The American Foxhound is a medium-sized dog known to be the oldest dog breeds native to America. They are also one of the least popular. These dogs stand at a height of 25 inches and have long streamlined bodies, long legs, and short dense coats in various colors and color combinations.
American Foxhounds need lots of exercise, and if you want to own one, you need to be able to cope with their high energies. These dogs are not for everyone, and you need to make an effort to train them, and you need to start it early.
For the right people, these dogs are excellent family companions, good with children, and get along well with other pets. However, these dogs are rare and can be challenging to find.
American Foxhound Breed Statistics
|Dog Breed Group||Hound|
|Height||22-25 inches (male); 21-24 inches (female)
|Weight||65-70 pounds (male); 60-65 pounds (female)
American Foxhound Breed Ratings
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
American Foxhounds, as their name implies, are native dogs from America. They are one of the oldest American hounds and are believed to have descended from English Foxhounds brought to the US around 1650.
For the next centuries, English Hounds were then bred with several large French hound dogs, European dog breeds, and Irish hounds (by the 1930s). These crosses resulted in a dog that is taller, lighter, and faster – the American Foxhounds.
One known breeder of these dogs, and probably also responsible for popularizing the breed, is George Washington. It is said that he kept a pack of American Foxhounds at Mount Vernon and continued improving them by crossing it with other breeds.
Because of several kinds of breeding, American Foxhounds are divided into four types:
Field-trial Hounds: Known to be the fastest out of the four and are very competitive.
Fox-hunting Hounds: Known to specialize in hunting foxes and are usually slow in terms of speed.
Trail Hounds: Known for traveling countries chasing after scent.
Pack Hounds: Known for traveling in groups and are often used by hunters riding horses.
Regardless of the type of American Foxhound you choose, it’s no denying that they are an impressive breed. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 and currently rank 186th in popularity in the US.
American Foxhound Temperament
American Foxhounds are independent, easy-going, and sweet-tempered dogs, which makes them great family companions. These dogs are affectionate to their families, even to children and other pets that grow up with them. However, close supervision is always needed.
These dogs thrive for human companionship, so you mustn’t leave them alone for long periods. A bored American Foxhound can be very vocal with his complaint, and before you know it, you might also hear a complaint from the neighbors.
These are hunting dogs, which means they require a great deal of exercise. As these dogs have great stamina, short walks may not suffice, but a long run or jog will do. If you love the outdoors, these dogs will make great companions in your hikes or bicycle riding.
When taking him out, remember to keep him on a leash and don’t let him loose unless you’re in a securely fenced yard. They have a strong prey drive, and they will chase prey the moment they see one nearby.
These dogs can be wary of strangers, so make sure to socialize them early, so they don’t become shy or fearful. Getting them accustomed to anything new would help them become more well-rounded dogs and develop a more stable temperament.
Training is also needed, but you need to be patient. Most American Foxhounds are willing to learn, but others might be easily distracted.
Make sure to give these dogs lots of positive reinforcements instead of treating them harshly. Added to that, you need to be consistent and firm.
American Foxhound Care Requirements
- Nutrition: American Foxhounds don’t have special dietary requirements. They can basically eat any food, regardless if it’s home-cooked or commercially manufactured, as long as it’s well-balanced. You just also need to make sure that the feeding requirement is right for your dog’s age. If you’re not sure what food to give, it’s always best to ask your vet about it. You can also ask about the number of calories to feed your dog daily to ensure that he doesn’t get overweight. Overweight dogs are susceptible to more diseases, so you surely don’t want that. You should also note if your dog is allergic to any food ingredients, and make sure to stay away from that.
- Grooming: American Foxhounds have short coats that shed seasonally and require very minimal grooming. Brushing can be done once a week to maintain the coat’s shine, and this should help minimize shedding, especially during the shedding season. Baths don’t also have to be given frequently as these dogs don’t smell a lot. Probably the only time you can bath him if he gets too messy. However, ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infection. Nails should also be checked and trimmed regularly. Long nails can only cause your dog pain and discomfort, and you don’t want that.
- Exercise: American Foxhounds are energetic dogs that require regular exercise in any form. You can take them out for long walks or play with them in the backyard. A good hour or two should suffice to make them happy. It’s essential to focus on stimulating both their minds and bodies. Participating in canine dog sports will be a great idea, and the training you’ll give him to prepare is an excellent form of exercise. As these dogs have a strong prey drive, it’s highly advised to keep them on a leash when out for walks. Don’t let him run on his own if you don’t have a securely fenced yard.
- Health: American Foxhounds are healthy dogs in general. But, like other dog breeds, there will be times that he’ll acquire certain diseases in his lifetime. For these dogs, there is very little that you’d need to worry about, though. There are only two: hip dysplasia and thrombocytopathy. If your dog is taken care of well, then you should be fine. However, we recommend meeting at least one of your dog’s parents to see what hereditary diseases your dog might acquire. You should also pay close attention to your dog’s behavior and if you notice any changes, take him immediately to the vet for a check-up.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of American Foxhounds is 11-13 years.
Fun Facts about American Foxhounds
- American Foxhounds originated from Virginia and Maryland around the early 1700s.
- They descended from the English Foxhounds.
- This breed is the state dog of Virginia.
- George Washington is one of the breeders of these dogs.
- One-year-old American Foxhounds are as physically mature as fifteen-year-olds.
- They play four roles: field trial hounds, trail hounds, fox hunting hounds, and pack hounds.
- They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
Check Out Other Hound Dog Breeds:
Afghan Hound, American English Coonhounds, Basenjis, Basset Hound, Beagle, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Borzois, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Dachshund, English Foxhound, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens, Greyhound, Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Irish Wolfhound, Norwegian Elkhound, Otterhound, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Pharaoh Hounds, Plotts, Portuguese Podengo, Redbone Coonhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Sloughis, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Whippet