The Wonderful Black & Tan Coonhound
The Black and Tan Coonhounds origins are obscure but is thought to descend from the Talbot Hound & St Hubert Hound, found in 11th Century medieval England & European hounds including Kerry Beagles & French Bleu Gascognes. Its ancestry is then traced through the Bloodhound and the Foxhound to the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound.
By 1900 The Black & Tan Coonhound with careful breeding certainly had a definitive 'Type' and was here to stay.
William Cosner, the "Master Breeder" of the longer eared Black and Tans, whelped his first litter in 1921. He along with other breeders namely Don Stringer (Ten Oaks) & Orville Dunham (Grand Mere), became the impetus for AKC acceptance and were the breeders responsible for authoring the first American Kennel Club (AKC) standard for the breed.
In 1945 The AKC recognised the Black and Tan as the first of the six Coonhounds as an entirely separate breed from the American Foxhound and the first registered was Grand Mere Big Rock Molly.
The Black & Tan Coonhound is a hunting dog, utilising their strong nose and long ears to gather scent. Nose to the ground they trail with skill and determination, having the ability to go all day. Then giving voice or 'barking-up' when their quarry is 'treed'.
Although primarily bred to trail Racoon their brave nature makes them easily trained to track all animals, deer & wild cat included.
This pack of Black and Tans in the photo to the left were owned and bred by William N. Cosner of Maple Hill Farm of Greencastle, Indiana.
Mr. Cosner was an active breeder of the old fashioned, long-eared Black and Tan coonhound for over 75 years.
Although full of stamina and love to follow a scent the Black & Tan Coonhounds laid back, gentle and carefree nature makes them the ideal sofa dog and cuddly companion. This is a breed that like their creature comforts!
They are loyal to their family, make best friends to children and being a true pack animal have extremely good relationships with other dogs of all ages and sexes.
If you want a go all day once mature, or a chilled out - few walks a day dog, the Black & Tan Coonhound is for you……A Black & Tan IS a scent hound sooooooo if a scent is caught they WILL want to follow it. A good recall is a must.
Training is highly recommended, but don't count on perfect compliance. This is a dog who enjoys putting his own spin on obedience commands. Use treats and positive reinforcement techniques to persuade your Black and Tan that he wants to do as you ask.
And "ask" is the operative word. Hounds are stubborn in nature & will flat-out ignore you if you try to boss them around!
A breed with stamina and endurance should be healthy and this is very true of The Black & Tan Coonhound. But like all pedigree & crossbreed dogs some hereditary conditions exist to a lesser or greater degree.
A conscientious, reputable breeder will always health test and never assume a disease is not in their line. This way sensible breeding decisions can be made. If you don't test you don't know!
HIP/ ELBOW DYSPLASIA:
Hip dysplasia (HD) & elbow dysplasia (ED) are considered to be genetically-transmitted conditions. So if a parent has hip or elbow dysplasia, then their offspring are at greater risk for inheriting the condition.
But environmental factors i.e. obesity, over exercise and poor nutrition as a puppy can certainly affect the development of the joints.
Black & Tan Coonhounds should have both Hips & Elbows 'scored'.
This requires X-rays of the dog's hips/ elbows to be taken. The vet then sends the X-rays to the British Veterinary Association where they are examined and "graded" by a panel of experts.
Once the X-rays have been graded, the result is returned to the vet, who relates it to the owner, and a copy is sent to the Kennel Club for recording on the registration database and publication in the KC Breed Records Supplement.
Eye problems have been noted in Black & Tan Coonhounds, most notably Juvenile cataracts and to a lesser degree entropian, ectropion & mild retinal dysplasia.
A yearly examination is required by a BVA approved eye panellist of which there are 40 in The UK. Appointments can be made directly at their veterinary practice or at one of the may 'clinics' held at Dog Shows throughout the country almost weekly.
.........and just like us humans need regular eye tests a dog should have one too. Not to see if they need specs :) but just for a general eye health overview.
Cataract refers to the cloudiness in the crystalline lens of the eye, varying from complete to partial opacity. When the eye lens (located directly behind the iris) is clouded, it prevents light from passing to the retina, which can cause vision loss. Cataracts can be caused by a number of reasons i.e. diabetes, old age and hypocalcaemia but most are hereditary including the juvenile form.
Cataract pictured above
Ectropian pictured above
Entropian is a condition in which a portion of the eyelid is inverted or folded inward. This can cause eyelashes or hair to irritate and scratch the surface of the eye, leading to corneal ulceration or perforation. It can also cause dark-colored scar tissue to build up over the wound
Ectropion is a condition where one or both of a dog’s lower eyelids roll outward. Dogs with loose facial skin are predisposed to this disorder, and ectropion has a strong genetic component. It can also be caused by trauma, foreign bodies, infection, corneal ulceration, marked weight loss or loss of facial muscle tone around the eyes due to old age or laxity of the skin. Developmental or inherited ectropion is most frequently seen in young dogs. Acquired ectropion can be seen at any age but is more common in older animals. One or both eyes can be affected. Ectropion is almost always obvious. Affected dogs have pronounced droopy lower eyelids, watery eyes, swollen or red conjunctiva and facial staining from an overflow of tears. Since ectropion exposes the sensitive lining of the lower eyelid (the conjunctiva) to potentially harsh environmental conditions, eye infections are common in dogs with this disorder.
Retinal dysplasia is a type of retinal malformation & occurs when the 2 primitive layers of the retina do not form together properly. Mild dysplasia manifests as folds in the inner retinal layer. These are called "retinal folds". Retinal folds rarely cause ANY loss of vision. Remember puppies are growing EXTREMELY rapidly and sometimes it just takes a while for everything to fall into place.........
Retinal folds can be seen in puppies as young as 8 week of age.It has been found that vast majority of Black & Tan Coonhounds with retinal folds as a puppy disappear by 6 months.