Let's talk English Foxhounds

The picture of canine balance, strength, and endurance, the exquisitely handsome English Foxhound is perhaps one of the most well-documented dog breeds in England thanks to passionate breeders. Though originally developed to track scents during hunting events in the English countryside, English Foxhounds have since proved their merits as gentle, sociable pets and talented show performers. If you’re short on mates keen to join you for that run, you’ll find few more eager and willing than the English Foxhound. 

Official name: English Foxhound

Origins: England

English Foxhound looking away from camera in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? Medium
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Very low
 Energy Level * Medium Family pet? *
High
 Compatibility with other pets High
Can stay alone? * Medium

 * 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.

 
Spider chart of English Foxhound characteristics
Illustration of English Foxhound
Male
58 - 61 cm Height
27 - 34 kg Weight
Female
58 - 61 cm Height
27 - 34 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 - 15 months
 Adult age  15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 - 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

1/7

Get to know the English Foxhound

All you need to know about the breed

One of only four foxhound breeds, the purebred English Foxhound was historically, and quite literally, designed to track scents as far as the eye can see – and beyond. This formidable scent hound is graced with a lung capacity that would give marathoners a run for their money. And their determination to seek out the origin of a scent is absolute.

These days, as English Foxhounds are increasingly adopted as family companions, it is worth considering how these, and other traits, translate. Perhaps thanks in large part to their pack-bred background, English Foxhounds are highly sociable and get along very well with children once trained and other dogs. Another bonus to running with the crowd is their ability to make themselves heard, a handy trait that enables them to be quite good watchdogs. Naturally wary of strangers, the English Foxhound is ever eager to bark, or bay, an alert when one approaches. However, this ability can be a double-edged sword, since not all neighbours will appreciate the noise. Also, that tracking ability makes them prone to wandering off. Once that happens, calling them back will likely be futile, which is why they should be kept on the lead when out in open spaces.

These characteristics in combination with their significant daily exercise needs make the English Foxhound an ideal candidate for active pet owners who can confidently be the pack leader and provide them with access to the great outdoors in which they so beautifully thrive.

2/7

2 facts about English Foxhounds

1. The road leads back to England

Like many people in America today, some dogs can trace at least a part of their origins back to England. The first pack of English Foxhounds was brought to America in 1738 by Lord Fairfax. These dogs went on to contribute to the breed that would be known as the American Foxhound.

2. Bay it with me now

Dogs produce a variety of “vocalisations”, the most common of which is perhaps the bark. However, the English Foxhound, and all other scent hounds, produce a sound all their own called “baying”. Unlike howling, which tends to have a mournful tone, baying is a long, continuous series of short, spirited sound bursts that increasingly intensify and are intended to alert their fellow pack dogs and human companions.

3/7

History of the breed

By the 17th century, England’s population growth had translated into receding forests and the resulting decimation of deer populations. This meant the horse-and-hound hunting so prized by English nobles needed a new quarry, which became the red fox. Since the larger hounds traditionally used lacked the stamina and agility needed for this long-distance sport, the “Masters of hounds” set about crossbreeding Greyhounds, Fox Terriers, and Bulldog lines to produce a breed that would combine the requisite speed, tenacity, and endurance for the job. And the English Foxhound was born.

By the 18th century, fox hunting was the sport of choice for elites and a serious business, with many English Foxhounds being exported to the United States. The breed ultimately gained recognition by the UK and American Kennel Clubs in the 1880s and 1909, respectively.

As the winds of change have recently begun to blow through the world of hunting, the English Foxhound has started the rather successful transition into the roles of companion and show dog, where they continue to gain appreciation thanks to their gentle, sociable nature.

English Foxhound looking away from camera in black and white

4/7

From head to tail

Physical characteristics of English Foxhounds

1. Head

Flat, medium-width head with hazel or brown eyes.

2. Tail

Long, high-set tail carried upright but not curled over.

3. Body

Well-balanced body with a strong back and well-sprung ribs.

English Foxhound standing on grass and pink flowers

5/7

Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your English Foxhound
Close-up of English Foxhound with tongue out

6/7

Caring for your English Foxhound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

A weekly brushing is usually enough to keep the English Foxhound’s short, hard, and dense coat clean and free of dead hair. Their strong nails should be trimmed every few weeks, particularly if they don’t spend much time on paved surfaces, and teeth brushed every day if possible. The English Foxhound is an energetic breed that will need at least 1 to 3 hours of daily exercise and fares best with regular access to large outdoor spaces – just remember to keep them on the lead for those long, brisk walks so they don’t wander off after a scent! Built for endurance, the English Foxhound makes a wonderful companion for long-distance runners or hikers and also excels in obedience, agility and other canine sports and activities. Training the headstrong English Foxhound will require a consistent, firm hand and an experienced, patient individual able to establish their pack leader position.

7/7

All about English Foxhounds

English Foxhounds generally do well with children once trained; however, as puppies, they can be quite rambunctious and so are not recommended for households with small children. And as always, children should be educated as to how best to interact with and respect animals. Everyone should be supervised when together to ensure optimal results for all concerned.

While English Foxhounds can indeed be wonderful, affectionate pets, it is important that potential pet owners consider their significant needs when it comes to exercise, stimulation, and exposure to the outdoors. This breed is probably not the best match for first-time dog owners or anyone living in an apartment. 

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/