Black and Tan Coonhound Breed Standard
The Black and Tan Coonhound is first and fundamentally a working dog, a trail and tree hound, capable of withstanding the rigors of winter, the heat of summer, and the difficult terrain over which he is called upon to work. Used principally for trailing and treeing raccoon, the Black and Tan Coonhound runs his game entirely by scent. The characteristics and courage of the Coonhound also make him proficient on the hunt for deer, bear, mountain lion and other big game. Judges are asked by the club sponsoring the breed to place great emphasis upon these facts when evaluating the merits of the dog. The general impression is that of power, agility and alertness. He immediately impresses one with his ability to cover the ground with powerful rhythmic strides.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size measured at the shoulder--Males 25 to 27 inches; females 23 to 25 inches. Oversized dogs should not be penalized when general soundness and proportion are in favor. Penalize undersize. Proportion--Measured from the point of shoulder to the buttocks and from withers to ground the length of body is equal to or slightly greater than the height of the dog at the withers. Height is in proportion to general conformation so that dog appears neither leggy nor close to the ground. Substance--Considering their job as a hunting dog, the individual should exhibit moderate bone and good muscle tone. Males are heavier in bone and muscle tone than females.
The head is cleanly modeled. From the back of the skull to the nose the head measures from 9 to 10 inches in males and from 8 to 9 inches in females. Expression is alert, friendly and eager. The skin is devoid of folds. Nostrils well open and always black. The flews are well developed with typical hound appearance. Penalize excessive wrinkles. Eyes are from hazel to dark brown in color, almost round and not deeply set. Penalize yellow or light eyes. Ears are low set and well back. They hang in graceful folds, giving the dog a majestic appearance. In length they extend naturally well beyond the tip of the nose and are set at eye level or lower. Penalize ears that do not reach the tip of the nose and are set too high on the head. Skull tends toward oval outline. Medium stop occurring midway between occiput bone and nose. Viewed from profile the line of the skull is on a practically parallel plane to the foreface or muzzle. Teeth fit evenly with scissors bite. Penalize excessive deviation from scissors bite.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is muscular, sloping, medium length. The skin is devoid of excess dewlap. The back is level, powerful and strong. The dog possesses full, round, well sprung ribs, avoiding flatsidedness. Chest reaches at least to the elbows. The tail is strong, with base slightly below level of backline, carried free and when in action at approximately right angle to back.
Powerfully constructed shoulders. The forelegs are straight, with elbows turning neither in nor out; pasterns strong and erect. Feet are compact, with well knuckled, strongly arched toes and thick, strong pads. Penalize flat or splayed feet.
Quarters are well boned and muscled. From hip to hock long and sinewy, hock to pad short and strong. Stifles and hocks well bent and not inclining either in or out. When standing on a level surface, the hind feet are set back from under the body and the leg from pad to hock is at right angles to the ground. Fault--Rear dewclaws.
The coat is short but dense to withstand rough going.
As the name implies, the color is coal black with rich tan markings above eyes, on sides of muzzle, chest, legs and breeching, with black pencil markings on toes. Penalize lack of rich tan markings, excessive areas of tan markings, excessive black coloration. Faults--White on chest or other parts of body is highly undesirable, and a solid patch of white which extends more than one inch in any direction is a disqualification.
When viewed from the side, the stride of the Black and Tan Coonhound is easy and graceful with plenty of reach in front and drive behind. When viewed from the front the forelegs, which are in line with the width of the body, move forward in an effortless manner, but never cross. Viewed from the rear the hocks follow on a line with the forelegs, being neither too widely nor too closely spaced, and as the speed of the trot increases the feet tend to converge toward a center line or single track indicating soundness, balance and stamina. When in action, his head and tail carriage is proud and alert; the topline remains level.
Even temperament, outgoing and friendly. As a working scent hound, must be able to work in close contact with other hounds. Some may be reserved but never shy or vicious. Aggression toward people or other dogs is most undesirable.
Note--Inasmuch as this is a hunting breed, scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered faults.
A solid patch of white which extends more than one inch in any direction.