Adopting An English Foxhound

History and origin: The English Foxhound, which dates back to 16th and 17th century England, is still used in packs for hunting fox.  This breed is descended from the heavier St. Hubert Hounds, brought to England by the Norman invaders and from the now extinct Talbot Hounds.  His genealogy has remained relatively pure for hundreds of years.

Description: The English Foxhound stands 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 65 pounds.  He has a strong, athletic, medium to large body that is slightly smaller than that of the American Foxhound.  The short, dense, shedding coat is low maintenance, requiring regular brushing using a hound glove.  The coat is black, white, and tan.

About the breed: This first-rate hunter is very active, strongly built, and full of stamina.  Though smaller than the American Foxhound, the English Foxhound has the same basic temperament.  He is a hunter by nature and has a high energy level that makes him difficult to own as a family house pet.  He needs to hunt, and is almost always the property of a fox-hunting pack.  Though suspicious of strangers and potentially dog-aggressive, this breed will not show the non-thinking aggression that is sometimes seen in Bloodhounds and Coonhounds.  English Foxhounds love children, but because of their energy and strength, they must be carefully watched around toddlers.  They need a great deal of exercise and will become restless and destructive without it.  All Foxhounds are easily distracted by their powerful sense of smell; this is a major hindrance to obedience training.  The English Foxhound is noisy and makes an excellent watchdog.  Obedience training must begin early; the “Come” command is the hardest to teach because of distraction to scent.

Feeding: The English Foxhounds are not traditionally fed as house pets.  Pack members were trenched-fed with horse meat and an oatmeal mash called “pudding.”  They are not fed the day before a hunt.  Present day feeding include 1 — 1 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with biscuit added in equal part or 3 cupfuls of a complete, dry dog food.

Ideal home: An English Foxhound is best suitable for a very active owner, preferably a hunter.  A rural environment with a fenced yard or kennel is essential.  Firm, no-nonsense leadership is required, as is regular exercise, to avoid restlessness and destructive behavior.  This breed is not recommended for the elderly and the disabled.  Children are fine as long as no roughhousing is allowed.