At only three hundred years old, the Black and Tan Coonhound is a relatively new breed. However, the first scent hounds ever noted on the history books make their appearance somewhere around 3000 BC. It is also known that ancient Greeks and Romans used scent hounds during hunting. Many believe that it was the Greeks and Romans that introduced their dogs to parts of Europe where they were bred with other hounds indigenous to the region. Eventually, this gave way to the St. Hubert Bloodhound and the Talbot hound of Europe that eventually led to the Black and Tan Coonhound developed in America.
Everyone is fairly familiar with the knowledge that the nose of a Black and Tan Coonhound is beyond exceptional; but just how exceptional has been demonstrated with a number of amazing experiments. Compared to the human nose, a Coonhound can detect a scent up to one hundred million times fainter. A common exercise for those training Coonhounds for search and rescue is to offer a number of separate containers filled with water, one of which contains a single drop of blood. The amazing nose of the Black and Tan Coonhound consistently found the water with the single drop of blood every time.
While the smell of dinner cooking on the stove can get even humans salivating, the Black and Tan Coonhound can smell every single individual ingredient used. This ability is greatly depended on in drug and bomb sniffing dog programs. To demonstrate what a Coonhound can do, trainers lined up a dozen men and asked them to walk behind each other, making sure to follow in each other's footsteps. After a certain distance, each man was instructed to veer either left or right. The Black and Tan Coonhound was then set loose to find the first man in line. Despite the number of scents mixed together, the Coonhound located his target with amazing and significant ease.
One of the most sensitive spots on a Black and Tan Coonhound is its nose and it is quite important for owners to be sure and protect it. As a dog ages, the pigment on their nose can sometimes fade. This can be a problem, especially for the Coonhound who loves to spend so much time outside. Many vets recommend using sunblock not only to keep the chances for burning to a minimum but to also lower the chances of skin cancer. For this breed's sensitive nose, using a sunblock meant for babies is a best bet. They often contain no alcohol or fragrance, two things that should never go on a Coonhound's sensitive nose. One should also avoid sprays as the particles can overwhelm and irritate the Coonhound's extra sensitive scent receptors.