Black and Tan Coonhounds were bred to be working and hunting dogs. While wealthy colonial landowners in the southern United States engaged in organized fox hunts on horseback using imported foxhounds, working-class settlers were developing their own medium-sized working dogs bred for performance rather than appearance and capable of helping put meat on the family dinner table. Coonhounds were developed to locate and hunt their own prey, primarily at night, while making an exuberant baying vocalization during the chase. In North America, the Black and Tan Coonhound has been used to hunt raccoons, bobcat, cougar, deer, elk, wild boar and even bear. They are believed to be descendants of the Bloodhound, the Talbot Hound and the Foxhound which were imported from England. In the United States, Coonhounds have been used for tracking since the late 1700’s. With the advent of urban development and receding rural areas, this versatile dog has continued to be a devoted companion and a willing participant in almost any human-canine activity, including obedience, conformation, agility, jogging, camping, watchdog, babysitter, couch potato and tracker. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1945 and is the most popular of all coonhounds in America.
The Black and Tan Coonhound has an average life span of 10 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include ear infections and hip dysplasia. Overall, this is a very hardy breed.