there aren’t enough qualified homes to place pups and we typically keep pups we produce. Not every Plott should be bred just based on its pedigree, so our dogs won’t make an impact as far as in the breeding pen but moreso as breed ambassadors. When we do breed a litter, our focus is on conformation, ability, and personality. Our dogs that we show are also hunted and we never want to lose that function.” Plotts are not for everyone. They take a lot of socialization as pups and, although fearless when working, tend to be cautious

ground efficiently, the breed standard dictates, “With ample reach in front and drive behind, the Plott easily traverses vari- ous terrains with agility and speed. Legs converge to single track at speed.” Such structure and gait give him the endurance and agility for just about anything that his owner cares to do with this breed. Add to those traits a keen intelligence and a desire to please his human, the Plott should only increase in his popularity with those who love to participate in performance events with their dogs. PLOTT TEMPERAMENT The unanimous opinion among Plott breeders is that this “hound of another color” differs not only in looks from other coonhounds, but also in temperament. Plott breeder, Amanda Alexander, has been involved in Plotts for almost 15 years. The breed intrigued her with their striking color, look, and personality. Whereas the other coonhounds are gregarious people lovers, the Plott remains aloof to strang- ers. As Alexander explains, “Plotts tend to be aloof with strangers, and would pre- fer to be the one to approach a stranger first.” A Plott’s love and loyalty belong to his human and to family members; he is wonderful with children, lovingly guard- ing them from harm. To prevent a Plott from becoming a “one man (or woman) dog,” a Plott puppy needs a great deal of socialization to enable it to accept all of the people and experiences that come with our modern world. This is especially true if the puppy will be shown in conformation. To calmly accept handling by judges and the attentions of ringside observers takes careful preparation. Another hallmark of the Plott tempera- ment is their cognitive ability. They learn quickly and never forget anything! This can be both a plus and a minus in training, because the trainer must be exactly correct in training for any new task. The Plott will have it mastered quickly and permanently stored in his memory. As Alexander states, “Plotts are thinking dogs that think about everything.” She also adds that, “Plotts are

4. (Johannes) George Plott, Duch- ess of Brookhaven, Find a Grave.

fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=103853935 – recent genealogical research has replaced the old narrative of George Plott’s arrival in the New World with this current, more accurate information. 5. Hog wild: Feral pig population explodes in U.S, Verna Gates, Reuters, Fri Jun 22, 2012. wild-idUSBRE85L1CF20120622


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