coonhound, black-and-tan, breed of large hound developed in the United States. It stands from 23 to 27 in. (58–69 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 70 to 85 lb (32–38 kg). The dense, short coat is coal black with tan markings above the eyes and on the muzzle, chest, and legs. The black-and-tan is descended from the old Virginia (American) foxhound and is bred especially for proficiency in hunting raccoons and opossums. It is a slow but methodical trailer, scenting with its nose to the ground much like a bloodhound. Once it has treed its quarry it gives voice until the hunter arrives. There are other varieties of coonhound closely related to the black-and-tan and also originally descended from the foxhound, e.g., the Walker, Trigg, redbone, bluetick, and Plott, but only the black-and-tan is recognized as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.