Before the invention of the grocery store, hunting was one of the chief methods of bringing food into the home. Scent hounds were commonly found in a vast number of households and they were greatly relied upon for tracking and treeing all types of wild quarry. Though it is mostly considered sport these days, when people think of hunting and tracking, visions of the Black and Tan Coonhound often come to mind. The breed has procured quite a large role in American culture, yet few truly know anything about Coonhounds beyond the myths and stereotypes that often follow the breed.
Myth: I will have to hunt in order to own a Black and Tan Coonhound.
While the breed has an intense need to follow its nose, not all Coonhounds want, like or are meant to hunt. A dog that is bred to hunt and track must be given a certain amount of training in order to be effective in the field. They must learn how to recognize commands, work with other dogs and they must also be introduced and accustomed to the loud report of a shotgun. Black and Tan Coonhounds that are not raised in this type of setting are more likely to gravitate toward other things in their immediate environment that satisfy their natural instincts.
Myth: The laid back Black and Tan Coonhound is easy to train.
This is not completely a myth, nor is it completely fact. While the easy going Black and Tan Coonhound does wonderfully with training, those wanting a dog that snaps to attention at the first call will need to opt for another breed. The Coonhound is one that is highly intelligent with a mind of its own. Dogs with this type of persona need a certain type of training by a certain type of individual. While this breed of dog greatly adores its owner, the Coonhound is not one that lives to please its owner. It will always honor its primary hunting and working instincts first. Successful training works in conjunction with the breed's powerful instincts.
Myth: I can train my Black and Tan Coonhound for search and rescue operations.
If there is any breed that has proved itself useful in search and rescue missions, it is the Black and Tan Coonhound. Their amazing nose, strong instincts and unbelievable stamina has made them a top choice for many different types of programs. However, not all Coonhounds are cut out to be search and rescue dogs. Programs have a specific and ideal personality type for a rescue dog that not all Coonhounds are able to meet. Those who are too anxious or easily distracted do not make good candidates. Many dogs that are meant for these types of programs are picked specifically for this purpose as puppies and prepared for the task over a number of years.