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any of several breeds of dogs used primarily in hunting raccoons by scent. Coonhounds are noted for the melodious quality of their voices. The black and tan coonhound was bred in the United States from strains of bloodhound and black and tan foxhound. It is a short-haired, bloodhoundlike dog standing 23 to 27 inches (58 to 68.5 cm) and having a glossy black-and-tan coat. It has the general appearance of a strong, alert dog and is able to withstand rigorous weather and terrain. It is known for its skill and perseverance in tracking deer, bears, and mountain lions, as well as raccoons.