Adopting An American Foxhound

History and origin: This breed is said to have been derived from a pack of Foxhounds taken from Britain to the United States in 1650.  This scent hound was used in packs or individually for fox hunts.  He is now mostly used as a competitive field trial dog and a showdog.

Description: The American Foxhound stands 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 55 and 75 pounds.  He has a large, strong, athletic body and a short, dense, shedding coat that is stiff to the touch and requires regular brushing with a hound glove.  The coat color is black, white, and tan.

About the breed: This breed is friendly, lively, and full of stamina.  He is a first-rate hunter and does not usually make a great house pet.  His high-energy level can drive you nuts.  He can be very stubborn and is easily distracted by a scent.  He is happiest when doing a task such as tracking, hunting, or doing some other type of field work.  The American Foxhound is suspicious of strangers and makes a good watchdog, but he can be dog-aggressive.  He is good with your children, but he may knock them down and hurt them while playing.  He does not normally exhibit the type of non-thinking aggression common to Bloodhounds and Coonhounds.  If left alone, he can be very noisy, restless and destructive.  Training and socialization should begin early. As with all hounds, the “Come” command is hard to teach this breed.  He is also inclined to be disobedient.

Feeding: Traditionally, pack members were trenched-fed with horse meat and an oatmeal mash called a “pudding.”  They are not fed the day before a hunt.  Present day feeding include about 1 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 5 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: The English Foxhound is the perfect breed for a hunter or a very active person. A house in the country with a fenced yard or kennel is important.  Children are fine as long as no roughhousing and teasing is allowed.  Plenty of directed exercise is needed to avoid restlessness, barking, and digging.  The owner must be a firm no-nonsense leader who has time to train, socialize, and exercise the dog.  This is not a lap-dog and will not do well with an easygoing, elderly, or disabled owner.