Foxhound (American)

History

The ancestors of the modern American Foxhound arrived in America early, in the 1650s, brought by the English as a hunting dog. Fox hunting was a popular sport with the upper classes in the 18th century, and a pack of busy Foxhounds was seen as a status symbol. American Foxhounds are tireless when chasing their quarry, and have an incredible ability to find and track a scent.

These early foxhounds were crossed with American Coonhounds and Irish Foxhounds to produce the modern, streamlined breed of today. It is leaner than the English Foxhound, and can run even faster.

Behaviour

Although they were bred as pack dogs, Foxhounds make surprisingly good pets. They need the company of a pack, whether canine or human, but fit well into a busy home. They are gentle and rarely aggressive, getting on well with children, other dogs and pets, although shy with strangers at first. They don't thrive if left alone.

Recall is a problem with foxhounds. They were bred to pick up scents and then chaser them, no matter how far afield that takes them. Recall training needs to start on day one and continue for the rest of the dog's life. They have to be watched constantly when off the leash, so walking is best done in a secure area to prevent them running off, following their amazingly sensitive noses. Training therefore requires skill, consistency and patience. Even then, they tend to be slow to learn and very stubborn.

Foxhounds need plenty of exercise and the chance to run, and if denied this they will become bored and destructive. After exercising, though, they are happy to cuddle up on the sofa and are loving and mild tempered. They don't bark, but bay – a kind of long howl, which will not go down well with the neighbors! They make great watchdogs as they are always alert.

Their coats are easy to look after, with simple, quick weekly regular brushing all it takes to keep them looking their best. They can become obese if overfed and/or under-exercised.

Temperament

American Foxhounds are independent, calm tempered and easy going. Being pack animals they do best when kept with other dogs and should certainly not be left alone for long periods. They are good with children and their energetic nature makes them good guard dogs although they can be challenging to train.

If not exercised properly they can become bored which leads to a loud baying howl and the quick destruction of anything you leave within reach, including furniture!

Health Problems

This breed doesn't suffer any major health concerns and is typically very healthy breed. However, like many breeds they may suffer from canine hip dysplasia. In rare cases some dogs may suffer from thrombocytopathy (a platelet disease that causes abnormal bleeding from wounds) or persistent ear infections.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
  • Weight: 60 - 120 pounds
  • Height: 21 - 25"
  • Rare: Yes
  • Coat: Short
  • Grooming Requirements: Once a week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Hound
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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