Let's talk American Foxhounds

As their name suggests, the jovial and carefree American Foxhound has a history almost as long as America itself. Early colonists brought the dog with them from England, for use primarily in the foxhunt, a very popular sport for the elite at the time. They remain a beloved breed in the equestrian sporting community, treasured not only for their tireless nature but their congenial temperament - not to mention their gorgeous looks. The American Foxhound makes a first-rate addition to any household.

Official name: American Foxhound

Other names: Foxhound, Hounds

Origins: United States

Black and white side portrait of an American Foxhound
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* High Family Pet?* 
Medium
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone?*

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of an American Foxhound
Male
56 - 64 cm Height
29.5 - 31.5 kg Weight
Female
53 - 61 cm Height
27 - 29.5 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  10 years onwards

American Foxhound standing on grass

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Get to know the American Foxhound

All you need to know about the breed

Walk into any historic American dwelling and chances are, paintings of steeplechase and foxhunt adorn the walls, depicting riders and their dogs, the American Foxhound. Foxhunt was popular with early British colonists at the time.

It’s the sweet and sociable nature of the breed that’s given them staying power. The American Foxhound is very kid-friendly and dog-friendly so bound to fit into the family pack with aplomb, especially once trained. Their tri-colour coat with its coarse texture is easy-care, another plus for a dog that already scores well. Their health is so robust that one-year-old puppies are as physically mature as a 15-year-old teenager.

A distinctive hound trait - their bark - is a bit of a drawback for the American Foxhound. The breed has a long bay that ensures those in the distance that he’s on the job. Quite melodious, it can also be hard on the ears, and on the neighbors. Train your American Foxhound early to help curb any disquietude.

Fun American Foxhound facts: their ears have twice as many muscles as humans. Needless to say, the American Foxhound is unique, especially when it comes to their off-the-charts energy and playfulness, so best suited to an equally energetic household and a more rural, rather than urban, environment.

American Foxhound laying on a cemented road

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2 facts about American Foxhounds

1. The nose knows

The American Foxhound has a nose like no other. This dog was specifically bred for the chase - which doesn’t mean they’re ill-tempered, it just means their ability to follow a scent is fairly superb. Keep them happy by keeping them in a well-enclosed area where they can run free but not run off in pursuit of any given scent that wafts their way.

2. Eating their fill - and then some

Dogs who are active need a higher energy intake than those who aren’t, but the American Foxhound is a breed that likes to eat a little too much. They can be prone to getting overweight - which could easily happen when a dog runs as much as this one and owners think they need extra calories. Ward off any weight gain with careful feeding twice a day only; free feeding will only add extra weight (even more if neutered) your American Foxhound dog doesn’t need.

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History of the breed

As the United States was finding its footing and the British were settling in, they brought a new way of life with them which included leisure activity. Those in the upper classes engaged in the sport of foxhunt, accompanied by their energetic companion, the English Foxhound.

The country soon grew and the breed with it, bred throughout the 1700s to become the affectionate and doting dog we know today, the American Foxhound. One of the only true American breeds, the resulting dog was lighter, taller, and faster than their English ancestor, with a keener sense of smell. Even the first American president, George Washington, loved his hounds, so much so that he kept a pack at Mount Vernon which he interbred with imported English hounds and French ones from the Marquis de Lafayette, his compatriot in the Revolutionary War.

The adored American Foxhound breed is still found aplenty throughout the south especially in the rolling countryside of Maryland, as well as Virginia where they’re the official state dog.

Black and white close-up portrait of an American Foxhound

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of American Foxhounds

1. Ears

Long, fairly wide thin ears with rounded ends.

2. Muzzle

Long, domed head, square muzzle.

3. Body

Sleek and strong body, long muscular back, thin limbs.

4. Tail

Thin tail, normally carried high and slightly curved.

5. Coat

Short-haired coat, tight and coarse in texture.

Side profile of an American Foxhound looking to the left

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your American Foxhound
Side profile of an American Foxhound with mouth open

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Caring for your American Foxhound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Luckily for owners, the American Foxhound has a short, tight coat so grooming is a breeze. Nonetheless, make sure it’s done on a regular-enough basis to keep them looking sharp. Weekly brushing should be sufficient, and baths can come as needed. Since the breed spends a good amount of time outside, that may have to be more frequent, depending on the dirt they get into. Given their history as a sporting dog, the breed requires a lot of exercise. The American Foxhound was bred to be a sporting dog from Day 1. They are extremely high energy and will need at least two walks a day, with any other exercise you can give them a plus. To note: They must be kept on a leash at all times, otherwise they’ll be inclined to chase whatever may cross their path. The American Foxhound is great at agility sport, since years of leaping over rugged countryside makes them a natural. Training the American Foxhound as early as possible is very important since they are stubborn. They are a very friendly and affable dog, but are extremely smart so will need positive reinforcement to make sure that commands are understood - and obeyed.

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All about American Foxhounds

The answer is somewhat frequently. That may sound nebulous but the American Foxhound is used to being on the trail and still feels duty bound to alert the pack at any given turn. The breed is known to bay - a longer pronounced howl - which is their way of informing those in the distance about the goings-on. In more suburban environments, the American Foxhound’s unique expression could be a factor - for you and neighbours alike. Knowing how much sound a dog will emit is key to domestic bliss.

The American Foxhound breed is a pack animal if there ever was one, so learning how to play nice is a given. They’re affable and very easygoing and enjoy being amongst canine company - in fact, prefer it. Cats, they’ll take them or leave them, but dogs always rule. Making sure they aren’t the only dog in the house will also help your American Foxhound adjust to life in the family as well.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/