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Breed Standard

The Plott is a beautiful, strongly build yet moderate hound, with a distinct brindle colored coat. His appearance suggests the capacity for speed, stamina and endurance.This breed is active, fast, bright, kind, confident and courageous. They are vicious fighters on game, have a super treeing instinct and take readily to water. They are alert and quick to learn. 

Breed History

     In 1750 Johannes Plott and his brother Enoch set sail for this country bringing their hunting dogs with them. Enoch Plott became ill during the long trip, died and was buried at sea. Johannes who was sixteen years old eventually settled in what is presently known as Cabarrus County (North Carolina.) Johannes raised three sons; John, Elias, and Henry. Johannes was thirty six years old when his son Henry was born in 1770. Henry Plott, the German immigrant's son moved to Haywood County (North Carolina) with his wife and pack of dogs in 1800. He was thirty years old at that time. Henry died in 1831. Henry Plott settled on the eastern slopes of Balsam Mountain. As one travels along the Blue Ridge Parkway you will notice a sign erected by the United States Department of the Interior's National Park Service honoring this pioneer. It reads as follows: "Before you lies the massive Plott Balsam range. On one of its eastern slopes Henry Plott, a German immigrant's son made his home in the early 1800's. In this mountain frontier hunting dogs were a prized possession. Here Henry Plott and his descendants developed the famous Plott bear hounds, carefully selecting for the qualities of stamina, courage and alertness the breed possesses today."


     Henry Plott raised a large family. His sons Osborne, George, David, Eric, Amos, John and Henry all kept and hunted dogs. Henry Plott's son, John, was born in 1813. Henry was 43 years old at that time. This John Plott, born in 1813, turned his dogs over to his son Montroville who was born in 1845 and died in 1920. Mont Plott raised ten sons and daughters; Emma, Kow, Lona, Una, Ola, John, Sam, George, Ellis, and Vaughn (Von) with John the elder and Vaughn (Von) the youngest of the boys. These Plott men like all their ancestors before them, were astute breeders of dogs, breeding at all times with superior hunting qualities foremost in their minds. In 1917 Mont Plott, no longer able to hunt, turned his five hounds over to his son Vaughn. John Plott, the oldest brother, and Von Plott the youngest, bred their own strains for years without crossing back and forth.


     John and Von Plott had no idea what kind of the blood the Germans used to develop the Plott Hound nor would John Plott verify what kind of out crosses had all been made with the breed since its introduction to America. He was the oldest living Plott breeder in this country at that time and if he didn't know, no one else could have either. It is believed that the closest blood relative to the Plott Hound is the Hanoverian Schweisshund. This breed exists today in the same geographical area that Johannes immigrated from. They are very similar in their size, color, and hunting traits. Vaughn told me we have no doubt improved them since they were brought to this country.

     History records white men settled in the heart of the Cherokee Nation living side by side. In the course of time the Cherokee Indians and most of the clans or family groups that lived in the more isolated sections of the mountains acquired dogs quite often from someone who was kin to the many different Plott families. When these dogs had been bred for a number of years by a family noted for its hunting prowess such as the Cables of Swain County or Gola Ferguson of Cullowhee, NC they would become known as Cable hounds or Ferguson Hounds. At the time the breed was first registered with UKC there was quite a bit of discussion on what to name the breed. Some wanted to call them the Cable Hounds. Other names were considered and it was decided and rightfully so to name them the Plott Hound paying homage to the family that brought them to this country.

     There were many of these clans back in the mountains and without taking any credit away from the Plott family, many of these mountain men gave great contributions to the breed as we know it today. To name other families that deserve credit, there was H. T. Crockett who lived only three miles from the old Plott home on Plott Creek under the towering Plott Balsams. The Evans boys' stock was descended from dogs their grandfather had brought back to Clay County from Haywood County shortly after the Civil War. There were the Hannahs of Haywood County. There was the Cruse family who lived on the Nantahala River. In the 1870's and 1880's they killed more game than anyone else in the whole Nantahala range which at that time was a vast expanse of virgin hardwood that harbored lots of game. There was the Will Orr family, one of the oldest families in the area. The Reece brothers lived on Pigeon River where the Pisqua National Forest is now. Also Isaiah Kidd, who made a speech at one of the first Plott days, telling how there was not enough stock in existence without occasionally going outside the breed to bring in new blood.

     The last information turned over by John Plott before his death said the Plott dogs have been greatly adulterated by many breeders. We know the Plott Hounds ran loose in those mountains for well over 200 yers and only the Lord knows what blood runs in their veins. There is no doubt in my mind that there was an occasional outcross that was made with other breeds down through the years up to the time the breed was registered. Most of these crosses have disappeared. The UKC felt the breed bred true enough to form to be recognized as a breed and a standard was drawn up and they were registered as a breed in 1946.

- Plott Hound History by Dale Brandenburger

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