Meet the Breed: The American Foxhound

AmericanFoxhound2The American Foxhound is for hound lovers that enjoy the sweet companionship around the house and energetic tenacity on a hunt. These surefooted agile dogs will also find a solid place in your heart!

Read more about the American Foxhound and learn if this breed might be for you.

Overview:

  • Height: 21”-25” at the withers, though the show versions may be larger.
  • Weight: 65-75 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunting foxes
  • Modern function: Hunting
  • AKC classification: Hound

Physical Characteristics: The American Foxhound resembles their cousin the English Foxhound, but is taller, leaner, and built for speed. Their medium, hard coat is often comprised of black, brown, and white. Usually has a white “flag” on the tail. Other colors are permissible as well. They have long straight legs, and their chests are fairly narrow. The tail often features an arch.

History of Breed:
The American Foxhound is a descendant of English Foxhounds and French hounds. They were prized in the New World as trackers and hunters. They were developed by the land gentry, including George Washington, to be fox hunters in Maryland and Virginia, even becoming the state dog of Virginia. The American Foxhound has been developed into other strains including Walker, Goodman, Trigg, July and Penn-Marydel.

Temperament:

The American Foxhound is an active, athletic hunting dog with a loud, melodious howl, therefore they are best suited to life with acreage. They do behave indoors if exercised well and like to be with their people, but their good behavior is dependent on having the ability to run off some of that energy. The show version may be better suited to home life than the hunting lines. Their great senses make them excellent hunters. This breed is an extremely fast, hot-trailing competitive breed that are not to be trusted with other non-canine pets because of their hunting instinct. They will not listen to commands when trailing. Does get along well with other dogs and children. Very devoted to its family, it makes a good companion dog and home guardian.

  • Best suited for: Homes with acreage, hunters, active lifestyles.
  • Preferred living conditions: Homes with acreage for running and hunting where their loud baying will not be annoying to neighbors. Not suitable for apartments.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: average shedding, but the short coat is easy to care for with occasional brushing and rare bathing.
  • Exercise needs: This breed needs daily extensive exercise. Do not take off leash unless in a safe area as they will chase a scent.
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Health concerns: American Foxhounds are free of many genetic diseases, such as hip and bone problems, that plague other large breeds. Gains weight easily; do not overfeed.

Breed Club Links: American Foxhound Club

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