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American Black and Tan Coonhound Association

Official UKC Breed Standard for American Black and Tan Coonhound

This standard was framed for the purpose of furnishing suggestions for breeding to the breeders in their aims toward improving the breed to higher ideals and to try and establish an international breed on this particular hound strain of bloodlines to look alike and to have a universal conformation. It will be noted that this standard has been in existence for more than 60 years and the hounds that we are following today are the result of the loyal, dedicated, hard work of those that preceded us.

History of the American Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan is one of many tracking breeds that was developed in the south of the United States. The breed can trace its immediate ancestry to the American Foxhound and the Virginia Foxhound of colonial days, with probably the introduction of some Bloodhound stock. This latter would explain not only the coloration of the Black & Tan, but its tendency toward being larger-boned than other breeds, its long ears, and its famous cold nose.
The American Black & Tan can probably be traced to English Foxhounds, and before that to the Tolbot Hounds and St. Hubert hounds of France. These hounds were first brought to England following the Norman invasion in the 11th Century. The American Black & Tan was the first coonhound breed to be admitted into registry with UKC. When they were first registered in 1900, and for several years after that, they were registered as American Black & Tan Fox and Coonhounds.

Head and Neck

Head: Carried well up, Very slightly domed and broad between the ears, never narrow.
Neck: Not too thick, nor too long, but graceful and strong: minimum of dewlap.
Teeth: Scissors bite preferred, even bite acceptable.
Eyes: Prominent, hound-like, pleading expression. Dark brown or black, not lighter than hazel. Eyelids firm and close (no drooping).
Ears: Set medium low, well attached to head and devoid of erectile power, should reach approximately to end of nose when drawn out. Should hand gracefully, inside part tipping toward muzzle, should not be too pointed at tip, slightly oval, soft and velvety, hanging in a roll when head raised.
Muzzle: Well-balanced with the other features of the head, medium square, with flews sufficient to give square appearance. Nostril large, open, black in color, never butterfly or pink.
Shoulders: Muscular and sloping; indicating speed and strength.
Chest: Deep, moderately wide, showing large lung space.
Back: Short and slightly arched, well-muscled and strong. This is one important part of this breed. A good rule is the same distance from root of tail to shoulder as height at shoulder.
Hips: Smooth, round, proportionately wide, flanks gracefully arched, muscular at loins, tail heavy, strong at root tapering there, rather long without brush, carried free, well up, saber like.
Front: Straight, smooth forearms, muscular, straight at knees, perfectly in line with upper leg.
Hind: Strong and muscular above hock. Slightly bent at hock and stifle, not cow hocked, free of dewclaws.
Feet: Tight and well padded. Toes short to medium and close knit. Neither cat-footed not splay-footed. Foot to be proportionate to size of the body.
Color and Coat: Smooth haired, fine, glossy, but thick enough for protection. Predominantly deep, rich black, with tan trim covering not more than 10 -15 percent of body. Small pumpkin seed of eyes. A little on breast is not a fault, but no white elsewhere.
Height: Slightly more at shoulders than at hips.
Males: 23 - 27 inches
Females: 21 - 26 inches
Males: 50 - 75 pounds
Females: 40 - 65 pounds

Dogs being shown slightly under weight due to hunting will not be penalized. This is a working breed and should appear as such.

Characteristics of this Breed:

Active, fast, bright, kind, confident, courageous, with open trailing and treeing instinct and ability.


Chest and Ribs
Back and Loins
Legs and Feet
Coat and Color
General Make-up

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