Among Hound Hunters it’s often the subject of teasing over dog breads. Often Hunters have a mix of breeds of what ever dogs they feel has the ability. But one thing stands; everyone respects the Plott Hound. A “true bred” Plott is an intelligent, cunning, fierce, strong and agile dog. Plott Hounds are
The Plott is a product of a stock of five Hounds brought to Colonial America by a sixteen year old German immigrant, Johannes Plott in 1750. For over two hundred years the Plott family which later settled in now Haywood County NC and friends of the family bred these fine dogs to create the breed now known as Plott Hounds. This is a unique breed of hound for several reasons, though the breed came from the five original stock dogs, they are not the sole ancestors, over the years careful attention was paid to crossing of other breeds of dog to create the Plott breed. It is the only breed of “hound” that is not of English stock, being the only breed developed in the United States. The Plott Hound is a dog rich in history. This history is often guessed at, and mistaken. Until recently there has been no official history of the breed. This has changed with the arrival of “Strike and Stay, The Story of the Plott Hound
”, by Bob Plott.
Bob Plott, himself a descendant of Johannes, owner of Plott Hounds and Bear Hunter has compiled an interesting and well written history of his families dogs. From Elias Plott, a Game Keeper for a German Baron who gave the five dogs to his two sons to bring to America to the National Plott Hound Association of today. Bob tells...As much as he can.
As the author points out, little or no record was left as to what dogs were bred into the Plott Hound. It's exact lineage is a mystery with Bob explaining the obvious evelution of the breed. But as to how it was done, the carefulness and attention of training he explains. Bob Plott puts forth interesting and colorful tales of these dogs once exclusive to Southern Appalachian Bear Hunters. Tales of the dogs and the men who hunted with them and how they became a nationally recognized breed hunted on both large and small game. Among these are old timers, Mountain Men such as Montraville Plott, who insisted his dogs were Curs and didn't like "Houndy Traits". Hence the Plott was once a "hot nosed" dog. This is mostly different today*. Later Bob rites of "The Big Five", five men all in southern Appalachia (I'm being kind to West Virginia)that accelerated the Plott into the national spot light. These men were dedicated Bear Hunters and sometimes guides such as Von Plott that was hired by Base Ball Legend, Branch Rickey to take him Bear Hunting and Taylor Crockett that was known to do some guiding as well as Von's older brother John that preffered dogs as his father Montaville did. Prior to my reading of the book I had learned some contradicting information of one of the Big Five's stock, but the man was well respected and is no longer alive to defend himself. None the less, there are people that like his strain of dog.
As one "Plott man" said to me, the Plott Hound is a "Registered Grade Dog" and arguments about the different lines of the breed will go on.
Along with the men, Bob speaks of the dogs themselves, Pistol Packing Mama of Tuckasegee fame, Jap, and Blue Boy, a superb strike dog. Also included is a frank and well said discussion of Bear Hunting and ho it has changed over the years with technology and loss of hunting lands and a glossary of terms used by Hound Hunters and Dog Breeders.
Strike and Stay is both informative and entertaining with a host of unfortunately all black and white yet good pictures. It's 192 pages of unique Appalachian history and a must have for any Hound Hunters library.
*Something said by some Hunters to have had to have happened with the loss of the Chestnut trees and the decrease in Bear because of it. With less Bear colder nosed dogs were needed.
There you go, it took me a while to get it written...But it's wrote.